Many cities struggle to position themselves as unique places for creating attractiveness and growth within a specific area. We often joke that just as Silicon Valley is for tech, Nashville is for country music, or Gränna is for polkagrisar (a type of candy) – Uppsala should be for life science.
The strength of a sustainable ecosystem lies not in the individual potentially strong actors but in the infrastructure that enables and facilitates their success. Whether it is access to certain resources like universities and expertise, testing environments and meeting places, committed stakeholders and capital, or perhaps proximity to an international airport that enables logistics and inflow.
What many often forget amidst the focus on what I would call co-location – the clustering and density of companies, societal institutions, and academic environments – is how we take a step further and achieve co-creation. Simply being in the same place is not enough.
More is needed.
The magical component that allows us to succeed resides in what I refer to as the invisible infrastructure – the culture. With a shared vision of the ecosystem’s benefits, generosity, and commitment, you give life and soul to the ecosystem.