Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation donates SEK 50 million for immediate increase in Corona testing in Sweden

Press release
24 March 2020

The Wallenberg Foundations, which are the largest sources of private funding for research in the fields of life sciences and medicine, have decided to immediately allocate SEK 50 million to academic laboratories at Science for Life Laboratory, Karolinska Institutet (KI) and Uppsala University to fund a scaling up of Covid-19 testing in the Swedish health care system.

This initiative will enable the academic institutions to make a contribution to medical care in the Stockholm–Uppsala region. If necessary, the Wallenberg Foundations also intend to make similar contributions in other parts of Sweden. 

A close dialog with the scientific community and health care professionals in Sweden has revealed an urgent need for increased capacity for testing for the corona virus. This donation will enable a number of research laboratories to help to achieve that increase. 

“In the face of this crisis we want to help so that health care professionals can carry out the tests that are needed. The Foundation is now making SEK 50 million available, and are prepared to allocate further resources if necessary,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chair of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

“It is clearly evident from our dialog with the research community in Sweden over the past few days that researchers at our Swedish universities are prepared to make their resources available to the health care sector,” says Siv Andersson, professor and Co-Director at Science for Life Laboratory.

“We will be doing all we can to ensure that testing at the laboratories at KI and Science for Life Laboratory can be rapidly scaled up, and assist in this crisis,” says Professor Hans Gustaf Ljunggren, Director of Co-ordination at Karolinska Institutet.

“This is a hugely important initiative for the immediate gathering of knowledge in a critical situation in close collaboration between health and medical care services and the academic world,” comments Associate Professor Soo Aleman, Medical Unit Infectious Diseases at Karolinska University Hospital.

Contact persons

Professor Hans Gustaf Ljunggren: [email protected]
Associate Professor Soo Aleman, Deputy Chief Physician: [email protected]
Professor Siv Andersson: [email protected]
Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chair, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation: [email protected]


Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation was established in 1917. The Foundation’s aim is to the benefit Sweden by supporting Swedish basic research and education, primarily in medicine, technology and the natural sciences. This is achieved by awarding grants to pre-eminent researchers and projects. Just over SEK 29 billion in grants has been awarded since the Foundation was established, with annual funding of almost SEK 2 billion being awarded to pre-eminent research and education in recent years, making the Foundation Sweden’s largest private research funding body, and one of the largest in Europe.