Open Lab Skåne is a new, more effective and active model to promote cross-sectoral collaboration between academia and industry.
The Open Lab Skåne offers new opportunities for innovation areas at the intersection of life science, materials science, food and chemistry. The aim is to promote the development of new products and services by opening up laboratories and providing equipment and expertise to strengthen knowledge exchange and minimize the gap between academia and industry. Actors in the region work together to create sustainable innovation infrastructure that generates results and growth opportunities. In addition, it will contribute to increased business opportunities by offering SMEs access to the new research facilities ESS and MAX IV. Taken together, Open Lab Skåne is a unique opportunity for SMEs to gain access to lab space, office space, state-of-the-art instrumentation, support from qualified research engineers, and key competences.
Open Lab Skåne was established on April 1st 2017 by Biofilms Research Center for Biointerfaces at Malmö University, Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition at Lund University and SmiLe Life Science incubator in Lund, which makes out the initiative’s three nodes that provide the resources needed. Experiences gathered may be useful to other universities and research parks in the country. By sharing experiences and lessons, the Open Lab Skåne can make it easier for other institutions to open up their labs, tools and skills for external users. There might be opportunities for creating a national Open Lab with national nodes.
The total budget for three years is just above 13 MSEK (≈1,35 m EUR), co-funded by the ERDF. The project requires administrative resources for project leading, economics and coordination. Several people work part time with this within the partner organisations, totalling +/- 2,5 FTE.
Evidence of success
Although recently started we already have several interested companies in the Open Lab Skåne.
Open Lab Skåne is not allowed to offer analytic services and compete with private companies. This is a challenge and it is important to be clear about the difference between them (companies) and us.
Potential for learning or transfer
Open Lab Skåne is an interesting practice for other regions to learn from because its significance to companies’ R&D activities. This is also a great opportunity for start-ups. This will result in increased growth of SMEs, it will contribute to strengthening the regional attractiveness and creating a unique and strong regional network of resources in life science, materials science and chemistry. This practice will keep skills in the region and contribute to more efficient use of regional investments. Therefore, the Open Lab Skåne is an important initiative that contributes to the fulfilment of Skåne's regional development strategy i.e., Skåne will strengthen the innovation power, development conditions and prerequisites for starting and running companies in life science and chemistry.