LMI policy document.
Business development in Norway
- Norway must institute broad-based government investment in the
medical industry that considers the value chain of the entire
industry, from research to patient ("the sixth investment
- Biomedicine can be an important growth industry for Norway, and
a means of responding to the great social challenges we face in the
- New, innovative medicinal products that are found to be
cost-effective for society must be introduced and made available to
- There is a need for incentives to encourage greater
commercialisation of medical research and cooperation on research
and business development between the industry, the regional health
authorities, the universities and the TTOs.
- There is a need for long-term capital that is earmarked for the
healthcare industry and takes account of the long development
course of new medicinal products. This entails new seed capital and
an adjustment of Investinor's mandate.
- Funding schemes through the Research Council of Norway and
Innovation Norway must be geared to manufacturing and the long-term
research and development needs of the industry.
- It must be attractive for the global pharmaceutical industry to
invest in research and development projects in Norway.
- The groundwork must be laid for framework conditions that take
account of the fact that a biomedical industry is global from the
The industry shall:
- make valuable contributions to GDP, export revenues and
- be a significant manufacturing industry
- further develop important expertise and innovation in
- be of benefit to Norwegian patients, and contribute to
solutions to major social challenges
- help to ensure that the community benefits from the substantial
government research investment in medicine
- ensure that Norway is involved in the next economic and
technological advance - the "bioeconomy".
- contribute to Norway attaining its national research target of
3% of GDP.
The healthcare industry as Norway's sixth investment
area - an integrated strategy
Biomedicine constitutes a substantial part of the
Norwegian healthcare industry. Biomedicine (biological and
pharmaceutical development) is a knowledge-based industry which
through research and innovation achieves medical advances that
benefit the entire healthcare service. The industry can contribute
to meet healthcare challenges in Norway as well as those facing
many countries in the world, and at the same time contribute to
wealth creation and important export revenues for Norway and the
establishment of new jobs.
Many countries have recognised the potential in biomedicine and
have established or are establishing national healthcare investment
programmes. A similar concerted Norwegian effort is required if we
are to remain competitive.
Today's many different initiatives (National Strategy for
Biotechnology, the Research Council's new biotechnology programme,
the National Healthcare plan, Innomed, the research and innovation
strategies of the regional health authorities etc.) will benefit
from overarching coordination. Government involvement in the
industry will also be an important signal to private investors to
inject private capital into an industry with a growing need for
funding in the years ahead.
Basis for biomedical business development in
Norway is well positioned to succeed in biomedicine
- biomedicine is Norway's strongest field of research. Almost 60%
of all publications are in the fields of medicine/health/natural
- a vigorous new growth of small, high-potential biomedical
companies has been nurtured into being, organised through focused
clusters and organisations (including the Oslo Cancer Cluster,
Nansen Neuroscience Network, Oslo Medtech, Biotekforum, LMI,
- a steadily increasing share of research and wealth creation
takes place in small, young companies. The large multinationals
base their R&D activities on alliances with small companies and
thereby provide a market for the latter.
- the global pharmaceutical industry established in Norway
contributes cutting-edge expertise in product development as well
as business development, resources and expertise for clinical
research, access to international networks and access to innovative
- a pharmaceutical industry with manufacturing is established in
Norway. This is a source of very important expertise for start-up
businesses wanting to manufacture in Norway.
- we have unique medical registers and biobanks (the Cancer
Register, HUNT, etc.) and proximity to natural resources (marine
Commercialisation of pharmaceutical research and making
new, innovative drugs available
A broad-based government strategy in which healthcare
policy underpins key industrial policy objectives is needed to
release the potential of the Norwegian biomedical industry. The
government must use its policy on medicinal products to reward
innovation in the field of pharmaceuticals by rapidly employing and
making available to patients new and innovative medicinal products
that are found to be cost-effective for society.
Incentives must be established to encourage greater
commercialisation of medical research. Patenting and investigative
pharmaceuticals research must be a source of qualifying credits and
be rewarded in the same way as other research. It is also necessary
to establish a fruitful research and business development
collaboration between the industry, the regional health
authorities, the universities and the TTOs. An expansion of
'Skattefunn', the tax relief scheme for research and development,
and other tax incentives that benefit the community will encourage
private investment in R&D-intensive business development. It
must also be more attractive for the global pharmaceutical industry
to invest in research and development projects in Norway and to
form partnerships with Norwegian start-up companies.
Need for long-term capital
A whole generation of promising start-up companies is now
being hit by a drying up of capital. In practice, important parts
of the government policy implementation system are not reaching the
industry. At the same time, unrest in the capital market makes it
very demanding to raise private long-term risk capital.
The course of research and development of medicinal products is
very long and capital-intensive. The industry is dependent for its
development on long-term risk capital. It is crucial that the
industry itself contribute to educating potential investors about
the industry, but part-financing by the government will be very
important for attracting the necessary competent private capital.
Consequently, the current government investment funds should be
reviewed and adapted to the long-term development phase of the
Biomedicine should be included as a specific investment area in
Investinor's mandate. This would enable the fund to build up the
necessary internal expertise. New seed capital is required
urgently, and funds should be earmarked to ensure that they are
transferred to the medical industry.
The government policy implementation system and
The government policy implementation system and funding
schemes must be geared to manufacturing and the industry's
long-term research and development needs. This means that the
Research Council of Norway and Innovation Norway must take into
account the distinctive nature of the industry and gear its
programmes and allocation criteria so as to give high priority to
commercial business development. It is important that these systems
have continuity and predictability, so that vulnerable start-up
companies do not suffer.