AstraZeneca's R&D facilities at Södertälje. Photo: AstraZeneca

All five Departments in the University’s Chemistry Section have ongoing cooperation with Astra Zeneca. This includes sponsorship of conferences, grants and guest lecturers and contract education for the company. In materials chemistry Astra Zeneca is one of the most important industrial partners in the Vinnova-funded EXSELENT Centre. In organic chemistry Astra Zeneca has both given grants for post-docs and provided funding for basic research on several occasions.

Over the years the Department of Analytical Chemistry has had many major external projects along with Astra Zeneca. The company is also one of the Departments major sources of instruments, to a total value of tens of millions of kronor.
Smaller labour market
The local labour market for the roughly 40 chemistry PhDs graduating from the University each year will also shrink. Many of the more than 1000 people to lose their jobs in Södertälje are chemists and biologists trained at Stockholm University. One long-term consequence may be that the capital region will lose its prominent role as a strong research environment. The problems already encountered in attracting students to chemistry study programmes risk being made even worse so that Stockholm University’s strong standing in this research may also be affected.
The Biology Section also has ongoing cooperation with Astra Zeneca that includes radiation biology. The Section warns that the closure of research work in Södertälje will worsen the labour market for biologists, especially in the molecular life sciences.
Former Education Minister Lars Lejonborg has been given the task of discussing the closure of the facilities in Södertälje with those affected, including the universities.