Swelife and Medtech4Health’s Impact platform project to support the participation of Swedish life science in European collaborations was concluded at the end of 2018. A new project is getting underway – Swelife International – which will build on previous experiences with the aim of reinforcing ongoing initiatives and specializations.
Heather Marshall-Heyman worked on the Impact platform and is now the project manager for the new Swelife project: Swelife International.
“In the Impact platform we saw that there is plenty left to do”, says Heather Marshall-Heyman. “Things are going well for Sweden in certain contexts, such as EU funding, but there is still a lot more that can be done. Collaborating with stakeholders in other countries and top international expertise increases a company’s chances of developing rapidly and succeeding. My job is to work on this.”
Swelife International reinforces existing activities
Within the project, Heather Marshall-Heyman will collaborate with branch organizations, universities, and other stakeholders to reinforce what is already going on.
“I will start with a needs analysis for the program and the projects. Which countries are good to work with? What might Swelife’s projects need? I will then match the program and the projects against international collaboration and financing opportunities and, together with other stakeholders, act as a support in international networking and during the internationalization process.”
Input for new EU programmes
Heather explains that they looked at how Sweden could work on EU applications, particularly within Horizon 2020, in the Impact platform project.
“It was a question of increasing knowledge about the programmes, how to go about applying, how to find partners, and giving input to future areas for funding and calls for applications. In Swelife International, we will also provide input for new programmes, i.e. the ones to follow Horizon 2020. However, this project is about international collaboration from a global perspective. The basic need is an internationalisation of the projects that Swelife supports. For example, we are to help ensure there are more applications to the EU programmes.”
Heather points out how important it is to use existing structures – and not to build new ones – to facilitate the Swelife-supported projects. One example is to make it easier for innovation projects to pitch at relevant conferences, such as NLSDays.