The Swedish research community is dependent on international contacts and collaborations to bring back knowledge produced outside Sweden’s borders in order to build up our own research. International exchanges are necessary to promote innovation, stimulate the exchange of research ideas and develop new research methodologies.
It must be easy for researchers at Swedish higher education institutions to take part in international collaboration. It must also be easy for researchers from other countries to work in Sweden.
The Swedish Research Council works in various ways to stimulate international research collaboration. We discuss policy issues with other research actors. Many collaborations also concern the funding of research and international research infrastructure. Collaboration takes place at several different levels: Within Sweden, the Nordic countries, the EU, and globally.
How Sweden organises its collaborations
To coordinate our international engagement, the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish research funding bodies Vinnova, Forte, Formas, the Swedish National Space Agency and the Swedish Energy Agency have joined together into special groups. On some issues, the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education, STINT, also participates.
One of the groups – EU-Sam – coordinates issues relating to the EU’s framework programme, and the ‘partnership programmes’. Coordination of Sweden's international cooperation outside the EU is handled by Intsam. In addition, there is a working group for coordination at Nordic level.
Joint research and innovation office in Brussels
The Swedish Research Council and Vinnova have a joint research and innovation office in Brussels, known as SWERI (Sweden Research and Innovation Office). The office acts as a base for the work on monitoring and analysing the development within the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation. It also functions as a hub for contacts with the European Commission and other actors operating from Brussels.
The office chairs IGLO, a network for research and innovation offices in Brussels. The purpose of the network is to facilitate collaboration between the member organisations, their national research systems and the EU institutions.
Global Research Council, GRC
The Swedish Research Council participates in the Global Research Council, GRC. The Global Research Council is an organisation consisting of the heads of funding bodies and organisations conducting research, from all over the world. At the annual meeting, more than one hundred members from around fifty countries take part.
The members have agreed on joint principles in a number of areas, such as how interdisciplinary science should be handled, and what is required to achieve gender equality in research. Other topics raised by the Global Research Council are peer review, capacity building, and the interaction between basic research and innovation.