Policy on Bilateral Agreements
The Swedish Research Council has found that bilateral research collaboration is usually handled most efficiently and effectively, at the researcher level. Hence, the Swedish Research Council intends to strengthen researchers' opportunities for bilateral collaboration, e.g. by working towards more and larger project grants.
In line with this approach, the Council's policy, in principle, is not to enter into bilateral agreements at a higher level. Priorities regarding the use of administrative and other resources may provide further reasons for this policy.
The position of the Swedish Research Council, should, however, not stand in the way of research collaboration between Sweden and other countries, but should help to eliminate potential obstacles of various types. Hence, bilateral agreements may be appropriate in some instances.
One reason to enter a bilateral agreement might be to support research collaboration with countries where such an agreement is a prerequisite for establishing collaboration. Another reason might be to provide Swedish researchers with access to infrastructures in other countries.
Bilateral collaboration with national research funding agencies and other bodies of key interest to research in Europe could also be a way to further strengthen coordination in European research.