STUNS Life science promotes the growth of a strong and sustainable life science sector. We make life science more competetive. Every day.
The Foundation for collaboration between the universities of Uppsala, business and society – STUNS was initiated in 1983 and has conducted operations in the Uppsala region since 1985. STUNS’s purpose is to develop the collaboration between the universities of Uppsala, the businesses, and public organizations.
Life science has a strong position in the Uppsala region with leading research at both universities, a business community consisting of large and medium-sized established and exporting companies, and a large number of innovative, smaller companies. In addition, the University Hospital and the University Animal Hospital at SLU offer competent user environments.
In life science, universities, business, and society are united in joint pursuit of goals that are literally vital for society and individuals – not least in the emerging field of health and prevention. Through collaboration and co-creation, full potential can be achieved, which makes life science an important area of activity within STUNS.
STUNS dates back to year 1983, when Governor, Ingemar Mundebo, called together the key actors from the universities of Uppsala, business and society. The aim was to establish a technology park and to collaborate between different actors STUNS was founded.
The idea was that the foundation would be dissolved when the building of the technology park began, but the founders saw great value in meeting regularly to discuss and decide on common regional growth issues in the borderland between academia, business and politics. Uppsala had by chance, and through far-sighted decision-makers, identified and started what would much later be called the regional innovation system, Triple Helix, and public-private partnerships. STUNS became an innovation in itself, and the first part of the regional innovation support system.
In 2003 STUNS created the focus area of Life science, and called it Uppsala Bio. Since then, STUNS Life science has been a strategic hub for collaboration between private and public actors to contribute to sustainable knowledge-based growth – in life science, health and adjacent disciplines. In 2020 STUNS decided to change the name Uppsala Bio to STUNS Life science to more accurately show that the focus area is a part of STUNS as a whole.
There is no doubt that Uppsala has been an international leader in the paradigm that has characterized life science since the 1920s. Uppsala is also well equipped for the future; SLU’s leading position in sustainable development, two new competence centers at Uppsala University as well as SciLifeLab and Testa Center are just a few examples of investments in the region. This mix of leading research, education, and entrepreneurship have established Uppsala and the surrounding area as one of Europe’s leading nodes for life science to this day.
At the same time, Sweden and the world are facing what many call the fourth industrial revolution – where a fusion of technical, biological, and digital technologies creates new rules of the game and industry definitions that require new forms of collaboration to ensure future competitiveness. The increased pace of change now requires new collaborations, new forms of collaboration, and not least, the struggle for today’s and tomorrow’s competence increases. Decision-makers today need to be closer to their market, better understand customer requirements, competitive situation, and regulatory conditions in the pursuit of competitive advantage. Large companies need to explore the world in search of new ideas and tomorrow’s products and services. Universities must design educations for professions that do not exist today. Bridges between life science and adjacent disciplines and industries are required to turn challenges into opportunities as industry broadening and digitalization create new ways of conducting industrial development and research.