The purpose of the national program is to provide useful knowledge about the corona pandemic, both now and in the case of future pandemics, to improve preventions, diagnostics and treatments of viral disease, provide a clearer real-time overview of the pandemic, integrate data across technologies and research domains, and create better predictive models.
Olli Kallioniemi, Karolinska Institutet
Mia Phillipson, Uppsala University
(also members of SciLifeLab Management Group)
Alice Sollazzo, Program coordinator
Maria Bäckström, Communications coordinator
Disa L. Hammarlöf, Research coordinator
(also members of SciLifeLab Operations Office)
In March 2020, SciLifeLab launched a national call for researchers nationwide, to create a comprehensive program to combat the coronavirus pandemic. A total of 285 proposals were submitted, with applicants ranging from several Swedish universities and hospitals, and other organizations both in Sweden and abroad. The SciLifeLab management group and experts in the field reviewed all proposals and approved 67 for funding.
The projects were funded with a total of 50 MSEK from Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. Furthermore, the SciLifeLab board allocated 12 MSEK for coordination of the program and connecting it with the SciLifeLab infrastructure, to further strengthen the effects of the initiative.
Besides scientific impact, the evaluation criteria considered were relevance and impact on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities created by the SciLifeLab community, possibility to form synergies and collaborations, commitment to open data and real-time updates of progress.
In December 2020, SciLifeLab launched Phase II of the program, including five new calls.
Two calls represented continuation of the ongoing projects from Phase I, and one call was specifically targeting effects of vaccination.
These new projects awarded, will allow continuation of the progress as well as include new studies, such as long-term consequences of COVID-19 infection as well as the specific new program on vaccine effects.
Call no 4 focused on suggestions (initially letter of intent format) for ideas on Pandemic Laboratory Preparedness, while the last one on suggestions (initially letter of intent format) for data-driven research on COVID-19.