7 November 2014

Life Sciences: The Swedish mission generates many positive outcomes for Sherbrooke

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PRESS RELEASE – The mission to Sweden led by Sherbrooke Innopole in the area of Life Sciences had positive results: a Sherbrooke business is about to sign an important contract with a European distributor and three foreign delegations have confirmed that they will attend the next Sherbrooke International Summit for Life Sciences (SILS), in September 2015.

Let’s remember that the Sherbrooke delegation, which included Archimed Medical, IBIOM and the Université de Sherbrooke, went to Medicon Village in Lund, Sweden, a site devoted to research, innovation and business in the area of Life Sciences. Meetings and presentations were held with representatives from Belgium, Germany and the UK.

It was during this business meetings blitz and thanks to the combined efforts of Sherbrooke Innopole, Medicon Village and Invest in Skåne that Archimed Medical was able to discuss the overseas distribution of its products, intended for the medical and physical rehabilitation sectors, with an important European distributor.

“Discussions are proceeding apace and we are confident that we will reach an agreement soon, states Archimed Medical’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Jean-François Tardif. Such a contract would lay open to us the vast European market, a major impact! What’s certain is that discussions with this potential business partner could not have occurred at a distance. Beyond this eventual breakthrough, our participation in the mission enabled us to meet other possible customers and to learn about business in Sweden.”

For IBIOM, which specializes in the manufacturing and sale of medical equipment, the Swedish mission furthered international marketing efforts already underway: “This mission enabled us to learn about the procurement process of medical centres and to meet resource-people whom we can tap for information in the future. Meetings and business discussions also confirmed certain aspects that we must fine-tune before embarking upon exportation. This type of mission dispels the uncertainties that keep us from exporting,” points out IBIOM President, Jasmin Bibeau.

Also in Lund, Josée Fortin and Josée Blanchard, respectively General Director and Business Development Director of the Life Sciences sector of Sherbrooke Innopole, took part in the Go Global event, occurring for the first time, with the Medicon Village partner organizations: – Life Sciences Hub Wales, LifeTech Limburg (Belgium) and Sherbrooke Innopole. More than 150 people participated in this first gathering whose next meeting will take place in Sherbrooke, prior to SILS 2015.

“We’ve thus ensured Welsh, Belgium and Swedish delegations to SILS! exults Josée Blanchard. This is a concrete result from the collaboration agreement penned only a year ago with Medicon Village. During our meetings at the Nordic Life Sciences (NLS) days in Stockholm, several other European organizations expressed interest in participating in the Summit, with the possibility of a concurrent program of personalized visits. The intimate yet international nature of the Summit – a few hundred participants compared to several thousand at events such as the BIO International Convention – continues to attract interest.”

To add it all up, during this business trip, Sherbrooke Innopole met with 16 European Life Sciences industrial clusters. This was a first encounter with 14 of them.  “Each time, the objective is to promote the expertise and dynamic nature of the Sherbrooke research and business environments. We also tell them about our soft landing program, which facilitates the entry of foreign businesses that wish to explore new markets and vie-versa. This positioning helps the outreach of our five key sectors, among them Life Sciences, and provides a basis for potential partnerships. Yes, we’re talking about a global market but it requires local contact to access it, namely through collaboration agreements with organizations of a size similar to ours,” explains Josée Fortin.

Already being overseas, Sherbrooke Innopole made use of this opportunity to go to Germany, Belgium, France and England where they held meetings with Investissement Québec, Québec Government Offices, the Canadian Embassy and the Montpellier Agglomération, a Sherbrooke Innopole business partner for the last five years. “It’s important to remind our foreign contacts, which are in the front line in wanting to expand into Québec, that Sherbrooke stands out as a business and innovation city.”

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