On September 14, over 160 stakeholders from the life science community gathered for a discussion on the first version of the strategy for the SciLifeLab & Wallenberg National Program for Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS). The aim was to get input to improve and further develop the strategy.
The event was kicked-off by Olli Kallioniemi, Director SciLifeLab, and Siv Andersson, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. Thereafter the participants listened to a presentation on the initiative and its importance by Hans Adolfsson, vice-chancellor Umeå University, chairman of Huvudmannarådet and got the European perspective on strategies for data-driven life science from Jan Korbel, Senior Scientist Genome Biology & Head of Data Science, EMBL Heidelberg.
The four research areas of the DDLS program; Data-driven Evolution and Biodiversity; Data-driven Precision Medicine and Diagnostics; Data-driven Cell and Molecular Biology; and Data-driven Epidemiology and Infection Biology were presented by the respective research area leads, Fredrik Ronquist (NRM), Janne Lehtiö (KI), Emma Lundberg (KTH) and Oliver Billker (UmU). Data process was addressed by Johan Rung, who is head of the SciLifeLab Data Center.
During the panel session, a fruitful discussion on how to further improve and concretize the strategy was held and provided useful feedback on strategy development. The industry perspective was highlighted among others by Anna Sandström, Director Science Policy and Relations Europe at AstraZeneca, and Frida Lundmark, Life Science expert at Lif, representing the trade association for the research-based pharmaceutical industry in Sweden. The healthcare perspective was put in focus through useful input on the strategy from Clara Hellner, Director of Research and Innovation at Region Stockholm.
Frida Lundmark said “Lif is happy to see that precision medicine and diagnostics is one of the four strategic research areas” and continued to reach out a hand from the industry; “from Lif, we are very much looking forward to follow the development of the initiative and to contribute from our perspective to the initiative and the strategic agenda and look forward to continue the dialogue and further develop our thoughts and collaboration.”
Anna Sandström suggested the establishment of an “Industrial Advisory Board, populated by representatives from companies with life science R&D in Sweden”. She also highlighted the need for focus on “industry dialogue on formulation of the Industrial PhD and Postdoc instruments, and more broadly how will DDLS promote major collaborations in place with industry”.
The DDLS program requires a joint long-term strategy to succeed in its ambitions and create synergistic benefits for the entire life science ecosystem. The next step is to process the views and consider them in preparation of the next version of the strategy.
A recording of the presentations and discussion is available here.
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