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Published: 2023-11-16

Infrastructures in focus during Swedish Research Council visit

NEWS A delegation from the Swedish Research Council, led by Director General Katarina Bjelke, visited Umeå University to discuss common strategic issues. These included strategies for strengthening excellence in Swedish research, increasing Sweden's participation in EU framework programs and long-term management of national research infrastructures. The visit began with a meeting with the university management and ended in the research environments IceLab and Humlab.

"Dialogue with the Swedish Research Council is important for the university's quality work in research and for the work of successfully obtaining research grants. A key issue in this context is also the calls for partial funding of national research infrastructures and open project grants in broader areas that the Swedish Research Council is responsible for. Something that is absolutely necessary to safeguard independent basic research," says Pro-Vice-Chancellor Katrine Riklund.

Long-term plan for national research infrastructures

One point of discussion during the visit was how the Swedish Research Council and higher education institutions can achieve long-term management of national infrastructures. The delegation met representatives of the Integrated Science Lab (IceLab), which is one of 15 research environments that in June 2023 were awarded a grant in the Swedish Research Council's excellence initiative. The grant will be used for research into what happens when living systems are exposed to stress, such as how plants deal with drought or bacteria adapt to new environments.

The Swedish Research Council's visit ended at Humlab where they received a presentation of Humlab's activities as a physical environment and as a strong competence center for digital humanities. Humlab houses the research infrastructures Huminfra, Swe-Clarin and Infravis, which are funded by the Swedish Research Council.

"The meeting at Humlab resulted in a very rewarding conversation about humanities, research infrastructures and especially the importance and role of digital humanities in research and teaching at Umeå University. Since our activities are based on three pillars: competence, environment and equipment, I appreciate the opportunity to both tell about and showcase our activities. As well as talk about how Humlab continues to be a leading national competence center in digital humanities," says Director Karin Danielsson.