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“Start working on a new e-infrastructure agency now”

The report on national research infrastructure, which was recently submitted to the Government, has been eagerly awaited, and we are reading it with great interest. We can already now express our support for the proposal to set up a new public agency for e-infrastructure. But the report would have benefitted from also including international research infrastructure,” says Sven Stafström, Director General of the Swedish Research Council.

Phofo of Sven Stafström, Director General, Swedish Research Council

Photo: Johanna Hanno

The final report from the inquiry into the organisation, governance and funding of research infrastructure has now been published, and many of us are reading the proposals made by Tobias Krantz, Chief Investigator, with great interest. The need for advanced research infrastructure is growing fast in nearly all scientific fields, and it is of the utmost importance that Sweden manages research infrastructure in an effective way, based on this need.

The report has four main parts: funding formats for national research infrastructure, organisation and governance of national research infrastructure at higher education institutions, prioritising of infrastructure investments, and a national organisation of e-infrastructure for research. The Swedish Research Council had previously expressed a wish that these issues should be investigated, and it is gratifying that his has now been done.

In terms of the inquiry part relating to a national organisation of e-infrastructure for research, the Swedish Research Council and the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions have together proposed that this should be managed by single new public agency, and we are pleased that the inquiry reached the same conclusion. We can therefore already now give our support for such an organisation, and hope that the work of setting this up can begin as soon as possible.

I would also like to repeat one of the opinions we put forward on the inquiry’s committee directive, namely that the inquiry would have benefitted from including international research infrastructure in the sections relating to funding formats and prioritising. Having access to international research infrastructure is absolutely crucial for many research fields, and from a research perspective, it is often the combination of national and international infrastructure that creates the preconditions for advanced research.

We will now be analysing the proposals of the report in detail, and hold dialogues with other stakeholders. The close link between research and research infrastructure that we regard as crucial for finding solutions to important societal challenges will form the guideline for this work.

Sven Stafström, Director General, Swedish Research Council

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