SahlBEC Lab attracts researchers from healthcare, academia and companies

SahlBEC Lab is soon to be completed inside Sahlgrenska University Hospital. The biomedical engineering collaboration laboratory will mean a lot to research within life science.

– We want to create an attractive, clinical research and innovation environment that attracts researchers from both healthcare, companies and academia, says Lina Strand Backman, Head of Innovation at VGR.

➡️ Read the article in Swedish, here!

SahlBEC Lab is a dedicated environment that makes it easier for researchers to conduct patient-near medical technology research in a clinical environment. Sahlgrenska University Hospital and the other parties of the lab can offer an environment for cross-border research collaboration.

– An environment for clinical research is important both nationally and regionally. Not only for researchers and companies but also for patients and citizens, being in a hospital environment provides a safe and secure feeling. I represent innovation in healthcare and know how important research is for new innovations being developed and implemented. Here we need to work together, says Lina Strand Backman.

SahlBEC Lab welcomes researchers from academia, healthcare and the business sector. Those who want to use the research environment and its equipment will be able to apply for a permit and access by submitting a project application. The process for how to prioritize is under construction.

– It must be clear to everyone how to get in touch with the lab, and it must be obvious that everything that is conducted in the lab is correctly done, since we are in a publicly-funded hospital environment and to secure patient safety. We want to attract many different participants to the lab and will take their needs and wishes into account. Every activity that takes place in the lab must of course harmonize with the hospital’s other work. SahlBEC Lab will promote the University Hospital’s mission of care, research and innovation. I hope and believe that the lab will become a benchmark that inspires others.

What do you, as head of innovation for VGR, think that SahlBEC Lab provides to the region?

– I am passionate about innovation; it is the mission of my organization to be on the inside of healthcare taking care of successful research with elements of innovation. We are humble and fully aware that this should be done in close collaboration with companies and with researchers from different faculties, and with patients as an obvious co-actor. I believe that SahlBEC Lab can act as a catalyst to get more MedTech research and innovation into our region, but also in the whole of Sweden. It can contribute to increase the pace of innovation in the field of medical technology, says Lina Strand Backman.

Anything else you want to point out about the lab?

– That SahlBEC Lab will also be a piece of the puzzle to make western Sweden more attractive on a larger scale, both as a workplace and a place to live. Infrastructure investments in life science, collaboration between Chalmers, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Sahlgrenska Academy, but also the region’s other universities; all of which makes us an attractive region to work and live in. I want to believe that this contributes to the reality of people heading to western Sweden, studying at our universities and institutions, and wanting to work in our healthcare system. It is good that the management shows that this is important.

The lab is basically a collaboration between several large western Swedish players, how important is that?

– Very important! This type of work must be interdisciplinary. We need researchers with both medical and technical expertise and lots of other abilities. Being in the middle of the clinical environment is fantastic, it benefits patients and citizens. Concrete deliveries such as SahlBEC Lab are great, here you can gather as at a campfire, celebrate an opening ceremony, jointly take responsibility for operation and development. Doing it together, for a continued long-term western Swedish collaboration.

How important is it to get the business community onboard?

– I am firmly convinced that innovation solutions derived from research need to be driven forward in various processes. One process is about continuing research and finding new knowledge and evidence. Another is about healthcare’s internal innovation process, which must also be initiated. A third process concerns possible commercialization via the business community. Someone must bring an innovation to the market if it is commercializable, so that the solution becomes procurable for healthcare. And a fourth process, the potential change-journey that our patients need to make. I firmly believe that these four processes need to work together, if possible right from the start, says Lina Strand Backman.

Text: Jonas Löfvendahl

Facts SahlBEC Lab, the new biomedical engineering collaboration laboratory in BoIC

✅ The construction of SahlBEC Lab has evolved on initiative by the MedTech West parties: Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University, University of Borås and the Region Västra Götaland. MTW is a jointly owned platform for regional research and innovative cooperation in advanced medical technology. In addition to the parties’ financing, the lab is part-financed by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth with support from the European Regional Development Fund.

✅ The lab is located at the department of Radiology at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital department in the new Image and Intervention Center (BoIC), Blå Stråket 5, Gothenburg. The work to develop sustainable management, complete and administratively integrate the lab in the hospital’s organization, is project managed by the Innovation Platform and Gothia Forum during 2021.

✅ SahlBEC Lab will provide unique opportunities to collaborate and conduct near-patient projects by researchers from clinics, academia and companies. The lab will help enable research and innovation related to medtech solutions in areas such as neuroscience, oncology, trauma, cardiology and psychiatry.

✅ For general questions, contact: Henrik Mindedal, Director MedTech West, henrik.mindedal@medtechwest.se, +46 708 888 445.