This content was published in the period between 3 October 2014 and 20 January 2019

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 20 January 2019 she was Minister for Higher Education and Research.

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 20 January 2019 she was Minister for Higher Education and Research.

Speech at the inauguration of the Integrated Cardio Metabolic Centre (ICMC)

Published

Karolinska institutet (KI), June 2, 2015
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Thank you for inviting me to this inauguration. It is a great pleasure to be here, and to participate in forming a better environment for Swedish research.

It is my mission as Minister for Higher Education and Research to enable the formation of excellent research environments. And this is one of those environments!

Karolinska institutet is one of the internationally most famous  Swedish universities. I want to form a government policy that can help you maintain, and improve, your leading position in the world.

Our government is now in the process of forming the research policy for the coming decade. It will be presented in a bill to parliament next year.

And we want input from the scientific community in our work to produce this strategy. This process is now starting. We have invited all universities, university colleges, academies and research funding organizations to give us their input. We think it is important to have a broad discussion about research. That is why we also welcome input from companies and organizations.

I have also appointed an advisory council, Forskningsberedningen, consisting of renowned scientists from different fields, who will give their input to our work.

Following the advice from the scientific community and other stakeholders, we will develop the details in the coming research bill to parliament which we plan to present in 2016.

And I wish to mention a few priorities that the Swedish government has identified for our new research policy:

Research needs to be viewed as a long-term activity. That is why the new research bill will include a 10-year perspective.

Basic funding to universities and colleges will have priority. The portion of institutional funds needs to increase.

Working conditions for young researchers needs to improve – for research as a whole to thrive, but also to make sure the best young talents choose a carrier in science.

For Sweden to be a prominent research nation academia needs to be more gender equal – this enables both men and women to realize their full potential.

The connection between research and higher education should be strengthened. This is important to raise the quality of education, and to inspire the next generation of top researchers.

The Government’s goal is also to make higher education available and accessible all around Sweden. The Government will also work to increase the quality of higher education.

The Karolinska institutet is a very international institution with many students, graduate students and scientists from all over the world. This is contributing to the high quality that research and education have at Karolinska. This very is positiv, since the government's ambition is to increase internationalization of higher education.

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Regarding ICMC, I think it is a unique cooperation between academic research and industry.

I would like to see more collaborations of this kind. It is important that publicly funded research is useful for society in many ways. It can be that by providing highly educated people through higher education, by new scientific breakthroughs - but also by cooperation between scientists and companies.

In times when the pharmaceutical industry is transforming, it is important that the academic sector is available as a source for knowledge transfer to industry. And as a place where industry can find world leading research in areas of interest for their R&D.

Life science is an area that has high priority for the Swedish government. There are many reasons;

 

  • The demands from the health sector are growing – especially since a larger proportion of the population are elderly
  • The life science industry has gone through a tough change and is more and more dependent on collaborations with academic science and health care providers
  • The technical development has made it possible for different disciplines to work together in new ways

There are also specific challenges that need to be addressed within life science.

There is a need for funding mechanisms that lead to increased quality of research and that will support existing research in the best possible way. But they also need to create opportunities for the development of new areas and innovative methods.

Life science research also requires advanced equipment and research facilities. Creating access to such top-class research infrastructure requires national coordination and financing.

Other important challenges are how to better integrate basic and clinical research and how to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation as well as collaboration.

Recently, the Prime Minister has launched an Innovation Council to strengthen Sweden’s competitiveness and one of their highlighted areas is life science. I am a member of the council, and so far we have had two inspiring and productive meetings.

To that end, we have also recently appointed a national coordinator for life science, Anders Lönnberg. The coordinator will support the government’s life science work, including overseeing a group of experts from various areas of the life science sector. The input from this group will help the government to improve competitiveness. This can include initiatives such as research and development programs.

Sweden has a long tradition of research and innovation in the life science area. Now we are taking it forward.

The collaboration between Karolinska institutet and AstraZeneca today is very welcomed by the government and we wish you great success with you future work!

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 20 January 2019 she was Minister for Higher Education and Research.

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 20 January 2019 she was Minister for Higher Education and Research.