In March 2010, AstraZeneca, the global biopharmaceutical company, announced that it was closing its research facilities in Lund and moving them to Gothenburg (Mölndal). In addition to the job loss, 80,000 m² of high-class real estate suddenly became vacant. It was a harsh blow to the region but thanks to the positive attitude and close involvement of all concerned parties, the story had a happy ending.
Allan Larsson, who at that time was the chairman of the board of Lund University, was given the challenge with finding a solution by FIRS, which is 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. Negotiations were initiated with AstraZeneca and a buyer had to be identified. Tenants for the buildings, i.e. people and organisations with a sense of purpose had to be found.
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 crucial building block to buy the premises. In less than a year, what had once been a dream became reality thanks to a strong will to succeed and a willingness to invest in research innovations that would benefit people’s health and lives. That is how Medicon Village saw the light of day.
- Mats Paulsson Foundation for Research, Innovation and Societal Development founds Medicon Village.
- January 10, 2012 AstraZeneca hands over the keys to Medicon Village.
- The doors are opened for world class offices, laboratories and meeting places. By the end of 2012 about 70 organisations had moved in with in total 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 January 2017 Medicon Village celebrates its 5-year anniversary with more than 120 member organisations on site with over 1600 employees.
- Medicon Village new main building – The Spark – was inaugurated at the end of 2019 at a time when over 2000 members were working on the premises.
- In the fall of 2020, the Peritus Clinic was opened, offering cutting edge cancer care.