This year, Lina Boreson received the Nästa Skånska Stjärna (Next Scanian Star) scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to someone from a company in Scania in southern Sweden that is facing a real-world strategic challenge and can play a vital role in the region’s development. Boreson is COO at SmiLe Incubator in Lund, where start-up life science companies are given the opportunity to grow. She now gets a sponsored spot at the Leading IMPACT training program in Lund. The scholarship is funded by EFL and Sparbanken Skåne.
Each year, SmiLe Incubator at Medicon Village in Lund helps over 30 new life science companies to establish themselves and grow through a tailor-made incubator program. The business was founded in 2007 and is currently aiming to reach the top 10 among European life science incubators in terms of global attractiveness, quality and performance by 2024.
Through the Nästa Skånska Stjärna (Next Scanian Star) scholarship, the incubator’s COO Lina Boreson secures a spot in the Leading IMPACT Executive Management & Leadership Program at EFL in Lund. The training program runs for 15 months starting in October.
“The idea behind the scholarship is to address major challenges for southern Sweden. Lina Boreson is a great recipient for this scholarship. Her work at SmiLe is crucial to the climate of innovation in Lund and Scania. We believe that her scholarship spot at Leading IMPACT will help her develop the business and ultimately contribute to the region’s competitiveness,” says Henrik Lundgren, CEO of EFL in Lund and chairman of the jury that determined the scholarship winner.
Scania’s life science industry faces significant challenges ahead if it wants to take the next step. More innovations need to reach the market, more global capital is required, and the pace of development from concept to market must be ramped up.
“My work together with our CEO and the team at SmiLe involves meeting these very challenges. We need to internationalize Scania’s life science sector, and ultimately we need to create more viable companies that can reach a commercial market,” says Boreson, who has worked at SmiLe Incubator since 2016.
Previously, she worked at US company Biogen and was based in Copenhagen. Boreson has thus viewed the Öresund region’s life science industry from both the Danish and Swedish sides.
“Danish life science is dominated by large companies, while the Scanian industry is more like an anthill. We have a strong environment of innovation and many small companies that are also often linked with each other. The networks, skillsets and willingness to cooperate are a strength for Scania. Now is the time for us to take the next step and advance our positions on the European arena,” Boreson says.
In addition to her work at SmiLe, Boreson serves on the board of the Faculty of Medicine at Lund University. She was born in Norway and has lived in Scania for 30 years. She moved when she decided to study at Lund University.
“I’m driven by making a difference and contributing to sustainable growth in collaboration with others. With a clear set of values as a compass, I want to create change that builds value,” she says.
Anders Österberg, head of Large Corporates and Business Specialists at Sparbanken Skåne, was on the jury that appointed the scholarship winner.
“The scholarship is a way for us to give a talented, driven individual from the Scanian business community the best possible conditions to develop their organization and thus contribute to a strong business community. Lina will play a central role in Scania’s life science industry in the future,” Österberg says.
The Nästa Skånska Stjärna scholarship was awarded during 2014–2018 by EFL together with HD-Sydsvenskan in order to focus on gender equality and diversity in companies and organizations in southern Sweden. EFL and Sparbanken Skåne have now resumed this initiative.