Therése Nordström, director of Biofilm's Research Center for Biointerfaces and the former project manager for Open Lab Skåne, was nominated for the award for having contributed to profiling Malmö University as an actor in collaboration.

“I feel very honoured and happy. At the same time, I would also like to emphasise that the award acknowledges the entire centre's efforts, and highlight all competent and hard-working researchers,” she said.

The award is designed to encourage individuals to develop collaborative, innovative and rewarding initiatives that, based on a multidisciplinary approach and through new knowledge, have contributed to sustainable societal development. The prize money is SEK 25,000.

As the director of the Biofilms research centre, Nordström has forged strong links to external actors.

“The largest part of our collaborative efforts take place through joint research projects in partnership with companies. The majority are regional companies in the pharmaceutical or medical technology industries.

“Many researchers have extensive experience of this type of collaboration and are very good at identifying common research issues to collaborate on. In my work, it is rewarding to see that the researchers’ competence is of great interest to our partners.

“In addition to companies, we want to increase our collaborations with healthcare in the future, and there are already several such initiatives,” she adds.

Open Lab Skåne is a joint project between Malmö University, Lund University and SmiLe Incubator. It has three sites: food engineering, material science and chemistry, and life science. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Region Skåne and facilitates innovation by opening-up laboratories and enabling access to equipment and expertise.

As part of the motivation for the award, it was said that as director of the Biofilm Center, Nordström has contributed to a significant network of external research partners, both academic and business, which has contributed to application and contract writing generating a large volume of external research funds, and also provided conditions for degree projects at undergraduate and advanced level.

“The combination of Therése Nordström's professional and academic experiences and her personal qualities successfully drives the Biofilm Center's vision “to shape novel solutions for improved health through excellent science in partnership with industry”,” it adds.