Call for Clinical Technology Development Projects

Precision medicine is transforming healthcare, and Sweden has high ambitions to be a leading nation within the area. To contribute towards precision medicine research and implementation in Sweden, SciLifeLab has established a capability for precision medicine and released a roadmap describing our objectives and future directions within the field. The SciLifeLab capabilities for Precision Medicine (PM) and Pandemic Laboratory Preparedness (PLP) now invite clinical researchers and the SciLifeLab infrastructure units and PLP units to submit proposals for collaborative Clinical Technology Development Projects aimed at addressing unmet clinical needs.

About the call

The SciLifeLab infrastructure and PLP units have established a range of cutting-edge services for research, however, further adaptation of technologies is typically needed for clinical use. The Clinical Technology Development Project (TDP) call will support adaptation of technologies for well-defined clinical applications. We expect the clinical TDP to lead to an application that has potential to advance diagnostics, treatment or follow-up and to have a specified timeline for clinical implementation.

Application information

What can be applied for?

The call will support well delineated projects addressing an unmet clinical need, where technology development in collaboration with one or more SciLifeLab infrastructure units or PLP units could enable clinical applications. The technology that the clinical application would be based on can be established at one of the units, but be in need of additional development or validation to enable clinical use.

The clinical TDP could, for example, comprise

  • assay development and/or validation
  • optimization with respect to minimizing sample requirements or reducing turn-around time
  • developing quality metrics, for example to enable absolute quantification
  • establish streamlined pipelines for analyzing clinical samples, also including data analysis and/or clinical decision support

Relevant samples for the project should be available. Ethical permit should be in place if needed.

Note that the call is aimed at technology development, and the following types of projects will not be supported

  • basic discovery research that involves using existing technologies for analyzing new samples
  • identification of new biomarkers from scratch
  • development of entirely new technologies
  • projects aiming at therapeutic innovation
  • projects only focusing on data analysis and/or clinical decision support using already available data

Preferably, the applicants should be able to fund (or apply for funding) for a clinical study if the clinical TDP is successful.

Bioinformatics support

Funded projects can also receive up to ca 100 hours of bioinformatics support from the SciLifeLab Bioinformatics platform (NBIS), after feasibility evaluation by NBIS. If more extensive bioinformatic support is needed, NBIS should instead be considered as a co-applicant. Applicants that are in need of bioinformatics support are encouraged to contact NBIS (www.nbis.se) for discussion before submitting the application.

Who can apply?

The main applicant should be a representative of a SciLifeLab infrastructure unit or PLP unit (grant recipients of the earlier PLP Calls, PLP-1, PLP-2, PLP-ClinMicro, PLP-Test). Each proposal is expected to have one or two co-applicants with one being a clinically active researcher, including researchers at clinical laboratories, who must hold a PhD. While additional partners (industry, health-care providers etc.) can be included as collaborators in the project, the funding is restricted to the university participants. Each SciLifeLab infrastructure unit or PLP unit can be the main applicant in one proposal.

How much can be applied for?

The total budget for the call is 4.2 MSEK, and the typical grant size will be 300-500 kSEK for one year. Funding will be allocated to the SciLifeLab infrastructure or PLP unit(s) to cover reagents, materials, salaries, or other running costs. The grant should cover all indirect costs. While we do not demand a pre-defined level of co-funding, co-funding in terms of e.g. personnel costs or reagents can be explained in the proposal and is considered advantageous.

Time period for funding: proposals should cover the period September 1, 2024 – August 31, 2025, but granted funding can be used until February 28, 2026.

Application process

Evaluation process

Applications that fulfill the eligibility criteria will be evaluated by an external review committee consisting of experts within precision medicine. Assessment will be done using the following criteria:

  • Clinical significance
  • Scientific quality and feasibility
  • Added value of this grant

The funding will support a diversity of projects in regards to e.g. gender of the applicant, career stage, university affiliation, technologies used, and disease area).

Follow-up of granted projects

Applicants of granted projects are expected to present the progress of the projects in workshops or other events organized by the SciLifeLab PM or PLP capabilities.

Timeline

Feb 16, 2024: Opening of call
April 10, 2024 (14:00 CET): Application deadline
May 28, 2024: Funding decision by the SciLifeLab Board
September 1, 2024: Start-up of selected projects

March 7 (12-13 CET):  Digital information meeting about the call. 

Information seminar Register here

Contact

For questions about the call, please contact precisionmedicine@scilifelab.se

Last updated: 2024-02-15

Content Responsible: David Gotthold(david.gotthold@scilifelab.se)