SEK 50 million for further Covid-19 research

Press release
7 October 2020

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has granted a further SEK 50 million for research related to Covid-19 at SciLifeLab.

In spring this year the Foundation allocated SEK 50 million for a national Covid-19 research program at SciLifeLab. The program resulted in 67 research projects focusing on fighting the corona pandemic using the infrastructure existing at SciLifeLab. 

“The national program created an extremely extensive research network – a key resource to be maintained so we can learn more about Covid-19, and achieve research breakthroughs both for ongoing and for future pandemics. An awful lot of questions remain unanswered, which makes commitment to further research necessary,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chair of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

The new funding allocation will go to Covid-19-related research in 2021 and 2022. SciLifelab will be responsible for allocating the funds.

“The funding will be used to extend the national Covid-19 research program already established at SciLifeLab. In addition, we will review the possibility of adding new elements, such as addressing critical questions that have arisen since our original research program was launched in spring 2020. Such as, for example the long-term sustainability of the immune response, impact of vaccination, the long-term consequences and suffering of Covid-19 patients as well as the opportunities to tailor the emerging treatments to individuals,” says Olli Kallioniemi, Director of SciLifeLab.

The national research program aims to increase the capacity of the Swedish research community to produce usable data and knowledge about the corona pandemic, both now, and as a basis for addressing any future pandemics we may face. Other aims of the program are to create and implement better testing, provide a clearer overview of the pandemic in real time, integrate data in different technologies and research fields, and also create multidisciplinary data and better predictive models. All projects will also contribute to open data and the national Covid-19 data hub.

In total, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has granted SEK 180 million for initiatives related to Covid-19: SEK 100 million for research projects, SEK 20 million for establishment of biobanks, and SEK 60 million for testing.

Ongoing Covid-related research at SciLifeLab

Contact persons:

Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chair, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation 
+46 (0)8 545 01780
[email protected]

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

Siv Andersson
Co-Director of SciLifeLab
[email protected]

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.