This year’s SwedenBIO Award was given to the bio convergence company BICO, for showcasing the power of the Swedish life-science industry on the global arena and for their visionary business model and remarkable growth.
BICO’s CEO and co-founder Erik Gatenholm received the SwedenBIO Award on December 8, in a prize ceremony at Grand Hôtel in Stockholm that capped off this year’s SwedenBIO Summit.
In the five years since its conception, BICO has grown from being the bioink and bioprinting company Cellink with one office in Sweden, to becoming a global company with 13 affiliated subsidiaries active in bioprinting, biosciences, and bioautomation, that employ over 1,000 staff members in more than 65 countries.
“It’s a great honor to receive this award from SwedenBIO – an important actor in the life-science industry in Sweden, and that our success is recognized. We’re very happy to be a part of the prominent life-science network that provides solutions to solve tomorrow’s challenges within Health 4.0,” Erik Gatenholm said.
SwedenBIO Award is given annually in collaboration with HealthCap, to a life-science company that has shown outstanding achievements and contributions to society and that exemplifies the potential of a strong Swedish life-science industry. This year’s five award finalists were Antaros Medical, Genovis, Valneva, Xbrane, and BICO.
Speaking on behalf of the jury, comprised of SwedenBIO’s board, Chair of the Board Lotta Ljungqvist motivated the choice by saying: ”BICO has created a lot of visibility for the life-science industry. With their focus on bio convergence they provide solutions that combine biology with technologies such as robotics, data science, AI, and 3D-printing. Their way of doing business moreover shows that Swedish life-science companies can and should have greater growth aspirations.”
Erik Gatenholm, CEO and co-founder of BICO, this year's SwedenBIO Award winner. Photo: BICO
BICO’s daring business model, rapid acquisition of companies, and ambitious vision does not come without risks. The company saw an organic growth of 69% in Q1-Q3 this year, but on the flip side, the growth has slowed down and share prices dipped during the autumn. Nonetheless, the award jury agreed, the Swedish life-science sector can benefit from drawing inspiration from BICO’s fearless ambition to become the world’s leading bio convergence company.
”BICO has contributed to the good repute of the Swedish life-science industry internationally and shown what can be achieved with a bold approach to market expansion. By presenting them with the SwedenBIO Award, we hope that BICO can inspire Swedish companies as they strive to take market shares in their respective areas,” said Mårten Steen, Managing Partner at HealthCap, who handed out the award onstage at the summit.
Besides the distinction of the award, the winner also receives a floating trophy that changes hands annually with each new champion, and two seats at Nordic Life Science Days in Malmö on April 20-21, 2022.
The award jury consisted of SwedenBIO’s board members, who are Lotta Ljungqvist, Cytiva Testa Center; Christine Wesström, Sobi; Anders Persson, AstraZeneca; Kerstin Falck, Pfizer; Lars Bäckman, Biotage; Niels Abel Bonde, Novo Nordisk Sweden; Per Samuelsson, HealthCap; Sana Alajmovic, Sigrid Therapeutics; and Torkel Gren, Recipharm.
SwedenBIO is the national non-profit association for the life science industry in Sweden, with more than 300 members. Sweden has an innovative life science industry, strong academia and world leading infrastructure for research. SwedenBIO's members are companies active within pharma, biotech, diagnostics and medtech and comprise the entire range from small start-ups, to SMEs and large enterprises. Many are engaged in research and development. Other members are experts in fields such as IP, law, finance, product development, life science communication, and business development. SwedenBIO works to create the optimal conditions for these actors to succeed.