Wallenberg Foundations grants 2019 – SEK 2.4 billion

Press release
2020-03-10

During 2019 funding allocated to research totaled SEK 2.4 billion. Most of the funding by the Wallenberg Foundations is grants from Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, which focuses on basic research in medicine, science and technology. But the Wallenberg Foundations also award substantial grants in other field, including social sciences, humanities, education and archaeology.

The Wallenberg Foundations is the umbrella name for 16 foundations formed by the Wallenberg family or established in memory of family members.

Out of the total of SEK 2.4 billion, the three largest foundations – Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, and Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation – awarded research funding of SEK 2.3 billion.

To provide an overall picture of the funding awarded by the Foundations to Swedish research and education, the Wallenberg Foundations publish a list outlining the grants awarded by the three largest foundations during the year.

“It is gratifying that the Foundations can continue to grant funding of SEK 2.4 billion and even increase the grants compared with the previous year. This can be achieved thanks to continued increased dividends from the companies included in the Foundations' holdings in Investor and FAM. In this way, the companies also contribute to developing Sweden as a research nation and provide excellent researchers from all over the world with the funds for new research breakthroughs. For the past 10 years, the Wallenberg Foundations have allocated nearly SEK 19 billion,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chair of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, in a comment.

In addition to grants from the three largest Wallenberg foundations, significant grants and scholarships are awarded in e.g. jurisprudence, archaeology and art history as well as scholarships for master's studies abroad.

Grants awarded by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW), Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation (MMW) and Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation (MAW):

Strategic initiatives 

Time and time again, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation awards grants specifically for basic research, thereby supporting the development of new technology capable of furthering Sweden’s long-term development as a center of research and industrial nation.

The following long-term strategic initiatives are ongoing:

Wallenberg Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems and Software Program, WASP
WASP represents a huge commitment to basic research, postgraduate education and recruitment in the AI, autonomous systems and software development sectors. The research program is intended to contribute to knowledge development in a large number of areas, in which intelligent vehicles, robots and complex software-intensive systems achieve autonomy in interaction with humans. This knowledge is essential if Swedish research is to keep up with developments towards the internet of things, in which more and more systems will also become autonomous. A key part of the program is the establishment of a platform for academic research and education that can interact with Swedish industry. The WASP program will recruit at least 60 research teams to Sweden, and run a graduate school with up to 400 PhD students. Co-funding from universities and Swedish industrial companies amount to SEK 1.3 billion.

  • KAW allocates SEK 4.2 billion to 2029

Read more 

WASP-HS
As a complement to KAW’s WASP-program a research program has been created to study the human and societal aspects of AI and autonomous systems – WASP-HS.

Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation and Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation together are investing in the WASP-HS research program that will analyze ethical, economic, labor market, social, cultural and legal aspects of technological transition.

  • MMW and MAW allocate SEK 660 million to 2029

Read more

Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology, WACQT
The aim of the Center is to establish broad skills and expertise in the fields of quantum sensors, quantum simulators, quantum communication, and quantum computers. A further goal is to build a Swedish 100-qbit quantum computer.
Like WASP, WACQT emphasizes long-term development of expertise by establishing large graduate schools, and recruiting young researchers to Sweden from the rest of the world. The Center also collaborates with Swedish industry.

  • KAW allocates 1 billion to 2029

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Life Sciences
Large grants have been awarded in this field for many years. As a result, the Foundations have helped Sweden to become a prominent life-science nation. A decision was made in 2014 to make a further major concerted commitment to life sciences, focused on SciLifeLab in Stockholm-Uppsala and four centers in molecular medicine in Lund, Gothenburg, Linköping and Umeå. 

  • KAW allocates SEK 2.5 billion to 2026

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Protein Research
Wallenberg Center for Protein Research (WCPR) is a center of excellence in research on proteins and biodrugs. Biodrugs are made from the body’s own proteins, and have revolutionized medicine, making it possible to treat advanced diseases in a new way. In the future it is expected that many more diseases will be treatable with the help of biomolecules, mainly based on antibodies.

  • KAW allocates 400 million to 2023

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Wallenberg Wood Science Center
Research at Wallenberg Wood Science Center focuses on making new products possible from Swedish forest raw materials by utilizing more of the wood. Sustainable packaging, electronics and surgical implants are some potential products.

  • KAW has allocated SEK 850 million for the period 2008–2028

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MAX IV Laboratory
The MAX IV Laboratory at Lund University is one of Sweden’s national infrastructures and a facility of world class. Since the first Max Laboratory was built, the Foundation has contributed over SEK 1 billion to the MAX facilities.

  • KAW has granted SEK 740 million during the last seven years to MAX lab

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Education for Better Integration
The “Education for Better Integration” program is a ten-year commitment to educational initiatives
designed to improve integration in Swedish society. The program is supported by the three largest Wallenberg foundations. Support has during 2019, among others, been given to Jobbsprånget and NTA Digital (IVA Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences), Science Meet (the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences), Teach for Sweden, Science Centers in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö and also Fryshuset.

  • KAW, MMW and MAW have allocated SEK 300 million for the period 2016-2025

Individual grants

Wallenberg Academy Fellows
The program is a five-year initiative supporting young researchers with long-term funding, so they can concentrate on their research. The program also helps to make the Swedish research environment more international. After the first five years an evaluation is carried out, with a potential extension of funding for a further five years. As of 2017 calls for research proposals are made every other year.
A total of 203 young researchers have received grants, and the Foundation plans to fund a further 100 young researchers over the next few years

  • KAW allocates SEK 4.1 million for the program to 2029

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Wallenberg Scholars
This is a five-year program with the possibility of a five-year extension. The program is aimed at established, internationally competitive researchers. At present there are 79 active Wallenberg Scholars.

  •  KAW allocates SEK 3.7 million for the program to 2029

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Wallenberg Clinical Scholars
The aim of the program is to strengthen Swedish clinical research by identifying the best clinical researchers, giving them ample scope to conduct their research, so their findings will have an impact, both in the scientific world, and in medical care. A total of 25 researchers will receive grants under the program. Five researchers were chosen as Wallenberg Clinical Scholars in 2019.

  • KAW allocates SEK 600 million for the program to 2026

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Wallenberg Clinical Fellows
The purpose of the project is to encourage clinical research by young Swedish doctors. The program enables doctors to devote much of their working time to medical research over a period of three years.
Three Clinical Fellows were chosen 2019.

  • MMW has allocated SEK 280 million for the program to 2021.

Read more 

Program for mathematics
Excellent mathematics researchers are being funded during 2014–2029 so that Sweden can regain an internationally leading position in mathematics. Fifteen appointments were approved under the program in 2019.

  • KAW allocates SEK 650 million for the program to 2029

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Postdoctoral Scholarships
The scholarships are intended for young researchers who have recently received their PhD, and are awarded for a two-year spell abroad, with the possibility of two years’ funding of a research position at a Swedish higher education institution upon their return. Twenty-three young researchers have been granted scholarships at various departments of Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and also within life science at Broad Institute in Cambridge, USA. 

  • KAW allocates SEK 550 million for the program to 2029

Read more

Research projects 2019

Stockholm University, funding of SEK 38 million for a project entitled “The obligate respiratory supercomplex - augmented biological energy conversion”. 

University of Gothenburg, funding of SEK 37 million for a project entitled “Active Matter Goes Smart”.

Karolinska Institutet, funding of SEK 36.5 million for a project entitled “Changing the view on autoimmune disease based on positional cloning of the Ncf1 gene”. 

Karolinska Institutet, funding of SEK 36 million for a project entitled “Mitochondrial Methyltransferases - From discovery to disease”.

Lund University, funding of SEK 35 million for a project entitled “Photofunctional Iron Complexes - updated application.”

Uppsala University, funding of SEK 35 million for a project entitled “Unexplored Approaches to Organic Photoredox Catalysis”.

Linköping University, funding of 34.5 million for a project entitled “An ultra-fast system for mechanical pain signaling”.

Karolinska Institutet, funding of SEK 34 million for a project entitled “Insights on the role of oligodendroglia in the origin and progression of multiple sclerosis”.

Linköping University, funding of SEK 34 million for a project entitled “Multidisciplinary Design of Lead-Free Double Perovskite Alloys for Future Optoelectronics and Spintronics”.

Lund University, funding of SEK 34 million for a project entitled “Towards CO2 neutral energy conversion using advanced laser diagnostics and modelling – COCALD”.

Stockholm University, funding of SEK 33.5 million for a project entitled “Gravity Meets Light”. 

Stockholm University, funding of SEK 33 million, for a project entitled “Access to potent medical drugs through polymorph-specific crystallization enabled by ionic liquids”.

Uppsala University, funding of SEK 31.5 million for a project entitled “Breaking barriers to efficient immunotherapy of brain tumors”.

Karolinska Institutet, funding of 28 million for a project entitled “Epigenomic states underlying aggressive inflammation and brain tissue loss in Multiple Sclerosis”.

Stockholm University, funding of SEK 28 million for a project entitled “Dynamic Quantum Matter”.

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, funding of SEK 28 million for a project entitled “Function of small RNAs as intra and inter-organismal communication signal”.

Uppsala University, funding of SEK 28 million for a project entitled “Molecular evolution and design of G protein-coupled receptors with tailored ligand specificity”.

Lund University, funding of SEK 26 million for a project entitled “Light Dark Matter”.

Chalmers University of Technology, funding of SEK 25 million for a project entitled “Plasmon-exciton coupling at the attosecond-sub nanometer scale: Tailoring strong light-matter interactions at room temperature”.

Uppsala University, funding of SEK 25 million for a project entitled “Designed for UPDATE: Next-Generation Embedded Systems”.

Stockholm University, funding of SEK 7.8 million for a project entitled “Sustainability science, dialogues, and novel technologies for understanding and managing ocean ecosystem tradeoffs”.

Jubilee Donation established in 1967 to celebrate the Foundation’s 50th anniversary. The donation provides funding to higher education institutions for travel scholarships for scientific exchange, mainly for younger researchers. SEK 7.2 million.

Stockholm School of Economics, funding of SEK 6.5 million for a project entitled “Public Procurement of Functions - A Stepping Stone Towards A More Sustainable Future!”.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, funding of SEK 6 million for a project entitled “The Green Sector for Sweden’s Future”.

Umeå University, funding of SEK 6 million for a project entitled “Innovative statistical methods for standardized achievement tests to ensure comparability and fairness of test scores”.

University of Gothenburg, funding of SEK 5.8 million for a project entitled “Properties of long horizon asset returns”.

Stockholm University, funding of SEK 5.7 million for a project entitled “Neural Mechanisms of Auditory Awareness”.

Umeå University, funding of SEK 5.5 million for a project entitled “Political Trust and the Environment: Understanding Public Attitudes towards Taxes and Other Policies”.

The Swedish Crown Princess Couple’s Foundation, funding of SEK 5 million in support of the program “Generation Pep”.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Music, funding of SEK 5 million in support of the academy “Unga tankar om musik (UTOM)”.

Lund University, funding of SEK 5 million for a project entitled "Based on a true story?".

Umeå University, funding of SEK 5 million for a project entitled “Haldi stage 1 - Health and living conditions in Sápmi, Sweden”.

Stockholm University, funding of SEK 4.9 million for a project entitled “Distributional learning: Domain-specificity and the impact of social cues”.

Linnaeus University, funding of SEK 4.7 million for a project entitled “Language processing: domain general or domain specific?”. 

Stockholm University, funding of SEK 4.6 million for a project entitled “Voice Quality Dynamics in Speech Communication”. 

Umeå University, funding of SEK 4.5 million for a project entitled “Choking under pressure: Linking math anxiety with math performance”.

Umeå University, funding of SEK 4 million for a project entitled “The power of one? – The long-term increase in one-person households in Sweden, 1900-2017”.

The Foundation Berättarministeriet, SEK 3 million in support of “Volontäruppdraget”.

Linköping University, funding of SEK 2.6 million for Peter Wallenberg Guest Chair in Visual Science Communication at Visualization Center C.

Uppsala University, funding of SEK 2.4 million for a project entitled “Integration against all odds? A longitudinal cohort study of Ostjuden children in Sweden, 1880-1920”.

Uppsala University, funding of SEK 1.8 million for a project entitled “Hunters as Farmers, Farmers as Hunters-animals, humans and landscapes in inland Scandinavia 1000 BCE-500 CE”.

Uppsala University, funding of 1.5 million for a project entitled “East and West in the North: Archaeology With and Without Borders in Northern Fennoscandia”.

Fryshuset, funding of SEK 1 million for a project entitled “Education for young people in criminal environments in Malmö”.

Nationalmuseum, funding of SEK 1 million for a project entitled “History painting and sense of history - national subjects in the visual arts c. 1780-1830”. 

The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, funding of SEK 558 thousand for a project entitled “Principals and pragmatism – The Royal Academy of Fine Arts - Students, teachers and members during the first 150 years”. 

Granted project funding of SEK 6 million each within the WASP-HS program:

Chalmers University of Technology, grant for a project entitled “The Rise of Social Drones: A Constructive Design Research Agenda”.

University of Gothenburg, grant for a project entitled “Professional Trust and Autonomous Systems”.

University of Gothenburg, grant for a project entitled “Gothenburg Research Initiative for Politically Emergent Systems (GRIPES)”.

Institute for Future Studies, grant for a project entitled “Predicting the diffusion of AI-applications”.

Karlstad University, grant for a project entitled “Bias and methods of AI technology studying political behavior”.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, grant for a project entitled “Ethics as Enacted through Movement - Shaping and Being Shaped by Autonomous Systems”.

Linköping University, grant for a project entitled “The Emergence of Complex Intelligent Systems and The Future of Management”.

Linköping University, grant for a project entitled “The ethics and social consequences of AI & caring robots. Learning trust, empathy and accountability”.

Lund University, grant for a project entitled “Quantum Law: The Legal Significance of Quantum Computing”.

Lund University, grant for a project entitled “The imperfect creator creating the perfect: Ethics for autonomous systems/AI”.

Lund University, grant for a project entitled “AI Transparency and Consumer Trust”.

Umeå University, grant for a project entitled “Digital Companions as Social Actors: Employing Socially Intelligent Systems for Managing Stress and Improving Emotional Wellbeing”.

Uppsala University, grant for a project entitled “BioMe: Existential Challenges and Ethical Imperatives of Biometric AI in Everyday Lifeworlds”.

Uppsala University, grant for a project entitled “Artificial Intelligence, Democracy and Human Dignity”.

Uppsala University, grant for a project entitled “The Labor-Market Impact of Firm-Level Adoption of AI and Autonomous Systems”.

Uppsala University, grant for a project entitled “The New Scientific Revolution? AI and Big Data in Biomedicine”.

Contact:

Oscar Stege Unger, Wallenberg Foundations
Tel: +46 (0)70 6242059
oscar.stege.unger@wfab.se

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.

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