AstraZeneca is selling its research facilities in Lund to a foundation. The foundation has been founded by Mats Paulsson and is to support Region Skåne and Lund University, with the aim of establishing a new centre for research, innovation and enterprise, primarily within the field of medicine.
In March last year, AstraZeneca decided to move its research operations from Lund to Mölndal. Today it has signed agreements to sell its research facilities in Lund to a foundation.
The foundation’s founder, Mats Paulsson, who is also one of the founders of PEAB, will provide an initial donation of SEK 100 million. The foundation is also open to other private individuals who are interested in donating funds to research and innovation. The Board will be made up of five members. Mats Paulsson will appoint two members and Region Skåne and Lund University will each appoint one member. The fifth member will be appointed jointly.
The takeover of the research facility will occur via a single company, which will be owned by the foundation. The company has already been set up and the Board is currently being formed. Initially, the real estate company will be wholly owned by the foundation. The intention is for Region Skåne to become one of the company’s part-owners, pending a decision by the regional board and council.
The Skåne Research and Innovation Council (FIRS) has drawn up a plan for how the facility will be utilised:
- Lund University will establish a cancer research centre at the facility, comprising, among others, CREATE Health and associated activities, as well as a centre for innovation, which will include a business incubator.
- Region Skåne will relocate its biobank to the site, as well as certain parts of the regional cancer centre and other associated activities.
- Growing medical companies and other life science activities will also be established here.
“I am enthusiastic about being involved in creating this opportunity for the region to gather its strength within the field of medical research”, says Mats Paulsson.
FIRS estimates that business activities employing approximately 500 individuals will initially be established on the site. Once the plan has been fully implemented, it is estimated that the business activities will employ approximately 1 000 individuals. The foundation will rent out the facilities at going market leasing rates. All of the surplus that arises in the property administration will be used to promote research and innovation, primarily within medicine and life sciences, in Lund and Malmö.
Mats Paulsson’s donation and purchase of AstraZeneca’s research facilities will bring new opportunities for medical and other life science research, innovation, and even education, according to Per Eriksson, Vice-Chancellor of Lund University.
“This new Ideon, together with our medical research centres – the BMC in Lund and the CRC in Malmö – and the new research facilities, MAX IV and ESS, creates a world-class infrastructure and this provides a major boost and attraction for the University and the entire region”, he says, adding:
“Lund University would like to express its great appreciation to AstraZeneca and Mats Paulsson for the completed property sale and heartfelt thanks to Mats Paulsson and Göran Grosskopf for generous donations to the new foundation. This is a great show of confidence for Lund University. We want to discharge this responsibility well in cooperation with the business sector, Region Skåne and Lund and Malmö municipalities.”
Bo Ahrén, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, says:
“This is a fantastic opportunity – well-equipped premises are being made available for medical research, innovation and development. At the Faculty of Medicine we are extremely grateful to Mats Paulsson for once again giving such a generous donation to support medical research and development.
“It is now important for us to cooperate with Region Skåne to make the most of this opportunity.”
Chair of the regional board Pia Kinhult says that the research facilities’ future is now secure and that there is a plan for continued development.
“Another building block has been laid in the process of realising the vision to make Skåne Europe’s most innovative knowledge region by 2020”, says Ms Kinhult.
In total, the deal comprises approximately 80 000 m2 of leasable space, of which approximately 30 000 m2 is laboratories. The new owner will take over in late 2011 or early 2012, as soon as AstraZeneca has moved out. The working title of the new research facility is Ideon Life Science Village. The purchase price is SEK 450 million.
Plans for Ideon Life Science Village in Lund
A research centre. Lund University plans to establish a cancer research centre on the site, which, among others, will include CREATE Health and associated activities. Region Skåne also expects to establish parts of the planned regional cancer centre here, such as the biobank.
A cluster of activities supporting innovation. This includes significant expansion of the Bioincubator, a Science Support Centre and a research institute for business intelligence and future studies in the life sciences – a Life Science Foresight Institute.
A business park. This will consist of growing companies in need of laboratory facilities and/or offices, and companies established by former employees of AstraZeneca. Invest in Skåne and Invest in Sweden will assist with establishing contacts with international companies.
Medicon Skills Centre. The intention is to create a cluster of activities, including recruiting, skills development, HR, etc. The purpose is to gather activities at the facility which have a common goal of making the region number one in satisfying the need for skilled employees within the field of life sciences. This includes the prioritised task of taking advantage of the enormous resource provided by AstraZeneca’s employees.
Ideon Investment Partners. This is a common platform for those active in the financial sector, such as banks, funds, foundations, private individuals or others who support the idea of the Ideon Life Science Village and who, without having made any commitments, would like to be a part of this continued effort.
Housing for students and researchers. AF Bostäder has expressed a desire to build on suitable land within the Ideon Life Science Village.