Swedish-Korean research collaboration on Covid-19

Sweden and Korea are together seeking collaborations for research that address Covid-19 related issues. A call for proposals for research collaboration is open (until 25 august) in Sweden and Korea, with the aim of exploring direct measures that...

Sweden and Korea are together seeking collaborations for research that address Covid-19 related issues.

A call for proposals for research collaboration is open (until 25 august) in Sweden and Korea, with the aim of exploring direct measures that can be implemented within a short time frame. This include broad aspects of medical and epidemiological research and it should be conducted between 1 December 2020 to 31 December 2021.

The Swedish call made by VR can be found here, and the Korean call from NRF can be found here.

International opportunities

No doubt there are ample opportunities for funding on research that is somehow relating to Covid-19, the virus and epidemics right now. The Swedish VR is opening a call for collaboration with researchers in China from 22 June.

In Korea, NRF closed a rapid call for multinational cooperation on research to overcome the crisis of the Covid19 epidemic. They received about 50 applications and expect to award 4 or 5. Swedish VR made a call in May that was open only 2 weeks and still received 257 applications. The awards will be communicated in July.

Not only government funding

The Swedish government decided in April to immediately make available 13 billion KRW / 100 million SEK for research and innovation that can contribute to stopping the spreading of the novel coronavirus and to strengthen resilience and preparedness for it in the society. The focus should be on concrete results such as vaccine, health technologies, treatments and diagnostics, but also including epidemiology and tracing. VR is coordinating this together with the Innovation Agency Vinnova that also have open calls relating to Covid (search “covid”).

A major private research funding foundation, Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse (KAW), is investing another 16.8 billion KRW / 130 million SEK, in Covid-19 related research, bio-banks and analytical materials. Together with SciLifeLab, KAW’s call received 285 applications and eventually 67 projects were awarded funding.

A national database on research data relating to Covid-19 is managed by SciLifeLab, a national resource in Life Science.

An inspiring initiative for international cooperation is the EUREKA Network for Covid-19 where 11 countries are participating, not only from EU but also Canada, South Africa and Turkey.

Matching without travelling

A global pandemic requires global collaboration but to cooperate we need to connect in networks of people whose work is relevant to each other and that would like to work together. How do we make new connections when travel is not a viable means for meeting? Thinking back to my own years as researcher in academia the best connections were made at conferences. That’s old school. What’s the new school?