Meet Lena Söderström, the new Chairman of SLU Holding
With extensive experience from leading positions in life science and a burning interest in sustainable innovations, Lena Söderström now leads SLU Holding's Board.
You have extensive experience from leading positions in the life science sector, what do you bring with you from these to your chairmanship of SLU Holding?
Different types of companies have their unique challenges, but smart methods and ways of working can be reused more often than you think. I would like to use my broad experience from different companies as well as my personal interest in innovations and societal issues. I bring with me experience from working with challenges that both large global companies and new start-ups face. I like that SLU and SLU Holding work widely with life sciences, everything from nanomaterials to the food system of the future - there is a lot left to do - and a lot to learn. We are facing major global challenges in creating a sustainable society, which is where SLU's world-leading research can lead to many solutions. SLU Holding has a key role to play in ensuring that research results are used in society.
What are SLU Holding's strengths for succeeding in this?
We contribute to creating the conditions for fruitful collaborations between academia and industry. Our mission is to utilise ideas, to collaborate and commercialise. We are really building a bridge between universities and companies – we understand the researcher and we understand business. We are that link and enthuse and help researchers dare to take their results further. The breadth, the competence, the commitment - that is what gives us our weight, our opportunity to influence and to continue to back and invest in young companies. On top of that, we have the strength of having a good team with so much expertise. Green Innovation Park is also a great platform to operate from. Sustainability issues drive quality and innovation and thus eventually both growth and profitability and considerable commitment from students, researchers and business.
What is the most fun thing about the new position?
I feel both happy and proud to have been chosen. The Board contributes with an external perspective and this is especially important in the strategy work in a world with rapid development, great complexity and increased uncertainty. We also live in a time of incredible change, for example in the digital area, so there are lots of challenges to navigate. Being chairman is about driving the work of the company forward as well as being its external face. And there are an incredible number of areas to get acquainted with, it is really challenging and very stimulating. Some things you can not plan for - a recent example is Covid 19 - but this is also what makes the Board work so interesting.
How do you get in touch with SLU Holding?
Follow this link and you will go directly to our employees. We are always looking forward to new exciting collaborations.
SLU Holding AB contributes to creating innovations from research and ideas from SLU in order to make a difference in society. We provide support with business advice, market analysis and in financial and legal issues. Together with researchers, we create sustainable growth. This can be done through early investments in start-ups or knowledge transfer to business and society in other ways. SLU Holdings' sixteen portfolio companies all aim to create a sustainable future. Among others, they are active in industries such as nanomaterials, cancer diagnostics, food production, the development of cultivation systems and the mapping of forest stocks.