We are excited to announce Bridging the Gap 2022, a life science event presented by Life Science Bridge. Life Science Bridge is a joint initiative by the Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce in San Diego, San Francisco/Silicon Valley and New England - the three biggest life science clusters in the U.S. The purpose of Bridging the Gap is to promote trade across borders, build bridges between different regions and connect people in the life science scene. To make the event even more global, this year’s edition of Bridging the Gap will be in partnership with the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce in San Diego.
Bridging the Gap 2022 will be a two-day webinar on April 20-21st, with speakers within the various areas followed by a networking session on each day. Day 1 will have the theme Expanding to the U.S and day 2 will be focusing on The future of Life Science. Speakers and sponsors will be released soon.
The event will be free of charge, but make sure to sign up for both days here: Day 1 and Day 2
If you have any questions or are interested in attending, sponsoring or speaking, please check our social media or email our head of Life Science Bridge - Kajsa at email@example.com.
Make sure to follow us on LinkedIn for updates about the event.
We are happy to announce a new corporate member at the Chamber, Hela Technologies!
Despite new treatments, heart diseases continue to be a leading cause of death worldwide.
But it doesn't have to be. Hela helps patients change the odds in the
comfort of their own homes.
Hela is the Swedish word for heal or whole, and that is also the name of a new app
developed by the health tech startup Hela Technologies.
"We give the support heart patients need to take control of their health," explained Asmen Gul,
co-founder and CEO. Still, the dropout rate from cardiac rehabilitation programs is alarmingly
high both in the U.S and worldwide.
Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised physiotherapy program, usually prescribed
after a heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty, or heart surgery.
"Research shows how essential it is to participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program,
but it is difficult when someone is scared and still in shock, which is common after a
serious cardiac failure," Gul said.
The team behind Hela has put effort into understanding all aspects of heart diseases, including
their impact on the patient's quality of life and its toll on emotional well-being.
After a thorough evaluation, Hela gives the users a customized program for a new healthier
lifestyle with supervised live-streamed rehabilitation group sessions, health recommendations,
"One group consists of eight users and a physiotherapist that makes sure the patient does the
exercises correctly without putting too much effort on the heart. The platform will immediately
let the therapist know if a patient has deviating vital signs," Gul explained.
The users also get support to improve their knowledge of their condition and how minor
changes could drastically improve the odds of avoiding future cardiac diseases. Further, the app
helps patients keep track of daily health parameters and understand what changes mean for
their health. One of the main reasons patients drop out from programs is lack of insight to how
their health is improving. We draw insights from data which only used to make
sense for cardiac nurses, and visualize them for patients.
The next step for the development team will be to add artificial intelligence such as computer
vision and machine learning, allowing Hela to even more efficiently guide patients to a more
Hela is focusing on the U.S. market due to the demand for an easy, efficient, and affordable
solution for cardiac rehabilitation, and openness for online health care.
Facts about the app Hela
● Live-streamed medically supervised group sessions
● Customized rehabilitation program
● Health advice
● Buddy support system
Read more about Hela here
Dagens Industri just published an article about SAGA Diagnostics AB. It includes an introduction to the company and one of the founders, Lao Saal, talks about its development, going from creating a research group at Lund University to actually starting a company. If you want to find the original article in Swedish, click here!
At Lund University, cancer research is one of the academy's flagships. In close collaboration with healthcare and other actors, the goal is to take the university's innovations out into the real world, where they can make a real difference. A successful example is SAGA Diagnostics AB - a spinoff company that now works with, among others, AstraZeneca.
It all started in 2009 when Lao Saal, today a lecturer at Lund University, moved to Lund and started a cancer research group. The research group received financial support from, among others, the Cancer Foundation and the Swedish Research Council and studied several different types of treatment for cancer diseases. However, one area that made them raise their eyebrows a little extra was liquid biopsy.
- Instead of having to do a major operation on the patient when you take a tissue sample, as you usually do, you can get a sample by liquid biopsy, which is based on the liquid. Either blood, urine or in some cases saliva, says Lao Saal.
Through liquid biopsy, you can measure how many cancer cells a patient has in the body and how it changes. The technology measures a specific biomarker, the so-called Circulating tumour-DNA (ctDNA).
- Today, there is a great need for improved biomarkers to diagnose cancer, choose the best treatment, and monitor how the patient responds. Through ctDNA, we can solve those problems in a minimally invasive way, Leo Saal explains.
From research group to spinoff company
The years passed and cancer research continued to flourish. The research group had something big going on and an organization at the university saw potential in taking the research one step further. As a spinoff, SAGA Diagnostics, a cancer genomics company, was formed in 2015, which today develops ultra-sensitive liquid biopsy tests for early detection of cancer recurrence and precision medicine in cancer treatment.
- We actually had no plans to start a company, we only focused on research. But when the idea got presented to us and the opportunity came, we took it. Lund University and Lund University Cancer Center (LUCC) have played a major role in being able to take this significant step, says Lao Saal, who is one of the two founders of SAGA Diagnostics AB.
Lund University is creating opportunities
Six years have passed since the company was created and today the company has 20 employees who strive to improve healthcare with its ultra-sensitive services and products. The company is financed by large investors such as Segulah Medical Acceleration and collaborates with the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and Swedish Alligator Bioscience.
- I am incredibly proud that our technology has reached the healthcare industry and can be used in practice. We are a young company that has come a long way in a short time. The development and commercialization we have been able to do, from starting at Lund University to actually making a difference for patients and society, means an incredible amount, says Lao Saal.
On the 25h of September 2021 we hosted our annual crayfish party. Due to the pandemic the celebration was limite, however still a huge success! We would like to say a big Thank You to everyone who participated and we wish to see you again next year!
The House of Sweden in Balboa Park, San Diego will be hosting a smaller Midsummer celebration on June 20th at 2pm. Entertainment and the traditional maypole dance will be starting at 2pm, but if you would like to volunteer setting up the maypole, arrive early for breakfast.
Click here to sign up to volunteer, help is needed for setting up the Maypole and serving food. You will need a food handlers card to serve food, if you need renewal of your card, House of Sweden will reimburse you for the expenses.
The celebration will include; Speech by Swedish consul Britta Armstrong, folk dancers, Silja´s singing group, an ukulele group singing ABBA, and of course dancing around the maypole.
The program is as follows:
8 AM-11 AM: Decorate the Maypole and set it up.
11 AM-12 PM: Set up food and pastry trays.
12 PM-4 PM: Serve food.
2 PM-3:30 PM: Lawn program and Maypole dances.
3:30 PM: Take down Maypole.
If you have a Swedish costume, please bring or wear it. If you have extra greens or flowers, please bring for the Maypole.
For more info; Visit The House of Sweden or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to see you all there!
We are pleased to present the first life science event organized together by the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce in San Diego, San Fransisco/Silicon Valley and New England - the top three life science clusters in the U.S. Since Life Science Bridge's mission is to promote trade between our clusters and Sweden, we can now proudly announce our first event together Bridging the Gap - with the purpose to inspire, educate and connect people in the life science scene.
Bridging the Gap will be held on April 7-8th on Zoom. Day one will be focused on The life science ecosystem in the U.S., Swedish life science and Expanding to the U.S. Speakers will attend from the U.S. and Sweden. A virtual trade delegation will be held during day two, where you will have the opportunity to network across borders.
We hope you are as excited as we are!
You can read more about the event here (click)!
Contact Evelina for questions, inquiries, and sponsorships: email@example.com
Björn Paulsson from Paulsson Inc. was one of our amazing speakers at Green Connections this year, where he spoke about the effective development of geothermal resources using fiber optic multi-sensor arrays.
Based in Van Nuys, California, Paulsson Inc specializes in developing optical sensors and instruments for boreholes. If you live in California or enrolled in the physical geography course in college for general ed ( like I did) you are most likely familiar with the San Andreas Fault (SAF). As a matter of fact, Paulsson Inc. made a vital contribution to the research of the SAF by developing seismic instruments which changed the whole picture of how the fault is structured...
Swedish born Björn Paulsson, CEO & President at Paulsson Inc, has a tremendous career behind him, and he is not stopping anytime soon. Studying geology, geophysics, and geothermal energy at the Chalmer´s University of Technology in Sweden in the '70s, and later on, advancing his degree to a Ph.D. in seismology and rock-mechanics at UC Berkeley, he has been in the game for the past four decades across the world. Following his Ph.D. ,Björn worked at Chevron´s research laboratory in La Habra, California for 13 years where he published over 50 papers and seven patents based on his research where his contributions earned him Chevron´s highest award; "The Chairman´s Award".
If you have spent some time in California, chances are you have experienced a few smaller earthquakes, and we all know "the big one" will hit one day. We can just hope it won´t turn out as dramatic as was portrayed in the 2015 action/thriller "San Andreas" where the SAF triggered a magnitude 9 earthquake and California ended up in complete misery and chaos. Referring to an action movie with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson may seem irrelevant but this issue is exactly what Paulsson and his team have been researching.
With their developed seismic instruments, they discovered that the fault is made up of three fracture planes and not one fracture plane, which previously was reported. This was discovered in 2005 and changed the whole idea of how the fault is built up, which is crucial when researching earthquakes for mitigating the risk of devastating destruction. Paulsson´s latest contribution is instrumenting the Hayward Fault in the Bay Area which was completed in December 2020. The Hayward Fault has the potential to generate a magnitude 7 (M7) and is regarded as one of the largest geo-hazards in the United States.
When discussing the potential of thermal energy production, Paulsson points out that;
"...the U.S. is the largest geothermal energy producer in the world, there is enough potential geothermal energy to meet all electrical production in the U.S. In fact, the geothermal energy potential in the U.S. is two times the current overall production of electrical energy today, making it an immense environmentally friendly resource."
The geothermal energy is currently producing 0.4% of the overall electrical production in the western U.S, however, it has a potential of 625 times larger than what is being produced today.
This makes it possible to meet the entire electrical needs in the U.S. now and into the far future since geothermal energy is sustainable and renewable.
Paulsson Inc has since 2010 received about $30 million from the U.S. DOE to develop novel sensors, data acquisition, and imaging technologies in California. Additionally, Björn tells how Sweden might become a big producer of geothermal energy and how it can create a significant energy source. Researchers are currently looking into the area of Skåne, the most southern part of Sweden for geothermal production. Björn explains how Sweden is a great target market from a company point of view, being a high-tech country with great geophysical processing technologies.
When being asked why Paulsson Inc. decided to join the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Paulsson said that;"...we need to recognize the value of networking, especially when we work with businesses with potential for international expansion".
The technology that Paulsson developed at Berkeley has been used in Sweden and many other countries in Europe for the sequestration of Co2. He predicts opportunities for the use of optical technologies from Sweden, the UK, Denmark, and Germany.
Paulsson Inc recently joined the Chamber as a corporate member, and we are very excited to start working with Björn and his team.
Click here to learn more about our memberships at SACC-SD.
Do you want to learn even more about geothermal resources? Click here to access the presentation slides from Paulsson´s Green Connections 2020 presentation.
We are excited to announce a new corporate member at the Chamber, ALTEN Group.
The French multinational technology and consulting engineering company has been around since 1988, today with 25 offices around the world.
A leader in its industry, ALTEN supports its customers´ development strategies in the areas of innovation, R&D, and information systems.
ALTEN works with key actors in the Aeronautics & Space, Defence & Naval, Security, Automotive, Rail, Energy, Life Sciences, Finance, Retail, Telecommunications, and Services sectors. With a financial turnover of more than 2.6 billion euros and 37,200 employees, ALTEN is an impressive addition to our Corporate Members.
Read more about ALTEN here
It is no secret that an internship at the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce can lead to great internships. Our strong network, established corporate member companies, and great reputation as an organization creates unique career opportunities.
Alexandra Ahlstedt, SACC-SD alumni landed an internship with the Humble Co. in San Diego after her time and the Chamber. The Humble Co. is one of our corporate member companies at the Chamber in San Diego. Established in 2013 in Sweden, the company develops reliable health&wellness products, that are eco-friendly and socially responsible, developed by dentists, designed in Sweden.
Keep reading if you would like to learn more about Alexandra´s time at the Chamber, and how she transfered her learnings to her next work experience in San Diego.
Could you describe your time at SACC-SD with three words?
Educative, fun, eventful.
When were you an intern at SACC-SD and what position did you hold?
I was an intern at SACC-SD in the spring of 2020. My position was Business Development and Member Relations, I was also in charge of the Life Science initiative.
After being an intern at the Chamber, you started working for one of our corporate members The Humble Co, could you tell me a little bit about your experience working for them?
Interning as a Sales & Marketing Coordinator at The Humble Co. has been a great experience. I have learned a lot about different aspects of doing business in the States; such as business culture, laws, regulations, and sales. Not only how to do business here, but how a big company like The Humble Co. operates. I have been lucky to see and be a part of how an idea has turned into a product and sold to some of the biggest retailers in the world.
My favorite thing about interning at The Humble Co. is that my tasks vary a lot, meaning I learn a lot of different things, everything from marketing and logistics to business development and sales. I could not have chosen a better company to do an internship with, every day is eventful and different and it feels great to be a part of the Humble team.
Was there anything specific you could bring with you from your internship at the Chamber to your work at the Humble Co.?
One of the many things I learned at SACC-SD is that the business culture here is very different from how it is back home. This prepared me for my work at The Humble Co. since I am in contact with a lot of people daily. Additionally, as I mentioned I was in charge of the member relations at SACC-SD, which meant I went to different events to promote the Chamber. It was a bit nerve-wracking at first, but a great experience, that eventually made me comfortable taking sales calls and pitching our Humble products to potential customers.
Why would you recommend applying for an internship at SACC-SD?
I can't think of a reason not to. SACC-SD is a great organization to do an internship with. You learn a lot about the companies in the area, get to meet amazing people, and network with important people. Who knows, maybe one of the people you meet end up being your next employer?
Could you describe a perfect day in San Diego?
My perfect day in San Diego, pre-COVID-19 would start with a big brunch by the beach, followed by a surf session and beach hang in Del Mar. I would definitely get a burrito for an early dinner, then head to Sunset Cliffs to watch the sunset and once the sun has set, head back to the beach for a bonfire with friends.
Thank you Alexandra for sharing your experiences in San Diego, we are sure it inspired someone to take that opportunity!
If you are interested in an internship in the U.S., visit the SACC-USA website to see available positions in the U.S.
Westwood & Wilshire provides executive search services for world-changing companies. Their clients are primarily venture capital-backed startups and fast-growth companies in the life sciences-, health care- and advanced technology industries. They are based on the U.S. West coast and work nationwide as well as internationally. Now, SACC San Diego has met with Andrea Tegstam, not only an executive recruiter & director at Westwood & Wilshire but also Swedish, for a deeper insight into Westwood & Wilshire.
Could you please tell us about Westwood & Wilshire and your role as an executive recruiter & director? What are your major responsibilities and what are the company’s plans ahead in regards to the pandemic?
As an executive recruiter, I work closely with our clients to understand their market, attract and engage top talent, and manage the recruiting process until the winning candidate joins the company. It is very exciting to work closely with such innovative leaders and teams and to help grow these great companies. I am also Director of Westwood & Wilshire’s International Practice. With my background as a native Swedish and having lived 10 years in Japan and throughout Europe, I’m passionate about helping international clients as they grow on the U.S. market. With Westwood & Wilshire’s great track record of helping Life Science startups engaging leaders across functions and specialties, we are especially focused on speaking with high-growth Nordic life science companies and this was one of the triggers to join SACC-San Diego.
As people and talent is our core competence, we are putting extra effort into helping our clients navigate these challenging times. These days, HR is increasingly driving changes to the way organizations work and plan for the future. We are part of this dialogue both offering new services and hosting webinars with companies offering tools and solutions to help organizations navigate.
What has, according to you, been the biggest challenge vs. the greatest reward with working outside of Sweden?
This is my second time living in the San Fransisco Bay Area and the biggest reward working here is, to me, the abundance of possibilities and the feeling of being at the forefront of innovation. I moved to the North Bay, joining Westwood & Wilshire, an employer offering great flexibility with remote work. One of the biggest challenges I see for double-working parents is finding relevant jobs, which allow flexibility to manage family logistics and needs. I do miss many components of our Swedish welfare in the U.S. system and I believe these “deficiencies” have become even more evident in the current crisis.
What would your advice be for someone who has thoughts of expanding their business to the U.S. market?
Expanding your business to the U.S. market is for many companies a very big decision and a decisive step into scaling the company. My advice is to use all the great resources available such as SACC, NIH, Business Sweden, the Embassy, and consulates to engage with the community and learn from others. Choosing the best location for your business, understanding the laws and regulations, etc. are crucial steps and decisions, which these great teams can support. Engaging your first local employee (which is especially important once you start business development and sales) is what Westwood & Wilshire does best. We also offer HR support and advice as well as a network of experts and investors.
Westwood & Wilshire is one of the newest corporate members to SACC San Diego, how has SACC San Diego helped facilitate your business?
Our experience as a corporate member of SACC San Diego has been great so far. This has for sure been a very unusual year, which has made in-person meetings impossible. The SACC team has managed very well and we were very happy to join the webinar held in June on “Dealing with uncertainty” together with Captario. We look forward to more interaction during the fall and to supporting the SACC community. Please reach out for any need, question or concern you may have regarding recruiting, HR, and networking.
We look forward to hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.westwoodwilshire.com
Want to learn more about Westwood & Wilshire and their work? Check out our webinar with them from earlier this spring, click here.
We are happy to present our newest corporate member: Upwork Inc.
Upwork is the leading online talent solution transforming professional staffing by empowering businesses with flexible access to quality talent, on demand. Matt Rossi, who we spoke to from Upwork, described Upwork as; "...a dating service for freelancers and designers".
Through Upwork´s matching technology and services, companies have access to a global pool of proven professionals so they can scale their team dynamically to meet business needs. The community of independent professionals working via Upwork spans many categories including software development, creative & design, finance & accounting, consulting, operations & customer support - 0ver 8000 skills are represented.
Unlike other businesses that have struggled during the Pandemic, Upwork has seen increased traffic and higher demand for their services. As a result of many businesses having to let go of employees, demand for freelancers has risen among employers. Since the near future still is unpredictable, some businesses find it safer to hire freelancers rather than full-time employees.
There has also been an increase in so-called part-time freelancers using Upwork. Since many of us work from home this year, some have found new ways of maximizing their work time. Writing a few articles per week after traditional work hours is just one of many ways to make some more money as someone trying out the services.
Both business and anyone who has marketable skills can benefit from using Upwork.
Visit Upwork to get started and get In-demand talent on demand.
Are you interested in an internship at the Chamber but not too sure about what it entails? If so, do yourself a favor and ease your mind by learning a little bit more about the work.
We will throughout this fall, talk to former interns aka SACC-SD Alumni to hear about their experience in San Diego. Some will be shorter Q&A´s while some will go more in-depth about careers following their time at the Chamber.
First out is Pelle Sandström, who absolutely killed it here, not only at the office but also with his surfing skills. Pelle is originally from Stockholm, Sweden but is now relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark after his adventures in California.
When were you an intern at SACC-SD and what position did you hold?
I worked as a Management Associate during the fall of 2018 and was in charge of the business development of Life Science which is one of the SACC-SD’s strategic focus areas.
What do you do today?
I’m currently working towards my Master´s Degree in Business Administration and Information Systems at Copenhagen Business School. Alongside my studies, I work as a junior analyst for Omnicom Media Group which is one of Denmark’s largest media agencies. Next to studying, I love testing the city’s incredible selection of restaurants and bars- as well as taking advantage of the low prices on Danish beers.
What have you learned throughout your internship?
Except from all of the things I’ve learned about San Diego’s prominent Life Science and CleanTech industry, I gained valuable real-world experience from promoting trade between Sweden and the U.S. By connecting firms with potential partners, planning & executing trade promotions for companies & incoming delegations, I have developed a professional network and achieved invaluable experience for my professional career. Moreover, I’ve learned how to surf and how much it hurts to get stung by a stingray.
Why would you recommend applying for an internship at SACC-SD?
I can’t come up with a single reason not to apply. San Diego is definitely one of my favorite cities in the U.S. The beaches, the friendly people, the surf, the sunsets, the hikes, and the fish tacos are just a tiny part of what the city has to offer. All this, together with the valuable professional experience you get while working for SACC, is unbeatable.
What are two things you consider a must in San Diego?
Surfing during sunset at Tourmaline beach and the burrito at Taco Stand in La Jolla!
Thank you Pelle for being first out in this series, we look forward to sharing more stories.
If you would like more information about our internships or chat with one of the current interns don't be shy! You can find our contact information here
The pharmaceutical industry is today facing tougher competition and regulations than ever before. One company that has countered these challenges in drug development since 2012 is Captario.
The Swedish company is specialized in using AI, advanced modeling and simulation to improve strategic decision making in the pharmaceutical industry.
Captario started in a Swedish hub - Sahlgrenska Science Park and is now globally active. As one of SACC-SD´s Life Science Members, we met with Erik Post, President at Captario to learn more about their U.S. expansion.
What made you want to expand your business to the U.S. market? We target the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world - helping them make more informed investment decisions in their drug development. These companies are all represented in the U.S., therefore, we naturally wanted to establish our business close to where they are located.
What have you learned from starting a business in a new region? We have realized that all locations have their own business ecosystem. For this reason, we cannot overestimate the value of building relationships locally.
What has been the biggest challenge VS. the greatest reward with expanding your business? Staffing and legal costs in the U.S. are quite high, which can be a challenge when creating a budget for a Swedish startup. That being said, these investments have proven to yield great benefits.
How has SACC-SD helped you to facilitate your business in this new market? SACC-SD has helped us tremendously in gaining traction on the U.S. market. We have received help in setting up customer meetings, as well as, having webinars marketed through the Chamber. We have also been helped to gain more exposure on social media and through SACC´s website.
What would your advice be for someone who has thoughts of expanding their business to the U.S. market? Having at least one vested person on the ground, someone from, or with a background from Sweden can be of great help. Get in touch with SACC and take other professional help as needed. This might seem counterintuitive to a “Can do it all myself” Swede, but it will make your journey smoother. Specifically, get U.S. legal and accounting assistance early on, as well as consider using a SaaS solution for payroll and HR.
Want to learn more about Captario and their work in addressing the major points in the drug development process? Check out our webinar with Captario from earlier this spring, click here.