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Prime Minister Erna Solberg addresses the Norwegian people, mentioning BerGenBio. Photo: Screenshot from NRK.

The Prime Minister mentions BerGenBio in her New Year’s Speech

When the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg gave her New Year’s speech on the 1st of January she highlighted the importance of personal initiative and the creation of new jobs. She partly dedicated her speech to name people who inspired her in 2016, including BerGenBio and James Lorens.

The unemployment rate in Norway has increased the latest few years, mainly because of the decreasing oil price. In order to face this challenge, the Prime Minister encouraged to support entrepreneurs and people taking personal initiative. Politicians can facilitate companies and individuals creating new jobs, but in order to actually create them Norway is dependent on the initiative from private actors.

In her speech Prime Minister Solberg presented companies and individuals who inspired her in 2016, including James Lorens and BerGenBio. BerGenBio is one of BTO’s first successful companies, dedicated to deliver specialized cutting-edge cancer research to the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. The researchers are focused on developing novel therapeutics for cancers that are aggressive and have become resistant to therapy. 90 percent of all cancer related deaths are due to this type of aggressive and resistant cancer. Therefore, the research can potentially be ground-breaking for cancer treatment. BerGenBio was established in 2007 by BTO, researches from the Department of Biomedicine at University of Bergen and Unifob AS.

The Prime Minister mentioned BerGenBio’s recently testing of their new cancer drug, which proved to be even better for healing leukaemia than anticipated. She pointed at this being an important breakthrough as more and more of us are diagnosed with cancer, and that Norway wants more breakthroughs like this. The Government has therefore decided to increase the funding for research for the future.

Prime Minister Solberg ended the speech by encouraging the Norwegian people to cheer on those creating new jobs in Norway. Norway will be in need of new private companies in the future, and there must be room for both failure and success. Finally, she mentioned that we will have to rely more on our ability to look ahead and on our own initiative rather than on the oil industry.