National funding to strengthen the collaborative environment of SciLifeLab and KAW’s COVID-19 research program
At the end of May, SciLifeLab launched a national COVID-19 program consisting of 67 projects within nine research areas, studying COVID-19 at the molecular, cellular, patient, population and environmental level. In order to create a strong research environment, where the projects can utilize SciLifeLab’s cutting-edge technologies, SciLifeLab launched a call for research area needs in mid-June. Now, a number of research areas are supported with national SciLifeLab funding, to remove bottlenecks and get the projects up-and-running at full speed.
The national COVID-19 program is funded by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation with a total of 50 MSEK. In addition, the SciLifeLab board has decided to allocate 12 MSEK of national SciLifeLab funding, for coordinating the program and connecting it to the SciLifeLab infrastructure. The national SciLifeLab funding has now been utilized to, among other things, fund a call for needs within the program.
The aim of the call is to make sure that there is a strong and collaborative research environment for the research areas, where the scientists involved can work together, utilize SciLifeLab’s frontline infrastructure and access the resources required to conduct their COVID-19 related research at full speed.
The call focuses on urgent needs that are critical to remove bottle necks and get the projects up-and-running. Another call, focused on the research areas’ long-term needs, will be launched in August – allowing more time for discussions of solutions, possibilities and collaborations between the program and SciLifeLab’s infrastructure.
The following research areas and needs will now be supported with national SciLifeLab funding:
- Biobanks for COVID-19 research
Support for coordination and biobanking
- High-throughput and high-content serology
Support for data analysis and logistics
- Host cell systems biology and targets
Support for BSL3 unit to enable access and services for COVID-19 research
- Drug discovery and repurposing of drugs
Support for database build up and compound center support
- Environmental virus profiling
Support for infrastructure required to rapidly create a national support function for biobanking of environmental samples for virus monitoring (initially waste water)
- Data Centre
Support for data management for the SciLifeLab COVID-19 program
The funding will amount to a total of 4,4 MSEK, of which 1 MSEK will be allocated to data management support.
“The COVID-19 efforts at SciLifeLab are unique in three ways. First, we launched a number of individual projects as well as a program with 67 projects in nine research areas, enabled by the generous support of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. Second, we connected the program’s research areas with the SciLifeLab infrastructure. And third, we created a national COVID-19 data portal, in collaboration with the Swedish Research Council, which will enable integration and visualization of research results and data”, says Olli Kallioniemi, Director of SciLifeLab and the SciLifeLab and KAW national COVID-19 research program.
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