Wales builds life science links with Sweden and Denmark
Wales is set to build closer ties with science centres in Sweden and Denmark.
The Welsh government has agreed a "memorandum of understanding" with Medicon Village in Lund, Sweden.
The centre is a hub for research in life sciences, and part of the wider Medicon Valley science centres across the Oresund Strait in Denmark.
Economy Minister Edwina Hart said twinning with Medicon would bring mutual benefits to Wales and the Nordic research centres.
End Quote Ursula Hultkvist Bengtsson Medicon Village
This is our first international partnership which we expect will create value for our members together with the important Welsh life science cluster”
"I see it as the start of a long term, wide ranging collaboration between Wales, Medicon Village and the wider Medicon Valley region and am pleased to announce that discussions are already under way between Lund and Cardiff universities," she said.
"Twinning with an internationally renowned life science region will help raise international awareness of the sector in Wales and its capabilities.European 'first'
"It will provide businesses and research institutions with a unique opportunity to work much closer on an international level with a well-established and strong European life science cluster to find partners, collaborators and investors and help promote international business development."
Life sciences include such areas as biology, medicine, and ecology which study living organisms.
Medicon Village in Lund is sited at the former research centre for the pharmaceutical giant, AstraZeneca, with 600 people working in medical research, pharmaceuticals, medical technology and biotechnology.
Across the Medicon Valley centres, some 40,000 people are employed in more than 100 biotech companies and 200 medical research ventures.
Ursula Hultkvist Bengtsson, the executive vice-president of Medicon Village, welcomed the link with the Welsh government.
"This is our first international partnership which we expect will create value for our members together with the important Welsh life science cluster," she said.
"The global health challenges can only be solved by working together and it is important to reach out and collaborate for the benefit of people's health and wellbeing."