This is the first part of a two-piece story about Ideon Science Park.
Ideon Science Park stands today as one of the leading centers of innovation, technology and entrepreneurship across Scandinavia and Europe. Located in northeastern Lund, Ideon has witnessed and fostered the growth of leading companies for over 30 years. Throughout, it has also developed as an organization, evolving from an office space into a span of initiatives, collaborations and meeting points for innovation, education and business.
DEVELOPING AN IDEA
The origin of Ideon Science Park traces back to the early 80’s. The main idea was to take advantage of the knowledge provided by Lund University to create companies. As a joint venture between academia, industry and the municipality, Ideon first opened its doors to 5 companies in 1983. Thereafter, the park grew substantially, adding up offices and labs to reach 100 companies within just 5 years.
Throughout its over 30 years of history, more than 900 companies have operated at Ideon and over 600 companies, such as Axis, Anoto, Exensor and BioInvent, have developed there with an impressive 95% survival rate. Ideon Science Park is currently home to more than 350 companies employing over 2 700 persons. Leading companies in the fields of mobile communications, ICT, Life Science and Cleantech run their operations from here.
A DRIVING FORCE
Ideon’s goal is to be the meeting place for visionaries, entrepreneurs and investors alike. This vision is supported upon three main initiatives which drive its activities: Ideon Meeting, Ideon Open and Ideon Innovation. Helping to innovate, to connect and to develop, respectively, each of these initiatives benefit companies and individuals when it comes to mutual competence exchange.
“Ideon Meeting is the spine that forms the strong informal network which is crucial for a successful science park… it can host everything from two people having a short brainstorming session to big seminars or fairs with hundreds of attendants,” says Liza Nydén, Operations Manager at Ideon Meeting.
Ideon Meeting is the point of contact for any company, organization or potential partner interested in the region’s research and business. Year round, many events are organized by Ideon Meeting, as well as conferences and study visits for international delegations. Ideon Open is an open innovation framework provides businesses guidance on how to implement innovation in their day-to-day activities. The main in-house incubator is Ideon Innovation, which by collaborating with different organizations and investors, it provides necessary support and guidance to develop business ideas.
“With experienced business coaches and a wide collaboration throughout the innovation system, Ideon Innovation gives the best support possible,” – Liza Nydén.
In recent months, a hot topic has been the future of the science park as plans move forward to take Ideon to a bigger level. The idea is to bring together several neighbouring spaces (Mobile Heights Center, Edison Park and Medicon Village), which already host small to large companies, under the name of Ideon. Even though this new Ideon venture has already appointed an operations manager to lead this expansion, the outcome and success of this venture is yet to be seen.
If everything falls into place, the new Ideon would then become Europe’s biggest science park housing over 500 companies and 10 000 employees. In this way, Ideon’s name would spread even more in the international scene as it continues to push forward the region’s innovation and development.
Are you an investor, an entrepreneur, a company looking for office space, or maybe just curious about the scene in the region? If you are, you probably know of Ideon already; if not, you should definitely book a visit soon.
In the second part of this story, an inside look into the incubators, startups and organizations that make Ideon one of the go-to places for entrepreneurs.