In March 2010, AstraZeneca, the global, science-led biopharmaceutical business, announced that it was closing its research facilities in Lund and moving them to Gothenburg (Mölndal). In addition to the job losses, 80,000 m² of high-class real estate would suddenly become vacant. It was a harsh blow to the region but thanks to the positive attitude and close involvement of all concerned, the story had a happy ending.
Allan Larsson, who at that time was the chairman of the board of Lund University, was charged with finding a solution by FIRS, the council for research and innovation in Skåne (Scania), along with Lund University, the regional Healthcare Authority, and the municipal councils of Lund and Malmö. It was no easy task. There were negotiations with AstraZeneca. They had to find a buyer and then to fill the building with people and organisations that would bring a sense of purpose with them.
Representatives from FIRS, led by Allan Larsson, drew up a plan to turn this former research centre in Lund into a model for a broad regional cooperative life science project. Mats Paulsson, one of the founders of the construction company PEAB, lent his support to the idea of a creating a new centre with a strong R&D tradition.
At the start of 2011 he set up a fund which would enable the county council and Lund University to establish a centre for research and innovation in medicine and other life sciences. He himself donated SEK 100 million, the base plate to buy the premises. Within a year, what had once been a dream, became reality thanks to a strong will to succeed and a willingness to invest in something that would benefit people’s health and lives. Medicon Village saw the light of day.
- January 10, 2012 AstraZeneca hand over the keys to Medicon Village
- By the end of 2012 about 70 players have moved in comprising 570 people
- In 2013 Lund University moves 200 researchers into cancer to Medicon Village
- By the end of 2013, more people are working in Medicon Village than when AstraZeneca vacated the premises
- In Januari 2017 Medicon Village celebrates its 5-year anniversary with more than 120 member organisations on site with over 1600 employees.