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Uppsala University competing for strategic funding

2009-03-18

This week the Vice Chancellor submitted Uppsala University’s applications for the strategic research funding that the government made available with the purpose of bolstering Sweden’s international competitiveness as a research nation and hastening the practical application of findings to solve global societal problems.

Unlike other research funding that is competitively applied for via the Swedish Research Council, this financing does not consist of a one-off amount but rather of a reinforcement of the basic allocations in the fields in question.  Also, following a preparatory process in the Disciplinary Domains, it is the Vice Chancellor who applies on behalf of the University, not individual research teams.
 
The University has carried out an internal process where its many research groups on the international cutting edge have mustered their forces surrounding important issues in single applications – sometimes together with colleagues within the University but also often together with colleagues at other institutions. This week the Vice Chancellor is submitting the 12 applications in which the University is the lead applicant, either alone or in collaboration with other institutions. In a further seven applications, the University is participating as a co-applicant together with other institutions.
 
“We are applying for this research funding in keen competition, but I am nevertheless optimistic.  The internal work done among these research teams has been exemplary,” says Vice Chancellor Anders Hallberg.
 
The background is the governmental bill “A Boost for Research and Innovation,” which appeared in October 2008, with 24 strategic areas being singled out by the government.  In these fields the government wishes to make extra efforts to “bolster the global competitiveness of research in the long run and contribute to sustainable growth.”
 
These funds, a total of SEK 2.66 billion for the 2009-2012 period, are to finance research of the highest international quality in areas that are of importance to the development of society and the competitiveness of business.
 
Funding for 20 of these areas was made available for application in January by the governmental research financiers the Swedish Research Council, Vinnova (the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems), the Swedish Energy Agency, and the Swedish Research Council Formas. Applications will be reviewed by international panels of experts, which will announce its choices in June. Decisions will be made by the government after the summer.

Read more about the applications.