In February, the International Advisory Board (IAB) presented their bi-annual report with strategic evaluations and recommendations for the future development of SciLifeLab to its leadership and management. After consultation with major stakeholders, a response has now been written and approved by the board, aiming to further strengthen SciLifeLab as a leading national research infrastructure.
“We’re pleased to announce that we have sent our response to the IAB recommendations, addressed to the chair, Prof. Jan Ellenberg, EMBL. In our response, we’ve embraced the engagement of the IAB and their insightful recommendations for the future development of SciLifeLab in all its dimensions. Most of the recommendations will be possible to fulfill without many changes from the plans already outlined in the 10-year road-map, and some are already under way. Other IAB recommendations will need more discussion between the universities and different stake-holders to find the solutions that are best for SciLifeLab and for Sweden”, says Ylva Engström, Chair of the SciLifeLab Board.
During the last four months, the SciLifeLab management and the board has contemplated the best way to implement the IAB suggestions and decided which ones should be pursued with the highest priority. In the new report which has been delivered to the IAB, the SciLifeLab management responds to the IAB recommendations.
“I think the overall tone of this year’s IAB report was very positive. SciLifeLab has acted on many of the previous suggestions, and the IAB seems happy about the progress. Of course many things still need to be done, and in some ways SciLifeLab is never “ready” and neither is any organization as the world changes around us. We now again have many things to consider and act on, and we look forward to presenting the progress to the IAB in about 2 years time”, says Olli Kallioniemi, Director of SciLifeLab.
The IAB report contained numerous pieces of advice, but five major topics were highlighted for consideration.
1) Complete the integration into a truly national research infrastructure with a strong Hub and distributed Nodes with complementary strengths.
2) Provide a mechanism for independent quality management for the research that is served by SciLifeLab infrastructure, promoting excellence across the board.
3) Leverage the integrated capabilities that have proven their value in the pandemic response to support large-scale visionary research.
4) Integrate the different fellows into a Swedish young investigator program with international recruitment based on excellence and competitive mid-career support.
5) Leverage Campus Solna to train the next generation of interdisciplinary leaders needed to move Swedish life science to the forefront internationally.
SciLifeLab’s continued work with the IAB recommendations will touch upon the entire SciLifeLab community – and influence decisions in everyday practice, such as calls, funding for infrastructure and data solutions.
“Most of the IAB suggestions are not really critique, they are just suggestions on how our actions could be improved in the future. And many of those suggestions are excellent.”
-Olli Kallioniemi Director of SciLifeLab
The actions required to implement and further develop SciLifeLab in accordance with the IAB evaluation can be done at the board level in creating wise decisions, at the management and operations level to execute such suggestions, but also at the level of every scientist to consider what the impact of their own actions would be.
“I am happy to see our response to the IAB’s suggestions published today. This document will explain in detail on how SciLifeLab intends to adapt and evolve in response to these suggestions and, in some cases, how we will change our profile in the future. It is important that we make this document publicly available to the big research community and our internal and external stakeholders. Together with Ylva Engström, the chair of the SciLifeLab board, we also wish to thank the SciLifeLab IAB for excellent suggestions, whose execution in many occasions will help us to improve our national mission and mandate. We also wish to thank the SciLifeLab community for their hard work and the impressive achievements that the IAB has documented and commended us upon”, says Olli Kallioniemi, Director of SciLifeLab.