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Scientists come in from the cold to collaborate


A future of collaboration is on the horizon as Malmö University’s Biofilms - Research Center for Biointerfaces (BRCB) moves further towards establishing a skin science network in southwest Sweden.

Topical Science Clusters first conference

In principle, the unofficial network was virtual after starting in 2012, but now the network is being bolstered to further collaboration and increase grant applications.

Professor Johan Engblom has just been the driving force behind the cluster’s latest conference, held at Isaberg, Småland.

 “In 2012 we thought, there are many small groups in the southwest of Sweden, in Malmö and Lund, working on different types of applications and formulations for the skin. You have the medical side with clinical research in different areas, the physical chemist side – like us – doing formulations, and we are not connected.

“We decided to do something about that and formed the Topical Science Cluster. We had some meetings at regular intervals and a few joint grant applications were made. As a result, people became more aware of the activities in Malmö and Lund.”

With a partnership between BRCB and Gothenburg University’s SkinResQU Coordinator, Marica Ericson already established, this conference intended to further those links and set up new collaborations between more groups and industry partners.

Some 40 participants from Malmö University, Lund University, Gothenburg University, Chalmers, Linköping University, representatives from Swedish, Norwegian and Swiss industry, and RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) attended.

 “It was all about increasing collaboration and increasing the visibility of activities in this part of Sweden. Of course, I can see that we can develop this even further to Scandinavia. If you look around the world, and see how big the visible clusters are, then to me it makes sense that Scandinavia joins forces to say, ‘this is what we can do on skin science’. We are not there yet, but this is the vision and the possibility.

“It was great fun to do it, people need to collaborate – if they do not meet then they don’t know that they exist! There was a plenary and some longer presentations, but everyone who participated had to talk – a chance to explain what they are currently working on. It was nice to go to a place that is in the middle of nowhere, there was no chance for anyone to escape to another meeting or anything like that.”

Text: Adrian Grist

Last updated by Charlotte Löndahl Bechmann