Science for Life Laboratory is an institution for the advancement of molecular biosciences in Sweden.[videopop]
Providing capabilities for life science
SciLifeLab, Science for Life Laboratory, is an institution for the advancement of molecular biosciences in Sweden. We are funded as a national research infrastructure by the Swedish government.
Our organization leverages the unique strengths of individual researchers across Sweden into a focused resource for the life science community. We provide access for thousands of researchers to the cutting-edge instrumentation and deep scientific expertise necessary to be internationally competitive in bioscience research. This infrastructure is supported and developed by our research community, including internationally recognized experts in life science and technology. Our units and expertise create a unique environment for carrying out health and environmental research at the highest level.
SciLifeLab started out in 2010 as a joint effort between four universities: Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and Uppsala University. Today, we support research activities at all major Swedish universities.
For Sweden to be a world-leading nation in life science
Life science is a field of high strategic importance for Sweden, as it impacts the development of healthcare, industry, agriculture and our environment globally. Our success within life science lies in our ability as a country to advance research, innovation, recruitment, collaboration and utilization of data, in an environment of scientific excellence and cutting-edge research infrastructure.
The overall mission for SciLifeLab is to enable life science research in Sweden that is beyond what is possible for an individual researcher, an individual university or an individual research discipline. By providing access to the latest key technologies, our infrastructure creates prerequisites for research and conceptually new forms of collaboration between individuals, groups and organizations.
We strive to leverage this strong technology base, in collaboration with universities, industry, healthcare and national funding agencies, through six synergistic strategic objectives, described in detail in our 10-year strategy document SciLifeLab Roadmap 2020-2030.
Our strategic objectives
Provide unique life science infrastructure
SciLifeLab’s primary mission is to provide the entire life science community in Sweden access to the most relevant and advanced research infrastructure. This infrastructure lays the foundation for excellent research, recruitment, training, collaboration, innovation and a wealth of life science data. SciLifeLab will expand its national network of infrastructure units and increase engagement with the Swedish academic community, funding agencies, healthcare and industry. This optimizes development of the infrastructure and secures its accessibility for researchers across the country.
Develop world-class research environments
Rapid technology developments and increasing international competition can quickly make life science infrastructure outdated and obsolete. Thus, the sustainability of SciLifeLab infrastructure is critically dependent on close integration with a research community of exceptional quality to further develop its technologies. In return, access to SciLifeLab’s research infrastructure provides the Swedish scientific community with unique capabilities for developing data-driven science of the highest international impact.
Attract and retain knowledge and talent
Securing Sweden’s position as a top life science nation requires attracting and retaining global talent to our country and providing the best scientific environment to work in. In addition, adapting to the accelerating developments in life science technology requires new approaches to lifelong learning within academia, industry, healthcare and government. SciLifeLab will broadly disseminate knowledge and research results to the greater life science community through an increased focus on training, education, knowledge sharing, and mobility between sectors.
Collaborate across sectors and borders
Addressing today’s grand challenges within life science demands the collective effort of the entire life science community, including increased collaboration between disciplines and sectors. National research infrastructures such as SciLifeLab present exceptional environments for collaboration between researchers from academia, industry and healthcare. SciLifeLab will work to remove barriers that limit collaboration between academia and other research organisations, while engaging in international research efforts and promoting Swedish life science globally.
Build capabilities for translation and innovation
SciLifeLab’s research infrastructure and research environments create an attractive framework for translating fundamental scientific insights into applications and innovations in healthcare, industry and society. Through SciLifeLab’s network of university hospital collaborators, new diagnostic technologies and advances in precision medicine can be transitioned to clinical utility in healthcare. Efforts in drug discovery will assist academic research to bridge the gap between basic science and new treatments, new therapeutic modalities and new business opportunities.
Create a national framework for data-driven life science
Life science research is increasingly data intensive. SciLifeLab aims to take a leading role as a national service provider for life science data, linking existing national data resources with international initiatives. New resources with a national scope will be developed, providing advanced but accessible infrastructure, services and support for bioinformatics and datadriven research. As life science data is one of the most concrete and lasting outputs of SciLifeLab, its interoperability and reuse must be ensured, in accordance with international data sharing standards and principles.
The majority of our infrastructure services can be found in Stockholm and Uppsala, which also make up the two largest loci of the SciLifeLab research community. However, SciLifeLab extends a lot farther through the country. There are infrastructure services and affiliated research groups – as well as members of our Research Community Programs – at a number of universities across Sweden.
Campus Solna in Stockholm
Our Solna site is mainly located in the buildings Alfa and Gamma, situated at Karolinska Institutet’s campus in Solna, just outside Stockholm city. Together, they comprise 15 000 square meters of laboratory and office space for about 700 researchers, staff scientists and other personnel from our Stockholm-based host universities (Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University). By bringing people together across traditional university-, faculty- and department boundaries, Campus Solna creates many opportunities for networking and initiating joint projects.
Navet in Uppsala
In difference to SciLifeLab in Solna, where almost all operations are located in two buildings; our research community and infrastructure units in Uppsala are spread out over the Uppsala University campus. There is, however, a main hub for SciLifeLab in Uppsala – Meetingplace Navet.
Navet is a place to meet for scientists, unit staff, and visitors from within and outside the academic environment. It hosts 3 000 square meters of meeting rooms, guest rooms and offices, and an additional 8 000 square meters of laboratories in the surrounding area. The innovative architecture is designed to facilitate interdisciplinary meetings and serve as an inspiring atmosphere to promote creativity.
The scope of SciLifeLab extends far beyond the Stockholm-Uppsala region. There are SciLifeLab affiliated researchers, infrastructure services and Research Community Program members based at many other locations across the country; for instance in Umeå, Gothenburg, Linköping, Lund and Örebro.
Molecular life science research is evolving rapidly. As an increasingly crossdisciplinary and collaborative endeavour, it requires combining expertise in fundamental biology with computer science, engineering, chemistry, and physics. Moreover, life science depends on advanced, often costly instruments and complex methods that are frequently beyond the capacity of an individual laboratory, or even a university.
SciLifeLab was launched in 2010 with a mission to meet these research demands through a joint initiative by four universities— KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University, and Uppsala University. Today, SciLifeLab supports research activities at all major Swedish universities.
- SciLifeLab established in Stockholm and Uppsala by founding Director Mathias Uhlén and Co-Director Kerstin Lindblad-Toh
- SciLifeLab awarded status as an official national infrastructure for molecular biosciences
- Premises in Stockholm completed: 14000 sqm housing persons from three universities
- Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists inaugurated
- Initiation of the SciLifeLab Fellows Program
- Clinical sequencing established in Swedish health care system
- Olli Kallioniemi recruited as the new Director of SciLifeLab
- First units outside Stockholm/Uppsala
- Uppsala and Stockholm operations merged
- More than 20 SciLifeLab Fellows recruited
- Swedish government officially proposes that SciLifeLab be designated as one of three major national research infrastructures, along with the MAX IV Laboratory and the European Spallation Source
- Almost half of users served are from outside host universities, establishing SciLifeLab as a true national infrastructure resource
- 7 Research Community Programs and 16 Technology Development Projects launched
- A national hearing is held, where life science stakeholders contribute to SciLifeLab’s strategy for 2020-2030
Our center contains a broad range of disciplines in the life science field and the management comprises a scientific leadership to promote frontline national infrastructure services as well as a vibrant and interdisciplinary research environment at SciLifeLab.