Research Funding: Grant to important research infrastructure at Uppsala University
The Swedish Research Council has reached a decision on which applications have been successful in their call for Research infrastructure of national interest 2019. Grants totalling SEK 700 million have been awarded for the period 2020-2024. Uppsala University will host reserach infrastructure in the field of accelerator-based ion technology, bioinformatics and biobanks.
The ability of researchers to conduct advanced research is often predicated on access to resources built up systematically over an extended period of time, often beyond the needs of individual research groups; for example, large research facilities, laboratory environments, experimental workshops, complex digital research systems or databases. Swedish Research Council support for research infrastructure is intended to provide the long-term conditions for conducting research to the highest international standards, ensuring the availability of research infrastructure nationally, facilitating the renewal of the Swedish infrastructure landscape, as well as supporting long-term funding and the participation of higher education institutions.
A total of 11 Swedish research infrastructures have been chosen to receive support in the 2019 call, sharing approximately SEK 700 million for the period 2020-2024. How this money is to be distributed among the various beneficiaries is as yet undecided.
Uppsala University will host three of the research infrastructures:
Daniel Primetzhofer, Department of Physics and Astronomy: Accelerator-based Ion Technology Centre
Work at the Ion Technology Centre will use beams of energetic ions to analyse the composition of various materials with enormous sensitivity; for example, the age of organic and inorganic samples can be determined using carbon-14 dating. It is also possible to study new, improved materials in a wide range of disciplines such as archaeology, climate research, biomedicine, thin film electronics, materials science and fusion research.
“It is extremely positive that Uppsala University will be able to continue to lead the infrastructure that can date artefacts while at the same time contributing to our understanding and future development of materials,” says Kristina Edström, professor of inorganic chemistry at Uppsala University and advisor to the vice-chancellor on research infrastructure.
Bengt Persson, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology: National Bioinformatics Infrastructure Sweden (NBIS) and the Swedish node of ELIXIR, the intergovernmental organisation responsible for European bioinformatics infrastructure.
National Bioinformatics Infrastructure Sweden (NBIS) is a research infrastructure led by Uppsala University, with nodes at most major Swedish universities. NBIS provides bioinformatics support to life science researchers and has expertise in areas such as metadata management, genomics and biostatistics, as well as developing analysis tools for new fields of study.
“It is gratifying that the Swedish Research Council continues to support NBIS, which is not only the bioinformatics platform for SciLifeLab but also the Swedish node of the European research infrastructure ELIXIR,” says Kristina Edström.
Tobias Sjöblom, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology: Biobank Sweden
Biobank Sweden (BIS) is a collaboration between the healthcare sector, academia, the private sector and patient organisations intended to strengthen the conditions for medical research and contribute to good diagnostics and treatment.
“Uppsala University has coordinated this research infrastructure since 2018 and, as the vice-chancellor’s advisor on research infrastructure, I am impressed by the work that BIS has been able to conduct in such a short period,” says Kristina Edström. “It is encouraging that the Swedish Research Council is aware of this and has seen fit to continue to entrust BIS with developing the use of biobanks in Sweden and internationally together with the healthcare sector.”
Other infrastructure hosts who will receive grants are: Chalmers, the University of Gothenburg, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the Swedish Museum of Natural History and Lund University.