The SciLifeLab and KAW DDLS initiative: October 21 webinar

On October 21, SciLifeLab and KAW delved deeper into discussions on the national DDLS initiative recently announced. In this 12-year, 3.1 billion SEK initiative, the idea is to change the way we do life sciences; flipping the paradigm and having data drive the experiments.

After a few welcoming words from moderator Sandra Falck, Strategic Relations Officer at SciLifeLab, Carl-Henrik Heldin, Chair of SciLifeLab Board opened the webinar.

“We are pleased with this massive investment, which will be important for life science in Sweden, and we are glad to be involved in this important effort”, he said.

Göran Sandberg, the Executive Director of the KAW board, was the first speaker of the day, highlighting among other things the extreme importance of creating an interface between quantum and data-driven life science. Following his presentation was Siv Andersson’s, previously Co-Director for SciLifeLab and now Head of Basic Research at KAW.

“I think that the more than 1000 students that will graduate as a result of KAW initiatives, will be a new breed of young PhDs that will understand both technology, biology and medicine. That is what we hope for”, says Göran Sandberg.

“Data has grown exponentially in the last 10 years and when we had the international advisory board visit us last year they said that data may in the long term become the most important aspect of SciLifeLab’s impact. This is a fantastic opportunity for data-driven life science, it is a National program involving all the major universities, placed under SciLifeLab board“, says Siv Andersson.

Next out was the director of the Wallenberg Centers for Molecular Medicine (WCMM) and Chair of the National SciLifeLab Committee, Gunilla Westergren-Thorsson (Lund University), who talked about the national perspective and implications of the DDLS initiative.

Gunilla highlighted SciLifeLab’s central role in integrating the different centers in Sweden, as well as providing the research community with new cutting-edge technology. She also talked about how the new DDLS funding program will help the WCMM centers to expand and focus more on DDLS.

“We are so happy that we can now continue with our centers. This is a great opportunity for Sweden to strengthen life science and create a national framework of national data driven science”, said Gunilla Westergren-Thorsson.

The last presentation of the webinar was given by SciLifeLab Director Olli Kallioniemi, He highlighted how the initiative is both a great opportunity and huge responsibility, and how SciLifeLab now embarks on a journey to not only being technology driven but also data driven. He also discussed the need of producing data in accordance with the FAIR principles (making data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) and sharing data.

“As a scientist, the more you base your study on a comprehensive analysis of previous data, publications and knowledge, the greater the future impact of your science will be, and the more likely you are going to discover something important”, he said.

Want to hear the presentations or the Q&A session where speakers answered questions on how the initiative will be organized, application procedures for its positions and funding terms? See the entire seminar on:


Last updated: 2020-10-22

Content Responsible: Johan Inganni(