How Academia and Industry Can Create Value Together

The Future of Innovation

Robert Wessman was invited to speak at the "Future of Innovation" on september 9th. The event was hosted by the University of Iceland, Aztiq, and the Swedish Icelandic Chamber of Commerce, and focused on how academia and industry can create value together.

As the founder and chairman of global biosimilar company Alvotech, Wessman spoke about the opportunities and challenges faced building up Alvotech in Iceland and shared valuable insights on the importance of building up a business locally and how it can strengthen the community.

“We knew it would take 10 years to build the facility and develop our key portfolio to get to market, and to get there we would spend around a billion dollars. The good news is that we have spent most of it, and most of it in Iceland”.

Róbert Wessman

It was very important for Alvotech to locate themselves in Iceland to contribute to the local community. Not only does Iceland benefit from over a 100 billion dollars of investments, Alvotech also expects to be paying around 13 to 20 billion dollars in tax annually, which is a strong commitment to the community. Apart from the financial value, a lot of knowledge has been brought to the country that wasn’t present before. There are now over 500 experts operating within the industry in Iceland and the company’s products are selling for over half a trillion dollars.

“It took a lot of effort to bring in the knowledge and we hope we can encourage more companies to come here, as the knowledge is here”.

Róbert Wessman

Alvotech continues to invest in knowledge by working closely with the university on building a master program, hiring interns, and by welcoming students for all kind of projects, naming these as examples on how academia and the industry can work together.

Wessman highlights his gratitude for Alvotech’s investors, among which are Temasek, a sovereign fund of Singapore, CVC, one of the world’s biggest equity funds, and a lot of other investors from Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. With them Alvotech has been able to build a reputable portfolio, to expand their facilities in Iceland, and to cover all the key markets in the world.

He concluded his speech by sharing his excitement for the release of their very first product that will make it to the market early next year, and encouraged more companies to establish themselves in Iceland.