SEK 40 million for research on covid-19 vaccine

Press release
7 December 2020

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has allocated SEK 40 million to SciLifeLab for research on the efficacy and function of covid-19 vaccines.

“Covid-19 is a new, and still in many ways, unknown disease. It is important that as many aspects as possible of the disease and ways to fight it are explored both because of the current situation but also to prepare us for future pandemics. For the Foundation, it was therefore a logical decision to also allocate funds to study the effects of the vaccinations that will be carried out next year, says Peter Wallenberg Jr,” chair of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

With this new grant, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation's investment in corona-related initiatives amounts to SEK 220 million over the last nine months. This call for grants is administered by SciLifeLab, as are the previous research grants for covid research.

”We are very excited and thankful to be chosen as a site coordinating the major contributions to research on vaccinations from Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. We think that this program is extremely timely and will enable scientists in Sweden to explore the efficacy and molecular effects of vaccination, now that several new vaccines will be available for use in Sweden starting early 2021. Though all the vaccines being deployed will have undergone thorough clinical studies on tens of thousands of people, there are still important questions on e.g. the durability and molecular effects underlying the protection, which this program can now address. The Foundation’s funds will be made available to the community as grants, available to qualified scientists across the country, based on peer review,” says Olli Kallioniemi, director of SciLifeLab.

Göran Sandberg, Executive Director, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
+46 (0)8 545 017 80
[email protected]

Olli Kallioniemi, Director of SciLifeLab 
Reached via Susanne Wikblad, PA. 
+ 46 (0) 72 251 86 49
[email protected]

Covid-related grants from Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
A total of SEK 220 million:

  • March 22 first grant: extended corona testing, SEK 50 million for equipment and reagents for testing to build up test capacity in Sweden, was then increased by an additional SEK 10 million.
  • April: SEK 50 million to SciLifeLab for the national research program on covid-19, which resulted in 67 research projects.
  • SEK 20 million to SciLifeLab for creating biobanks.
  • October: another SEK 50 million for continued covid research
  • November / December: SEK 40 million to SciLifelab for research on covid-19 vaccine.


Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation was established in 1917. The Foundation’s aim is to benefit Sweden by supporting Swedish basic research and education, primarily in medicine, technology and the natural sciences. This is achieved by awarding grants to excellent researchers and projects.

More than SEK 29 billion in grants has been awarded since the Foundation was established, with annual funding of around SEK 2,0 billion in recent years, making the Foundation the largest private funder of scientific research in Sweden, and one of the largest in Europe.