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SciLifeLab welcomes new government funding

2012-09-11

The Swedish government has presented the contents of its upcoming research and innovation bill, which includes a special investment in the life science area. Among other things, SciLifeLab gets a yearly addition of SEK 200 million.

At a press conference on the 11 September the Swedish government announced that the upcoming research bill includes an investment in life science which totals SEK 11.5 billion from 2013 to 2016. By the year 2016, SEK 200 million yearly will go directly to SciLifeLab. Additionally, 400 million will be invested in life science related research areas such as antibiotic resistance, pharmaceutical development, health and aging, clinical research, and register-based research.

‘It is extremely gratifying that the government has chosen to invest in SciLifeLab. Now we can continue to develop and expand our service platforms as well as the first-rate scientific environment that we are building’, says Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Director of SciLifeLab Uppsala.

SciLifeLab is a national scientific centre for large-scale research in bioscience, medicine and environment. It is driven by Karolinska Institutet, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and Uppsala University. In 2013 the nodes in Stockholm and Uppsala will be joined together and form one national resource for life science.

‘We are very pleased that the government with this investment enables the building of an infrastructure for internationally competitive research in life sciences. It is important that we with these resources now will be a support to environmental and health research in the whole country’, says Mathias Uhlén, Director of SciLifeLab Stockholm.

Apart from ground-breaking environmental and medical research, SciLifeLab is expected to contribute to the development of new diagnostic methods for diseases and more individualised pharmaceutical treatments. Through cooperation with the industry, new jobs are also expected to arise.

SciLifeLab Uppsala grows

Since the start in 2010, SciLifeLab Uppsala has established itself and grown in a number of areas and is already a national resource. The number of projects at the technical platforms was more than 500 in 2011, of which a third were led by scientists from other universities.

More than 160 research groups have joined the strong research environment in Uppsala, which now includes more than 800 scientists spanning the whole life science area, including mathematicians, engineers, biologists, pharmaceutical scientists, physicists and physicians. A multi-disciplinary environment for scientific discoveries has been built with activities such as seminar series, SciLifeLab days, and targeted educational efforts.

‘SciLifeLab should be a place where you can ask a good question from an interdisciplinary perspective and then get access to the knowledge and tools to solve it’, says Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Director of SciLifeLab Uppsala.

And the results have started to show up. The number of scientific publications from SciLifeLab Uppsala has increased significantly during 2012. SciLifeLab’s work with putting scientific results into practice is also increasing. Different tools and ways for academy and industry to cooperate have been developed by SciLifeLab and UU Innovation. AIM days (Academia-Industry-Meetings) is one of these tools, which has turned out to be very good for initiating industry cooperation. The universities connected with SciLifeLab have also recently strengthened their cooperation around innovation support.

For more information, see SciLifeLab Uppsala’s website.

See also ‘Research in Progress: Theme Life’ and our Life and Health Research pages.