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Expertpanelen inom Cancer
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1049         Eriksson, Per Filip Billy                       Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Lunds universitet



                   Projekttitel
                   BioCARE - biomarkörer i cancermedicin

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                         Cancer (VR-St-Can)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The "biocare" proposal is sponsored by the universities of Lund and Goteborg.
The leading scientists involved in the proposal have strong publication records, with numerous publications in highly ranked
journals. Ake Borg and Joachim Dillner appear to have a particularly strong track record. The main scientific achievements of
the participants are well summarized in the proposal. We conclude that the participants form a very active group of highly
competent medical scientists with a strong research focus. This provides a strong basis for the pursuit of their biomarker
program.
One may regret that the proposal lacks a strikingly innovative element.
The scientific environment is already strong and it has high potential for development because of the availability of a large
population of cancer patients, particularly breast cancer patients, and well established technological platforms.

The proposal involves the creation of a jointly run research school to organize a doctoral program. It also involves the
creation of half-time positions enabling clinicians to carry out significant research programs.This is very commendable.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The societal impact includes potential new diagnostics and treatments for cancer, development of new approaches for
cancer prevention , increased potential of success for current drug therapies through personalized treatment regimens.

There will be increased economic development through job creation and generation of new start-up companies
The strategies to translate research findings into new therapies are sound.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
No major purchase of new equipment is requested as advanced platforms are already available. However , these platforms
will require constant upgrading at a significant cost.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This is an excellent application from a very good research institution aiming at coordinating their current cancer research
efforts. The strengths lie in the strong group of highly productive scientists who will populate this Center, the strategic
approach to the expansion of current cancer research capabilities, the existence of excellent core facilities/databases , new
efforts to train and support young cancer researchers, strong alliances with hospitals and companies that will allow translation
of basic findings into the clinical arena.There is confidence among the panel members that funding of this initiative will lead to
new discoveries that can be translated into better cancer diagnosis/prevention/treatment.




                                                                Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Can, 2009-1049 Eriksson, Per Filip Billy
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1071         Wallberg-Henriksson, Harriet                   Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Karolinska Institutet
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   Centrum för Integrerad Cancerforskning vid Karolinska Institutet (CICS-KI) -en miljö för translatorisk
                   cancerforskning

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Cancer (VR-St-Can)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
A) Scientific Quality
This is a highly ambitious and sophisticated proposal from a world class institution to develop a Center for Integrated Cancer
Studies (CICS). The major strength of the proposal lies in the high quality multidisciplinary scientific consortium that will
oversee and populate this initiative, the pre-existing research infrastructure (core facilities, registries, laboratories) that will
form the basis for the CICS, the relevance of the four focus areas to the future of cancer diagnosis, treatment and
prevention, and the already-established relationships with internal and external partners to move findings towards
commercialization. The majority of the research focus relies heavily on the documented expertise of the current faculty, a
strategic decision that enhances the likelihood of success. The recent addition of Drs. Ohlsson and Taipale both broadens
and strengthens an already strong cadre of scientists and brings new technology to the enterprise. The two infrastructure
initiatives – a molecular pathology facility dedicated to tissue microarrays and IHC, as well as a pre-clinical trial facility for the
in-depth analysis of mouse and cell culture tumor models – again build on existing and complementary strengths within the
institute, although some of the details as to how these facilities will be operated remain vague.
B) A number of educational initiatives have been proposed, including focused support for postdoctoral trainees and MD-PhD
and residency programs. These initiatives seem appropriate, although the proposal would have benefitted from a more
detailed description of curriculum development and other programmatic features to determine whether this initiative is
particularly innovative, and whether it will indeed surpass current approaches to training future clinician scientists. A strategic
investment in the recruitment of junior scientists is also viewed positively, although a discussion of the mentoring activities
that will be in place to assure their success was lacking.
C) Overall, there has been an impressive and strategic investment in KI’s research infrastructure over recent years
(250MSEK), including the development of cancer-focused research centers of excellence, state-of-the-art core facilites and
SCS research grants (of which KI holds 41%). All this bodes well for the success of this new venture. KI has also been
recognized as an international leader in cancer research, as evidenced by publications in top-rate international journals,
leadership participation in international symposia/panels, and procurement of research grants from international agencies
(including NIH and AICR).
D) The Karolinska Institute enjoys an excellent international reputation, and a number of the cancer researchers
collaborating in the current effort are leaders in their field. The proposed coordination and expansion of research
infrastructure and training should enhance Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness. The development of an
international SAB to evaluate ongoing and planned research will be a critical factor in this regard.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:




                                                               Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Can, 2009-1071 Wallberg-Henriksson, Harriet
A) The impact on society and the business sector include: potential new diagnostics/treatments for cancer, development of
new approaches for cancer prevention, increased potential of success for current drug therapies through personalized
treatment regimens, decreased sick time = increased job performance, increased economic development through job creation
(within KI), generation of new start-up companies, influx of support from large pharmaceutical/ medical device companies,
training of highly competent and sought-after young clinical translational scientists, international recognition for new cancer
initiatives. B) The strategies to translate research findings into new therapies are sound, and focus on moving new
discoveries into the clinical setting (enhanced by the existence of a comprehensive Clinial Trials unit) and commercialization
of new diagnostics/therapies. C) The collaboration between KI and the Stockholm County Council provides KI with a
partnership with which to develop/support research infrastructure, more effectively move new discoveries into the clinical
setting, and broadly impact clinical education. With regard to commercialization of novel discoveries, the Karolinska Institute
has an advantage as an academic center in that it has already established an internal commercialization infrastructure in the
Karolinska Institutet Innovation system that guides its faculty researchers from initial commercialization through potential
business partnerships. This can decrease the risks that may be associated with potential new technologies/therapies, both
from a financial and operational standpoint, thereby encouraging industry partnership and product commercialization. D)
Pre-existing strategic relationships – with the SCC, the new Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet Park (an
incubator), Karolinska Institutet Development AB (an independent investment company), University start-ups in strategic
areas, as well as major pharmaceutical companies such as Astra-Zeneca – will help to position new research findings on the
fast track to commercialization. The identification of new targets for cancer diagnosis/prevention/treatment and their
validation will help to feed the industry drug development pipeline.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The applicants propose two infrastructure initiatives. The first is a molecular pathology laboratory with three aims: 1) TMA
using mouse and human tumor samples to evaluate the relevance of potential cancer-related proteins, 2) tissue banking for
human tumors to be used for analysis and the development of primary cultures, and 3) expansion of the existing mouse
tissue analysis (MTA) unit with the addition of veterinary pathologists. This new infrastructure will work in collaboration with a
number of pre-existing units, including the Swedish registry system, the Human Protein Atlas of unique antibodies, the
SciLife Laboratory Initiative (Bioimaging), the mouse phenotypic analysis unit and the MTA. There is clear justification for this
infrastructure need.
The second infrastructure described is a Preclinical Trial facility, with a primary purpose of housing a variety of mouse tumor
models, and providing the necessary technology for their analysis (imaging, FACs). A second effort will be directed at
developing new mouse models. Enthusiasm for this would be enhanced if more detail had been provided as to how this will
be accomplished, how mouse tumor models will be chosen, how the facility will be operated (fee for service?) and what the
role will be for of each of the proposed personnel will be (an equal number of technicians and students/postdocs are
proposed – it is not clear what role the trainees will play, nor how their training will be accomplished). That said, a facility with
this capability would be highly beneficial to the cancer researchers at KI.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This is an excellent application from an outstanding research institution to coordinate their current cancer research efforts
under a new Center for Integrated Cancer Studies. The strengths lie in the strong group of highly productive scientists who
will populate this Center, the strategic approach to the expansion of current cancer research capabilities, the existence of
excellent core facilities/databases and plans to develop additional ones, new efforts to train and support young cancer
researchers, strong alliances with both healthcare and government entities that will allow translation of basic findings into the
clinical arena, a management team that will bring together academic and government leaders to determine overall strategy
and resource allocation, and a strong plan/infrastructure for commercialization of discoveries. The few minor criticisms do not
detract from the enthusiam for this proposal, and there is confidence among the panel members that funding of this initiative
will lead to new discoveries that can be translated into better cancer diagnosis/prevention/treatment.




                                                                Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Can, 2009-1071 Wallberg-Henriksson, Harriet
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                               Bidragsform
 2009-1073         Hallberg, Anders                                 Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Uppsala universitet
                   Universitetsledningens kansli


                   Projekttitel
                   The U-Can Comprehensive Cancer Consortium

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                            Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                          Cancer (VR-St-Can)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The U-Can Comprehensive Cancer Consortium (UCAN) is a proposal, put forward jointly by the University of Uppsala (UU)
and the University of Umea (UMU), that aims to strengthen their research activities and research output in the cancer area.
The two main applicants will also collaborate with the Royal School of Technology (KTH), who have a high level of know-how
in engineering, and with Stockholm University (SU), on account of their expertise in nucleic acids and bio-informatics.

The proposal is based on and draws its strength from a broad range of already existing research activities in the cancer area
in UU and UMU. Specifically, UU and UMU together look after about 30% of all cancer patients in Sweden, they have
experience with clinical trials, and they expect that within a few years some 80% of cancer patients will be treated within
clinical trials. But the main asset of the proposal lies in the excellent to outstanding scientific track record of the investigators,
both on the basic science and on the clinical side: for instance, Lena Claesson-Welsh in angiogenesis, Anders Bergh in
prostate cancer, Bengt Glimelius in clinical oncology, Carl-Henrik Heldin for his pioneering work on the PDGF and TGF-b
signaling pathways, Thomas Helleday in the area of DNA repair, Ulf Landegren in innovative methodologies for DNA and
protein analysis, Fredrik Ponten in proteomics, Britt Skogseid in endocrine tumors. Finally, it should be mentioned that Tobias
Sjöblom was the first author in a ground breaking paper (‘The consensus coding sequences of human breast and colorectal
cancers’, published in 2006, when he was working at Johns Hopkins in the laboratory of Vogelstein and Kinzler).
The proposal is ambitious, as it ranges from molecular and cell biology to finding new prognostic markers, to finding new
drugs and testing them in phase I trials. On the clinical side, research is planned on a wide range of malignancies, including
colorectal, endocrine, haematological, brain, prostate, and there is appropriate emphasis on advance imaging and
radiotherapy. From the point of view of clinical cancer research, the existence and further development of a tumor tissue bank
is to be regarded as especially valuable, and it will naturally provide material for further efforts in defining the spectrum of
somatic mutations in all the tumors mentioned. Undoubtedly the basic work on signalling pathways, angiogenesis and DNA
repair will continue to bear fruit, and it should be ideally integrated with the clinical work. Thus, there is little doubt in our
minds that through UCAN Sweden’scientific competitiveness in cancer research will be enhanced. For most of the scientists
and for all the clinical scientists involved cancer seems to be already the priority area: this is likely to encourage young people
who have these scientists as mentors to enter this aresa, and this will be conducive to further developing excellence in cancer
research.
Perhaps because of the format of the application, whereby specific research projects were not presented, at places the
writing lacks focus. For instance, the boxes and arrows diagram in Fig 1 of Appendix 2 is rather vague, and in that section of
the application there is no prioritization among finding new mutant genes, defining mutational landscapes in specific subsets
of tumors, identifying drug-resistance mutations versus mutant clones selected by drugs, and targeting known mutant genes:
it is unlikely that all of this can be done for all tumors within the time span of the current UCAN application. With respect to
management, it is not quite clear from Fig 2 of Appendix 4 how it is going to work: it is good for the Director to have a
Steering Committee to support her: but the Committee should steer, whereas the Director must be responsible for running
UCAN. In this respect, she should be able to appoint a Deputy in Umea and, if she sees so fit, additional deputies for specific
areas. The management structure proposed including a deputy director in Umea and the role of a steering committe as an
executive committee, with the role of helping the director to implement the programme, would be satisfactory.
In conclusion, the Panel feel that this application is of high calibre and that it fulfils the criteria of scientific quality itemized in
the Call for Grant Applications: Strategic Research Areas.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:




                                                                 Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Can, 2009-1073 Hallberg, Anders
It is evident that cancer research is strategically important for society and for the business sector. UCAN can contribute
substantially in terms of potential new diagnostics and eventually improved treatment for various types of cancer, increased
potential of success for current drug therapies through personalized treatment regimens, decreased sick time = increased job
performance, increased economic development through job creation, generation of new start-up companies, influx of support
from large pharmaceutical/ medical device companies, training of highly competent and sought-after young clinical
translational scientists, international recognition for new cancer initiatives. The components of UCAN have an excellent
record of collaboration with industry and there is every reason to expect this can continue. In this respect, pre-existing
relationships will help. The training of young people with role-models of high caliber will be especially valuable.


3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
There is good infrastructure already in place, the additional items proposed will strengthen the infrastructure appropriately.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
In summary, this is an excellent proposal that benefits from the efforts of scientists who are eminent in cancer research and
who clearly intend to work collegially. We confidently anticipate that the research output will continue to be of a high quality,
that it will improve cancer care, and it will have a positive impact on the training of oncologists and of young people who
intend to devote themselves to cancer research.




                                                                Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Can, 2009-1073 Hallberg, Anders
       Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Diabetes
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1039         Eriksson, Per Filip Billy                      Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Lunds universitet



                   Projekttitel
                   EXODIAB (Framstående Diabetesforskning i Sverige)

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Diabetes (VR-St-Dia)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
EXODIAB is a joint strategic diabetes research initiative between Lund University (70% of overall funds) and Uppsala
University (30% of overall funds) to develop new strategies for early risk assessment and novel therapies for prevention and
treatment of diabetes and its complications. The consortium comprises an outstanding group of 10 investigators focused on
several aspects of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes (T1D and T2D, respectively) to be led by Drs. Åke Lernmark and Leif
Groop, outstanding researchers in diabetes and highly qualified to lead the effort. Lund University and Uppsala University
have selected diabetes for their overall strategic planning for research emphasis areas. Seven projects are proposed aimed
to: 1) identify the underlying molecular events leading to T1D and T2D and test the pathways involved for their potential as
novel drug targets, 2) design a panel of biomarkers and genetic markers, which may predict T1D and T2D and development
of diabetic complications, 3) test whether vaccination can be used to prevent T1D, 4) exploit novel dietary concepts and
functional food for prevention and management of diabetes and obesity, 5) create a national Human Tissue and Islet
Research Resource for the cure of diabetes, 6) create a novel endocrine organ at an extrahepatic site for clinical islet
transplantation, and 7) test means to prevent micro-and macrovascular complications in diabetes.
The focus on both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes provides an opportunity to better define the parameters of each disease, as
well as to investigate the disease continuum. For example, the exploration of whether non-autoimmune processes contribute
to beta-cell damage in T1D is an opportunity to determine whether therapies such as exenatide and GLP-1 analogs may
have a place in T1D treatment.
Lund University (LU) is actively collaborating with selected universities worldwide in research and in the exchange of faculty.
In the diabetes area LU co-operates with the Broad Institute at MIT/Harvard, Oxford University, Helsinki University as well as
with a large number of universities as part of other research consortia. There are agreements with about 660 universities
(about 450 in Europe) in undergraduate and graduate education. It is stated that LU has the largest international exchange of
all the Swedish universities among its teachers and researchers. For diabetes, examples of ongoing EU-projects include
ENGAGE, EXGENESIS, EURODIA, CEED3, DIAPREPP and the Innovative Medicine Project SUMMIT (Surrogate markers
for vascular endpoints in diabetes). Particularly important to this consortium is to seek the recruitment of junior faculty
research positions in strategic areas of diabetes. Postdoctoral fellowships are also included, especially for study abroad
before returning to Sweden for more advanced positions. In this respect, plans are underway to include executive
management courses in attempts to develop better strategies towards gender equity.
The application would have benefitted from a more formal presentation of program priorities, especially in areas that affect
both T1D and T2D research programs as well as from details referent to the coordination of the different research projects.
Concerning the islet programs, the panel recommends that the islet expertise remains in Uppsala and that duplicating the
effort in Lund will not be well justified.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The strategic importance of this application is apparent in the already developed consortia such as SUMMIT which includes
18 European universities, a database company and 5 pharma industries including AstraZeneca, Roche, Lilly, and Boehringer
Ingelheim to facilitate and shorten development of drugs for prevention and treatment of diabetic complications. This initiative
will create one of the world’s largest data bases on novel genetic markers and biomarkers for diabetic complications (over
10,000 people with these complications will undergo WGAS, and biomarker discovery, including metabolomics). The
database is operated by LUDC. In addition, EXODIAB has the largest and best characterized biobanks for diabetes research
in the world totaling over 100,000 individuals, with DNA extracted and serum stored for biomarker analyses. This is an
invaluable tool to the business sector and to society in general.
The group has a strong track-record in industrial collaborations. Examples include: 1. Diagnostics & Biomarkers, 2.
Therapeutic targets, 3. Regenerative medicine, 4. ’Know-how’, i.e. Health economics and Social Medicine, and 5. Clinical
Trial Unit. Proofs of engagement and participation with the business sector include the commercialization of vaccines against
atherosclerosis. In addition, three different strategies are being developed commercially: Apo AI Milano for treatment of
coronary disease (Pharmacia, Upjohn, Pfeizer), recombinant apoB antibodies for prevention of coronary disease (Bioinvent,
Genentech) and an apoB peptide-based atherosclerosis vaccine. The EXODIAB research group has a strong basic and
translational infrastructure that facilitates the application of basic discovery to patent evaluation/application and business
development through the DIABRIGE product/business management arm of the program. The targeted research areas of
gene/protein discovery, islet biology, clinical trials and population health are all considered to be timely and appropriate
priorities of this program. There is a clear track record for developing and/or participating in regional and global research
consortia that promises to keep this program at the forefront of diabetes research. The translational aspect of the program for
future business development is quite strong. Thus, this consortium is positioned to have significant impact in diabetes, while
promoting business/economic development in diagnostics and therapeutics.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
In general EXODIAB partners have access to an excellent equipment infrastructure to support the research. However, some
areas need to be updated in order to stay competitive. For example, deep sequencing, not only of exons and cDNA but also
of whole genomes is now a reality and it will require a significant investment in the best available DNA sequencers. Other
potential areas include mass spectrometry for metabolomic studies, cell sorting using FACS, MRI and PET for animal studies
and nanotechnology for biomarker discovery. Presently there is an excellent current basic and clinical research infrastructure
to strongly support this diabetes initiative. The requested budget support for research positions, education, and equipment will
appropriately augment the physical and academic quality of this outstanding research group.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This consortium of investigators from Lund University and Uppsala University comprises an outstanding group of
experienced, internationally recognized leaders in diabetes research. There are a variety of strengths in this broad spectrum
of diabetes-related research including genetics, autoimmunity, islet biology/transplantation, nutrition/metabolism, and
disease-related complications. The fact that this group has a blend of investigators focused on both Type 1 and Type 2
diabetes research is especially attractive and makes this group adaptable to the rapid conceptual changes occurring in the
field. The reviewers were overall impressed by the application and rated it highly.
Strategies to increase Sweden’s competitiveness at the academic level as well as at the business sector and society levels
have been implemented as demonstrated by the several collaborations already existing with other universities in Sweden,
Europe and the United States. Business areas in need of exploration have been identified, prioritized and partnerships also
already developed or under consideration for early future developments. A valuable aspect of the application is the inclusion
of a human tissue Laboratory to provide access to tissue from human islets as well as target tissues for insulin action. The
translational aspect of the program for future business development is quite strong. Thus, this group is positioned to both
impact the major societal health care burden imposed by diabetes and to promote business/economic developments in
diagnostics and therapeutics. The plan to create academic positions for research sabbaticals is innovative, and provides
opportunities for additional training of Swedish investigators.
Taken together, this is a very competitive application that will contribute to the understanding of diabetes and its
complications and potentially lead to new treatment modalities as well as improvements in the ability to predict the disease.
This group of investigators is extremely competitive internationally and they are well positioned to make important future
advancements. However, one major concern needs special attention. As presented, the research proposal is overly
ambitious, to the point of appearing unrealistic. Along these lines, the application would have greatly benefitted from a more
formal presentation of program priorities, including a more clearly defined organizational and management structure.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Dia, 2009-1039 Eriksson, Per Filip Billy
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1060         Fredman, Pam                                   Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Göteborgs universitet



                   Projekttitel
                   Bekämpa typ 2 diabetes och dess komplikationer - etablera ett stategiskt forskningscentrum inom diabetes i
                   Västsverige (DiaWest)

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Diabetes (VR-St-Dia)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The application focuses on the treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes and proposes the following focus areas of
research:
1) Understanding the role and mechanism of the gastrointestinal tract in improving type 2 diabetes following bariatric surgery.

2) Further develop the new therapeutic targets identified, i.e. SNAP23, FOXC2 and WISP2 as potential treatments for
obesity, inflammation and diabetes.
3) Prevention and understanding of ectopic lipid accumulation, inflammation, cardiovascular and renal complications in
relation to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
4) Initiate a prevention trial designed to see how life style changes might alter the course of type 2 diabetes.
Supporting activities include: 1) development of drug targets potentially identified above together with mainly AstraZeneca, 2)
Establishment of a state-of-the-art phenotyping laboratory for clinical studies allowing characterization from genotype to
phenotype and 3) Establishment of research and career development programs in diabetes.
The scientist comprising the proposed research consortium has for many years been in the forefront within the research fields
proposed and already made significant contributions thus building further on a strong platform and expertise. In addition the
composition of scientists should promote translational research, since within each area, a mix of clinical and mechanistic
research is proposed. Furthermore, they can expand and build on a well established patient population including: Swedish
National Diabetes Register (NDR) including 220,000 patients and established in UGOT/VGR, and Swedish Obese Subjects
(SOS) – an ongoing, prospective, controlled intervention trial involving 2,010 obese subjects who underwent bariatric surgery
and 2,037 matched obese controls conventionally treated in the Swedish primary health care system.
The clinical material/expertise could have been better utilized in the application, by encompassing additional areas of
diabetes research. For example, the investigators appear to have missed the opportunity to use the same technology
platform to examine other aspects of diabetes such as the gastrointestinal tract in type 1 diabetes, beta cells, insulin secretion
and insulin resistance in a setting of autoimmunity.
Lastly, the overall aim to reduce type 2 diabetes and its complications by at least 25% within 10 years, although laudable, is
not substantiated as a realistic goal.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
One of the major collaborators of this group at the present time is AstraZeneca. However, few specific details on the
collaboration are provided. The applicants propose joint postdoc programs, but these are insufficiently detailed to adequately
judge whether this approach is likely to be fruitful. Formal alliances with other academic and industrial institutions - both
national and international - are to some degree missing, thereby not realizing the full potential for development of the
scientific environment.
The investigator team has already shown that it can capture the benefits, e.g. approximately 100 papers have been published
based on the data from the SOS study. Furthermore, the investigators have made a high bibliometric impact, a factor that will
strongly facilitate communication and distribution of research results.
Taken together, the proposed research and clinical trials have the potential to significantly impact the way we treat diabetes in
the future via the identification of new treatment modalities and identification of new drug targets. However, the approach is
limited both in terms of scope and in national and international collaborations. Thus, the applicants are missing an opportunity
to fully explore the potential of the proposed research and to develop the field of diabetes more broadly.
3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The investigators plan to hire one top researcher and 2-3 young lecturers or professors, and to develop a research assistant
program, a postdoc program and a PhD school in diabetes. Furthermore, the investigators plan to establish a phenotyping
core facility to utilize the large number of patient samples available. This proposed core facility would provide
state-of-the-art expertise in stable isotopes and upgraded equipment for assessment of insulin sensitivity and secretory
capacity, body composition, endothelial function and vascular imaging technologies. It is assumed that the “expensive
equipment" requested is for the establishment of this facility but this is not clear and should be addressed in more detail.
Otherwise the infrastructure of the proposed center utilizes the excellent existing infrastructure at the Gothenburg University.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This is a competitive and innovative application that will contribute to our understanding of obesity, diabetes and its
complications, and cement Sweden’s leading role within the research fields proposed. Furthermore, it may result in
identification of new treatment modalities and identification of drug targets to treat diabetes and its complications, e.g. 1) via
the development of better and more safe procedures for gastric bypass, the only known cure for type 2 diabetes, 2) via an
understanding of the underlying mechanism of gastric bypass on obesity and type 2 diabetes so that no surgical procedures
can be developed to mimic the effect and 3) via a further biological understanding/validation of the proposed targets. The
primary intervention study in type 2 diabetes may facilitate better treatments for the disease. However, the approach is limited
both in scope and in terms of national and international academic and industrial collaborations, thereby missing an
opportunity to fully explore the potential of the proposed research and to advance the field of diabetes.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Dia, 2009-1060 Fredman, Pam
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1070         Millnert, Mille                                 Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Linköpings universitet
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   Prevention av diabetes och dess komplikationer

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                         Diabetes (VR-St-Dia)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The general aim of this application from Linköping University (together with Stockholm University) is to coordinate the
resources and competencies in diabetes research for prevention and treatment of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes (T1D and
T2D, respectively) and their complications.
To accomplish these goals, the investigators have presented a variety of loosely linked projects. For T1D they focus on the
use of GAD vaccination as a treatment to prevent disease, ethical issues with respect to screening and prevention, protein
arrays for better screening protocols, and the role of stress and viruses in the pathogenesis of T1D. For T2D, they present
projects on insulin signaling/insulin resistance with mathematical modeling, the study of adipocytes from overfed subjects, the
role of islet amyloid polypeptide on islet survival in a transgenic mouse model, the differentiation of brown adipose tissue, and
mitochondrial processes in aging in mtDNA mutator mice. For prevention of complications, they combine access to long-term
study populations, such as VISS (study from 1983 for vascular complications in diabetes- which will help define parameters
of glucose control), and Cardipp (study found nocturnal hypertension in diabetics), study of vascular physiology, and studies
of IGF. They intend to develop web-based applications for improved patient education.
The strengths of this consortium are the involvement of pediatric research, in particular the commitment to clinical trials, and
its access to long-term cohorts of subjects. The program involves internationally recognized investigators. However, much of
the program relies on the use of existing patient cohorts to simply add minor ancillary studies rather than creating novel
research programs. Moreover, much of the proposed work lacks specific detail and it is therefore unclear whether the
expertise and scientific approach is sufficient to make significant advances. For example, none of the investigators have
special expertise in studying the role of stress in type 1 diabetes, the expertise in immunological studies is not profound, there
is no detail provided in the design and analysis in the modeling approach to insulin resistance, and no indication of how
findings will be tested in animal models is included. The GAD vaccination is an important achievement and component of the
project, but again, the investigators fail to consider how the findings could be complemented with other approaches and do
not anticipate the possible lack of a positive outcome. Besides, there was an additional ethical concern raised involving the
proposed use of pancreatic biopsies in human subjects. A more novel project includes the differentiation of brown adipose
tissue, but no details of what will be investigated are provided.
Overall, the combination of researchers has potential, but there is little strategic unification and networking either within the
consortium or with other institutions. Furthermore, little detail is provided of how the science will be accomplished, dampening
the enthusiasm for this application.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
There is potential for developments with industry (eg Diamyd, protein arrays, drug development), but unfortunately, there is
limited information about relationships with industry. The application fails to address this component, simply providing a
general description of LiU Innovation which is essentially a technology transfer office, but no specific details are provided.


3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
No immediate infrastructure needs are highlighted. Indeed, apart from a need for a new Biacore instrument, the investigators
state that there are no infrastructure needs. Moreover, there are few details provided on how funding will be used for new
research groups or investigators, training programs, or how to increase high end technology or human resources in Sweden.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              2
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
Overall, the combination of researchers has potential, but there is little strategic unification and networking within the
consortium or with other groups outside the consortium, and little detail of how the science will be accomplished, dampening
the enthusiasm for this application.




                                                                        Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Dia, 2009-1070 Millnert, Mille
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1068         Wallberg-Henriksson, Harriet                   Strategiska forskningsområden




                   Projekttitel
                   Program för translationell diabetesforskning, utbildning och vård

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Diabetes (VR-St-Dia)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This proposal is a consortium of Principal Investigators from both the Karolinska Institute and Umeå University. This talented
group of senior Principal Investigators has a long-standing and internationally recognized track record of excellence in
diabetes research, largely in the area of Type 2 diabetes. Investigators from the Karolinska Institute are predominant in the
application and this Institute is clearly a world leader in the field. A variety of comparative/literature citation metrics data
provided strongly support this view. Both the physical and academic infrastructures of this consortium are already quite well
developed. The research environment is outstanding and is considered to be state-of-the-art for supporting ongoing
diabetes research ventures. Importantly, several of the Investigators are physician scientists who are clinically active, greatly
positioning this group to perform genuinely translational research that is a major goal of the program. The proposal clearly
documents the involvement of the research community in bridging basic and clinical research activities.
The consortium will complement an EU-based initiative (www.eatris.eu) to create a complete infrastructure platform for
translational research involving all core facilities at the Karolinska Institute including a dedicated and centralized clinical
research center focused on metabolic aspects of diabetes and its complications. The consortium will be supported by a
BIOBANK to assist investigators in large-scale sample and data collections, a non-commercial core facility for academic and
health care-related research, with large collections of samples from patients with diabetes and its complications, by the
Karolinska Genomics Core Facility which offers a broad range of genomic methods for studies of health and disease based
on Affymetrix, Illumina, Sequenom and Applied Biosystems (ABI) technologies. The quality of the faculty, their outstanding
research record and the excellent facilities all contribute to making this an outstanding proposal. There are other areas of
strength described in the application that warrant support for the program. There is a strong management plan presented
that increases the confidence that program goals can be achieved. Also, there is an excellent description of both technology
and training platforms to be developed in this group. In particular, there was strong support for the development of an
international virtual classroom for the study of diabetes with established collaborative agreements with some of the best the
best academic institutions in Europe and North America with outreaches extending to Universities in Africa, China and
Singapore.
There were two primary concerns regarding the applications. One apprehension with this program is the overarching
emphasis on Type 2 diabetes research. While the proposal repeatedly mentions Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes research, there
is little documented experience in this group in translational studies in autoimmune, type 1 diabetes (with the exception of Dr.
Annika Tibell). In general, there is little distinction made in the proposal between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The proposal
mentions islet transplantation studies and using new immunomodulating agents to prevent Type 1 diabetes, but there is little
explanation of how such programs will be supported. This is important due to the very high relative risk/incidence of Type 1
diabetes in the Swedish population. There was an additional concern raised on how the initiatives developed in this program
intersect with and/or augment current major national and international consortia, especially regarding gene/protein screening
programs. It would be of general benefit for this group to outline how their program will provide added value to other existing
programs in this research area.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
There is no doubt that a major initiative in diabetes research is strategically essential for both the business sector and the
society in general, especially in Sweden where diabetes is a major health care concern. This Karolinska/Umeå consortium is
well positioned to translate discovery-based research to clinical trials. The program described is largely focused on
high-throughput technologies and corresponding data informatics to result in new gene/protein discovery. The major goal is
to use these data to identify reliable biomarkers for diagnostic purposes and/or to develop new therapeutic targets for disease
prevention and treatment. This group is especially well positioned to connect this basic research with business/industrial
entities to promote clinical studies. In particular, the Karolinska Institute has a very well developed infrastructure to execute
this program and there are clear Institutional commitments to further enhance the research environment. This group already
has strong industry support and a clear ‘bench-to-beside’ algorithm is described in the proposal. Noteworthy is the range of
onsite industrial partners, from established pharmaceutical to smaller start-up biotechnology companies. The
academic/industrial connection is viewed as highly competitive on the international level to develop new diagnostic and
therapeutic agents for clinical use.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The Karolinska/ Umeå consortium is supported by an outstanding and state-of-the-art research infrastructure. There are
major current and planned commitments by the Karolinska to further enhance the research capacity relevant to this program.
Importantly, the current infrastructure strongly supports both basic and clinical research activities outlined in the proposal. The
requested budget is appropriate for this program: equipment to support the high-throughput gene/protein analysis and
corresponding data analysis are considered essential. There is also a major budget allocation for graduate/ postdoctoral
fellow training, young investigator support, and recruitment start-up packages. This building of academic strength is at least
as essential to the building of physical infrastructure and is strongly supported to provide ongoing and future scientific vitality
to this research community. Support for both Scientific and Innovative Advisory Board travel is a minor but important and
appropriate component of the budget request.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
Overall, this group is a highly productive and internationally excellent group to promote translational diabetes research.
There is some concern that Type 1 diabetes programs will not keep pace with the outstanding Type 2 diabetes programs.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Dia, 2009-1068 Wallberg-Henriksson, Harriet
 
           Slutgiltiga yttranden

  Expertpanelen inom Effekter på
naturresurser, ekosystemtjänster och
         biologisk mångfald
Effects on natural resources, ecosystem services and biodiversity


Nr                2009-138
Applicant         Kåre Bremer, Stockholm university
Title             A multiscale, cross-disciplinary approach to the study of climate
                  change effects on ecosystem services and biodiversity


Statement
Scientific quality
This proposal advances scientific ideas that are at the forefront of ecological ecosystem
research and the capacity to undertake such research is not questioned. The coverage of the
main natural science themes is good. A number of interesting and currently relevant topics
have been outlined, and they include the linking of ecosystem services with underlying
mechanistic processes relating to ecological community traits and interactions, and
considering the impacts of climate change on these interaction and ecosystem level networks.
This proposed research is then set within an adaptive management context, with a view to
applying new ecosystem knowledge to improve land management solutions. There is
emphasis of modeling complex social and ecological systems. The quality of the scientific
work is likely to be high based on the established reputation of the applicants. However, this
is not immediately apparent from the proposal, as little detail is given on modeling approaches
or empirical procedures.

While the overall goals are good, the detail provided in the proposal is not particularly
convincing. The proposal rarely gets beyond an abstract description of objectives. Mention of
coupled socio-economic systems, adaptive management and functional trait approaches
conveys little more than an overarching framework by which to proceed. The research is
driven primarily by focused scientific curiosity rather than a clear recognition of the need to
address societal challenges. Thus there is a very heavy ecological focus to much of this
proposal that does not obviously respond to “fulfilling major needs and solving important
problems in society” in any direct or immediate way. The scientific outputs may well be high,
even potentially outstanding, but the societal impact is more questionable.

The section on social behaviour is weak. There is discussion of how social behaviour
contributes or detracts from the resilience of ecosystems (page 11), but the other loop of the
feedback—how changes in environment affect social behaviour—is apparently not
considered. There is little mention of how social behaviour might be influenced by the policy
or economic environment. The adaptive governance theme focuses on the failings of
governance, with no consideration of learning from the successes. Policy is considered as a
top-down government led approach, but there is little consideration of the many forms of
governance at local and district levels.


Strategic importance
This proposal is driven by the desire to provide a clear mechanistic understanding to the likely
environmental and related ecosystem service impacts of climate change. It further seeks to use
such understanding to improve the society’s response to these challenges, particularly through
the adaptive management approach that recognizes the coupled nature of ecological and social
systems. The vision does not include much in the way of public outreach and involvement of
various societal elements, either in shaping the research programme, in providing socially
relevant information, or as decision makers and ultimate beneficiaries.

Connection to the Swedish business sector is very weak. Indeed much of the research is
strongly academic in focus and there has been little attempt to establish links with business,
land management or policy institutions. Policy and economic dimensions are weak throughout
the proposal, and where they are considered it is in an abstract and theoretical manner.

Outreach and information dissemination is targeted mainly to the academic world through
journal publications. Mention of public seminars is included, but this does not seem to be in
addition to existing pathways.

Overall assessment
The applicants represent an excellent group of scientists who are highly regarded
internationally and have made substantial contributions to their respective fields. The proposal
is driven by an ecological imperative with societal and strategic considerations given little
weight, in contrast to the terms of reference as stated in the guidelines.

The panel recommends this proposal to be funded with residual funding.

Overall assessment: grade 3 – Very good
Effects on natural resources, ecosystem services and biodiversity


Nr                2009-141
Applicant         Per Filip Billy Eriksson, Lund university
Title             Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate - BECC


Statement
Scientific quality
Strengths:
Excellent, ambitious proposal from a team bringing together international expertise in a range
of disciplines including ecology, evolution, ecosystem function, climate studies, modelling,
economics and policy. There is a strong theoretical underpinning, a coherent approach and the
research proposed addresses important & outstanding questions that are likely to result in
outputs of international importance and to make a major contribution to this field.

The focus on indirect effects is timely and important.

There is a powerful blend of modelling, empirical work and long-term data which will build
on and advance existing strengths.

The team, for the most part, is a strong combination of internationally recognised expertise in
the core areas, and with experience of leading large research projects and addressing outlined
areas of research.

The ambition to establish infrastructure for long-term studies is important here in addressing
issues of climate change.

Weaknesses:
Ecosystem services are treated as a biological issue, yet it clearly has important human
dimensions that are less developed in this proposal. Similarly, the hydrological aspects are an
important component of ecosystem services, yet they have not been addressed in this
proposal.

The proposal argues for use of models and scenarios at science-policy interface. What this
would entail is vague.

How will synthesis be managed? Whilst it is great that the challenges of synthesis are
acknowledged, lack of a leader for this theme will be a problem in developing a coherent
synthesis.

Social science involvement is thin and stands in contrast to the proposal’s aim, approach and
claims.

The proposal requires more detail on the strengths and weaknesses of integrated assessment
modelling.
Strategic importance
Strengths:
Proposal is highly relevant to society and the challenges of climate change to ecosystems.

Clear pro-active approach to developing close ties to stakeholders. The strong engagement
element throughout the lifetime of this centre will be of enormous assistance in linking the
theoretical advances to their application at a large scale.

Another positive is the establishment of a research school as a platform for PhD students, and
focus on employment of new postdocs.

Weaknesses:
This centre is being proposed as one that will create an inter-disciplinary research programme
– which is a crucially important aim for such a research agenda. The programme involves
strong groups but it is unconvincing how this plan will develop interdisciplinary approaches.
In theme 4 (policy & scenarios) and theme 5 (synthesis) integration of approaches is
proposed, but how will interdisciplinarity be supported and encouraged? There seems to be no
attempt at any form of co-location of different disciplines – which is vital for the development
of new ID ideas.

The emphasis is on analysis of impacts rather than on the adaptive management of natural
resources.

Overall assessment
An extremely strong proposal of the highest scientific quality and of strong relevance to
society. However, it would benefit from more detail into specific research questions and in
how the elements will be integrated. The social science aspects were less developed and less
well integrated.

The panel recommends this proposal to be fully funded.

Overall assessment: grade 4 – Excellent
Effects on natural resources, ecosystem services and biodiversity


Nr                2009-143
Applicant         Lisa Sennerby Forsse, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Title             Effects on natural resources, ecosystem services, and biodiversity


Statement
Scientific quality
This proposal concerns effects on natural resources, ecosystem services and biodiversity. The
committee thought that this was an applied research proposal that addresses important
primary production industries in Sweden. The research programme focuses on the effects of
climate change on ecosystem services and biodiversity, and in particular on the impact of
these effects on agriculture including live-stock, reindeer herding, forestry, and freshwater
systems. Based on this research, climate adaptation strategies for the management of
biological natural resources, biodiversity, and managed ecosystems plan to be developed. The
research also aims at developing measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while
maintaining production levels in agriculture, animal husbandry, and forestry. The goal is to
amass scientific knowledge and develop tools that provide the foundation for responsible
decisions for the future that will lead to sustainable land use and production systems in a
changing climate.

The panel thought the strong points of the proposal were:
•              The proposal is focused on applied questions related to interaction between
climate change and production/ management systems.
•              It contained economic elements, and the team has links to other programmes
with social science elements.
•              The adequacy of research facilities available to the research at the relevant
institutions and potential to create added-value and results that can be generalized over large
areas based on existing data sets and system platforms.
•              The research team has some members that have international reputations.


The panel thought the weak points of the proposal were:
•             Some members of the committee were alarmed that the proposal contained no
references or literature review. The proposal was also incomplete and there is much repetition
in the proposal.
•             The proposal has no clear hypotheses or questions framed or clear statements of
how the research will contribute to the aims of the proposal.
•             Non-European collaboration is not apparent in the proposal and the proposal
would have been much stronger with this.


Strategic importance
The panel thought the strong points of the proposal were:
•            The proposal addresses questions of direct relevance to Swedish society.
•            The proposal appears to have strong links to stakeholders.

The panel thought the weak points of the proposal were:
•            There is large emphasis on dissemination of results but only by using tradi-
tional ways. More imaginative dissemination plans would have been an improvement. There
are few concrete plans for the ongoing involvement of stakeholders.
•            The role of advisory board in the consortium is very unclear. This is an impor-
tant omission given the applied aspects of the programme.

Overall assessment
This is a poorly constructed proposal that does, however, address an applied strategic area.
The balance in the evaluation is that the proposal’s weaknesses outweigh its strengths given
the fundamental criterion, defined by the research council, to give highest weight to the level
of scientific excellence in a proposal.

The panel recommends this proposal not to be funded.

Overall assessment: grade 3 – Very good
Effects on natural resources, ecosystem services and biodiversity


Nr                2009-147
Applicant         Erik Höglund, Luleå University of Technology
Title             Innovative Studies on Water, Ecosystems and Climate with the Society
                  in focus (ISWECS)


Statement
Scientific quality
Strength:
The focus is put on hydrology, urban systems, the surrounding catchments in a changing
climate. The applicants are strong on hydrology and engineering.

It has identified a specific potential problem and seeks to address this problem through
modeling, a mix of technical and environmental responses.

The research area is important for the society and the natural systems. The group is taking a
holistic and integrated approach to climate change and urban water systems.

The purpose is to develop strategies for managing urban water systems by conducting an
integrated and conceptual analysis. Research results could provide support for policy and
decision making including risk assessment, plans for the adaptation and forecasts of potential
problems and their consequences.


Weaknesses:
There is a lack of social knowledge among the applicants. Aspects on ecosystem services and
biodiversity are poorly developed. The science and theoretical concepts underlying the
proposal are not sufficiently clear. Some of the assumptions regarding biodiversity are
oversimplified. The likelihood that this proposal will increase Sweden’s international
scientific competitiveness could be limited. Economical aspects are missing. The proposal is
poorly written and there is a lack references to international scientific publications


Strategic importance
Strengths:
The research is very important for both society and the business sector because Sweden, and
other countries with a cold climate, need to get prepared for the effects of climate changes in
the domain of water management. Strategically it is internationally important, since the
project is the first large integrated interdisciplinary program in this field, with the focus on
cold climate. The project can contribute to development of sustainable scenarios for water
handling, new technologies, handling strategies and policies, and will be a help for decision
makers, planners, all businesses connected to water handling. E.g. early warning
systems/strategies will be developed to forecast extreme events.
The collaboration between the 3 universities shows that the capacity is in place and support
activities lined up, to transform the research into benefits for the society and the environment.

A triple helix cooperation model is applied for exchange between universities, industries and
society.

A knowledge transfer office at LTU will support utilization and spreading of research results
to the business and industries. Besides a business incubator exist at LTU with external
partners, financiers and venture capital. It has a high potential for generating benefits for both
society and the involved scientific institutions.

Weaknesses:
 Examples of necessary adaptations to the water management, due to climate change and in
regard of ecosystem/ biodiversity approach, and how the research would devote attention to
such mechanisms is not described in sufficient detail.

Lack of strategies and policies for engagement with stakeholders and business involvement.

Overall assessment
Strength:
Scientific knowledge on effects of climate change on hydrology tied together with the
expertise on management and engineering of water resources could serve many regions and
communities especially on boreal zone. The partners have networks including knowledge-
transfer organizations. In addition, important actors and international third-parties have
committed themselves to the program.

Weaknesses:
The operational plan seems vague. Not enough recruitment of young researchers is foreseen.

Little detail is given on communication and the way stakeholders are involved.

The methodology for stakeholder participation is not sufficient developed.

Interdisciplinary approach needs to be strengthened especially concerning the integration of
ecosystem services research. The whole proposal suffers from the poor structure and form.

The panel recommends this proposal not to be funded.

Overall assessment: grade 2 – Good
 
     Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Energi
Summary statements Energy


Mid-Sweden University (grade 3)
This visionary proposal to reshape the mechanical pulp and paper industry – a key and
challenged business sector in Sweden and the region – has relatively high risk and high
payoff. It therefore rises to the strategic level sought: Its ambition is transformational, not
incremental. The sharp focus helps to offset the somewhat lesser strength of the institution;
this could be offset by collaboration with complementary or stronger institutions.

Lund University (grade 3)
The application is a sound proposal covering much of the research areas, which have been
opened within the energy field. The application is stronger in some of the covered areas and
thus the total score would have improved had it had a sharper focus. The management
structure of the proposal seems fair and the relations to the industry are strong.

Umeå University (grade 4)
A high-quality proposal on 'energy combines' with focus on thermochemical conversion and
recognition of principal technical hurdles. The team should build-up robust infrastructure
(labs, equipment, and analytical support) and hire additional research staff. Investigations on
BLG should be expanded to other essential aspects of biomass conversion to fuels and
chemicals. The zeolite membrane reactor is worth pursuing for advanced reactor and process
development.

The management set-up is sound based on complementary and competent technical
capabilities, in particular with the forest products and automotive industries. Technological
breakthroughs could be expedited with expanded international collaborations, beyond
cooperation with Michigan State University.

The 'energy combines' effort will be strengthened with SLU leading efforts to address all
aspects of sustainability of feedstock production and supply.

Växjö University (grade 2)
The proposal addresses research questions relevant for the scientific and the industrial
community, particularly in the Swedish context. The applicants have considerable expertise in
that area and may have access to an advanced large-scale demonstration gasification facility.

However, the proposal does not present a completely coherent, original and convincing
research program. The proposed research pathways are somewhat traditional and do not open
up new vistas for the syngas production from biomass. The proposed research activities are
not sufficiently well embedded in the global research community or connected with the
Swedish industrial base.
Chalmers (grade 5)
This impressive proposal fits both the strategic and scientific aims of the call and delivered a
very credible response to all three areas of strategic interest. A strong management structure
combined with an internationally well connected collaboration approach gives confidence in
the ability for Chalmers to deliver against their ambitious proposed scope of activity.

The response to the HEV element of the proposal could be further strengthened by taking the
opportunity to improve the automotive supply chain aspects of the proposed scope of activity
and further develop the capability of the Swedish Hybrid Centre.

The panel noted the strength of the work on the heavy vehicle aspects within the HEV area
and the focus on sustainability across the whole proposal.

Linköping University (grade 3)
Linköping’s response is coherent, with a reasonable management structure and commitments
from the university board. The proposal is distinctive, but not unique – excelling in SiC
development and electronics/controls, but non-specific in photovoltaics (PV) and battery
technology. The ‘sun-to-wheel’ concept goes beyond their stated capabilities; the vehicle
systems aspects were not properly addressed.

Concurrent development of SiC technology for renewable and vehicle applications has
strategic implications for technology transfer, reinforced by strong interconnections with
engaged industrial partners.

Uppsala University (grade 4)
The STandUP proposal of three internationally acknowledged universities in the Stockholm-
Uppsala area has the ambition to build an alliance within energy research in four distinct
though coupled research areas. In order to fully exploit the high competences in each area and
create the necessary synergy and common activities, a strong management is required. This
goes beyond the organisational structure and guiding socio-technical platform described in the
proposal. The proposal has in general a high quality in current research, especially in
renewable production, transmission and sophisticated decision-making models. The proposal
draws on strong collaboration in the power sector and aims at deepening international and
industrial collaboration. A weaker area is Biorefinery and biofuel production and recommends
to be left out.
 
         Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Epidemiologi
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1032         Eriksson, Per Filip Billy                      Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Lunds universitet



                   Projekttitel
                   Epidemiologi för Hälsa (EpiHälsa): för innovation och excellens i öppet tillgänglig, basal-translationell och
                   tillämpad epidemiologisk forskning

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Epidemiologi (VR-St-Epi), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This proposal is highly innovative and has strong ties to clinical science and basic laboratory sciences. The application
concerns support for a joint initiative from Lund (LU) and Uppsala (UU) universities to create “EpiHealth” with three focus
areas: 1) Basic science epidemiology, 2) Applied epi and 3) Infrastructure for epi. They apply for 10-15 milion SEK/year out
of a total budget of 108-158 m/y. Both universities are top class and especially LU has included several major centres during
later years, e.g. for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke, cancer, infectious diseases and osteoarthritis. The two
universities have together an impressive amount of existing cohorts and biobanks and are strong in large-scale molecular
and genetic epidemiology. A major new initiative is the EpiHealth-Elderly that shall add to LIFEGENE through creating a
"new, national-wide database for middle-aged and elderly subjects". Data shall be collected from 300,000 individuals.
“EpiHealth” is a thus wide range project of high scientific quality, spanning from basic science epidemiology and translational
approaches to disease etiology (including gene-environment and gene-gene interactions), to applied and environmental
epidemiology and health economic research.
The basic science part, which is aimed at developing advanced molecular tools and biomarkers (e.g. in animal models) and
elucidating gene-environment interactions in existing and new cohorts, seems to be the area where the applicants have their
strength and largest potential for new developments. Most aspects of the proposal are well described and integrated, and the
applicant group includes several worldwide recognised epidemiologists. Some of the areas are, however, less
comprehensively described, e.g. those on social and life course epidemiology.
In some of the research areas proposed – e.g., breast cancer screening, diabetes, infections and cancer - the applicant
groups are internationally recognised and the maintenance of these areas is therefore a research and a public health priority.
Likewise, the maintenance of the existing (and unique for its scope and interest) biobank is of major importance. The
prospect for utilisation of data collection on 300,000 individuals using an internet based system integrated with biological
material when required is also promising. The integrated approach towards emerging infectious diseases may also have
relevant research and public health implications. The areas of biostatistics and bioinformatics have also considerable
potential for development within the collaborative group, as well as the very promising field of translational research. An
interesting initiative is the newly created centre for academic primary health care and epidemiology at LU with the support
from NIH and with a network of 30 primary health centres in Sweden delivering data.
There are however open questions on the integration between Lund and Uppsala Universities: this can be viewed as an
advantage, but little information is given on this aspect. The description of the infrastrucure is somewhat variable, and some
open questions remain with specific reference to methodology issues. There are other centres in Sweden with interest and
experience in elderly cohorts and gerontology, and the tradition and experience in the field of the applicant group is
comparatively limited. Thus, the importance and originality of a new elderly cohort could have been further illustrated.

The major values of this proposal are its originality, and its wide translational approach from basic science to clinical and
public health and policy implications. All together the applicant groups could contribute high scientific quality, have a great
potential for development and the proposed activities would no doubt increase Swedish international scientific
competitiveness in the area. The collaboration between two universities has obvious advantages in combining resources, but
also potential weaknesses if not proven to work successfully.
The potential for development of the national scientific environment, and for interaction with leading international centres, is
substantial. Several of the applicants have already demonstrated scientific excellence, and their integration in the project will
be likely to contribute to further development. Consequently, “EpiHealth” has the potential to significantly contribute towards
developing strategies to increase Swedish scientific competitiveness.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.
Assessment note:
The research proposed may lead to important findings and the relations to the business sector are well described through the
collaborations with pharmaceutical and biomarkers companies. The usefulness for the society of the listed activities as
regards surveillance and quality registers is also recognised. The applicants have had several contacts with pharmacological
companies and the experience of collaboration with industry is extensive at both universities. The UU group cites their
longstanding collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry in developing biomarkers to diagnose and tailor the treatment of
cardiovascular disease outcomes. The application also describes additional benefits to society that the project could generate
– including timely surveillance of trends in infectious and chronic diseases (e.g. the proposed nationwide sample of 300,000
older Swedish in the EpiHealth-Elderly cohort), more informed policy decisions based upon register-based health care
evaluation studies, and infrastructures to allow open access of register and bio-bank data.
The relevance of “EpiHealth” for the business sector and society is therefore well illustrated, with implications for the drug
industry (particularly in cardiology), epidemiological surveillance and control of chronic diseases, as well as for international
collaborative networks and dissemination. The aims are clearly relevant both for the epidemiologic research environment,
health care planners and industry. The biomarker epidemiology section has interest for private parties such as
pharmaceutical companies if new methods for measuring biomarkers are developed or indication for treatment is found.
Further, interest and collaboration with regional and national health authorities have been described for the applied
epidemiology section. Thus, health care planning might benefit from more efficient tools for monitoring systems. However, the
engagement and participation of these private and community organization are described in general terms only.
Facilities for surveillance of vaccination programs and development of diagnostic measures are planned. The collaboration
with the national public sector includes a number of quality registers for evaluation of health care and its quality managed by
LU and UU. LU has long-term collaboration with the National Board of Welfare and Health on birth defects. The international
collaboration is extensive within EU as well as with some US universities and with researchers in low- to middle income
countries. The proposed EpiHealth Elderly cohort as well as the primary health care databases could potentially deliver
important data for prevention as well as treatment of several diseases. New tools for prediction of CVD and diabetes are
envisaged, as well as new imaging modalities for characterization of myocardial infarction and atherosclerotic lesions.
The reporting system of health care and cost-effectiveness is also of interest from a public health and health economics
viewpoint, and “EpiHealth” has documented links with government agencies. The structures for data collection are well
organised, and their development with an internet-based system is promising.
The impact of the proposal is therefore considerable both on a public health and a research and development level.
Supporting activities including dissemination, technology transfer and international partnership in various areas (including
several meta-analyses), both on an individual and institutional level, are well presented and potentially relevant for the future
development of the project. The business sector and the community appear to be satisfactorily integrated in the project
development.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The application makes the case for developing infrastructure to support the joint activities of LU and UU in area including
bio-banking, epidemiology, bioinformatics, education, and quality registers.

Applicants (mean age 52) are well qualified especially within basic science and clinical research. Both universities have
qualified researchers and relevant educations. However, student environments and abilities for recruiting young researchers
remain open to further definition. The infrastructures available and those requested are functional to the project and
adequately justified for the development of the program, and the related requests are reasonable and adequately justified.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              5
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This application concerns support for a joint initiative from Lund (LU) and Uppsala (UU) universities to create “EpiHealth” with
three focus areas: 1) Basic science epidemiology, 2) Applied epidemiology and 3) Infrastructure for epidemiology. The two
universities have an impressive amount of existing cohorts and biobanks and are strong in large-scale molecular and genetic
epidemiology. A major new initiative is the EpiHealth-Elderly that should create a "new, national-wide database for
middle-aged and elderly subjects".
The actual extent of the collaboration between the two universities has not been clearly described in the application.

The research proposed is innovative and may lead to important findings and the relations to the business sector are well
described through the collaborations with pharmaceutical and biomarkers companies. The usefulness for the society of the
listed activities as regards surveillance and quality registers is also recognised. Thus, “EpiHealth” is an application from
internationally top ranking groups and has the potential to increase Sweden´s scientific competitiveness, especially regarding
the integration of basic science and epidemiology.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Epi, 2009-1032 Eriksson, Per Filip Billy
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1083         Sandberg, Göran                                Strategiska forskningsområden




                   Projekttitel
                   GENIE: Global Epidemiologi - Nätverk för Internationell Excellence

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Epidemiologi (VR-St-Epi), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The application proposes to establish a global peer-to-peer network focused on global health issues (GENIE). It is a widely
oriented project, partly based on local and Swedish databases, and partly on collaborations with other selected areas of the
world, including various projects based on populations from developing countries. The five prioritized research themes and
infrastructures brought together in this proposal are: a) population register epidemiology, b) health metrics (methods for
analyzing morbidity and mortality, for example via verbal autopsy), c) integrating qualitative and quantitative methods, d)
statistical methods for population health, and e) effects of climate change on population health.

The proposal leverages on the extensive connections already established between researchers at Umea University and
researchers throughout the globe, including many developing country sites. The themes of the proposal are tightly-knit and
address critical issues in the field of global health. The research group is highly qualified. The group has been recently
awarded a FAS centre of excellence award, as well as a VR award (together with the Karolinska Institute) for a Swedish
School for Global Health Research. Umea University already supports several projects included in the application, and has
agreed to contribute between 1.3-2.2 m SEK per year to their maintenance. The long-term collaborations with the
Vasterbotten Intervention Programme will continue to play a major role in the research programme. Screening data and blood
samples have been collected now from 90,000 individuals. The applicants also have access to long-term historical data and
are able to compare these with data from the global INDEPTH project. The close collaboration with the INDEPTH network is
critical, with the possibilities to feed improved estimates of mortality and morbidity back into policy and planning for population
health.
A weakness of the proposal is the variable scientific quality of the proposed projects. The focus on improved registration and
certification of deaths and diseases in developing countries is a recognized priority. By contrast, “climato-epidemiology” is
more challenging and subject to uncertainty. The section on developing improved statistical methods for population health is
vague. It is not clear from the description exactly what kinds of approaches and techniques will be developed to address
specific problems or issues. Overall, it would have been helpful to provide a more in-depth narrative of the scientific findings
from the projects so far. The findings that are currently highlighted in the text (for example, within the boxed figures) provide
only a superficial glimpse of the contributions of the studies. Appropriate attention is given to HIV in the proposal, but
relatively less to other major determinants of chronic diseases across the globe such as tobacco use and over-nutrition.
The proposal also assumes that long-term historical data from Sweden (1900-1950) can be generalized to inform
epidemiologic transitions across the rest of the globe. However, the practicality of this is unclear, given that theories of
epidemiologic transition remain descriptive in the broadest sense, and that developing countries confront a very different set
of issues today compared to Sweden a century ago because of globalization (population movements, economic integration,
technology transfer, climate change, etc). Lastly, the application is lacking in specificity as to how information from the Umea
Medical Biobank could be utilized to inform global health issues.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
Sweden has an established track record of contributions to global health, and within Sweden, Umea University has
comparative advantage, and is well positioned to lead the proposed effort because of existing infrastructure, including the
Umea Centre for Global Health Research, the Umea International School of Public Health, and the Swedish School for Global
Health Research (jointly with Karolinska).
The fruits of the proposed activities are likely to not only benefit Sweden but other countries as well. Regional, national, and
international health authorities have great interest in developing high quality monitoring systems and in improving methods for
health surveillance. The application is respectful of observing the need for bi-directional north-south flow of benefits which
the investigators aim to achieve through the peer-to-peer network and capacity building activities.
Some aspects of the project also have potential strategic significance for the private sector – e.g. the pharmaceutical industry.
However, these are not developed in the proposal.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
There is need for infrastructure investments in establishing the functions of GENIE, including costs of assembling and
maintaining large studies and databases, including the proposed POPLINK demographic data-bank. There are also
infrastructure needs for the work planned in developing countries. However, these needs are not adequately described, nor
covered in the budget.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The application proposes to establish a global peer-to-peer network focused on global health issues (GENIE). The
strengths of the application include: a) highly qualified team of investigators, b) extensive history of collaborations between
researchers at Umea University and researchers throughout the globe, including many developing country sites, c)
wide-ranging themes that directly address strategic needs in global health research, and d) richness of existing infrastructure
represented by the Umea Centre for Global Health Research, the Umea International School of Public Health, and the
Swedish School for Global Health Research (jointly with Karolinska).
The weaknesses of the application are: a) variable scientific quality/feasibility of the proposed projects, b) lack of detailed
description of individual projects (e.g. what improved statistical methods will be developed for population health), c) lack of
attention to major risk factors driving chronic diseases globally, d) lack of specificity regarding how information from the Umea
Medical Biobank could be utilized to inform global health issues, and e) lack of clinical epidemiology in the proposal, as well
as a broader discussion of how findings can be translated to practice and policy.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Epi, 2009-1083 Sandberg, Göran
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1084         Bremer, Kåre                                   Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Stockholms universitet



                   Projekttitel
                   Kunskapscentrum för Social Epidemiologi i Stockholm - sjukdomsförebyggande genom kunskap om
                   samhälleliga förhållanden och socialt spridda hälsorisker

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Epidemiologi (VR-St-Epi), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
“ A Capacity for Social Epidemiology in Stockholm” is a comprehensive and well written project, addressing several relevant
issues in social epidemiology. Sweden has clear international comparative advantage in the field of social epidemiology, due
to the many registry-based data (e.g. linking income data to health outcomes) providing large sample sized studies and the
ability to reconstruct long time series of data. The proposal to strengthen the capacity for social epidemiology is therefore
highly meritorious, and Stockholm University (SU) is well placed to lead the effort given the local expertise.

The overall aim of the project is to develop a deeper theoretical and practical understanding of how to prevent disease,
control major health threats and reduce health inequalities. The application presents a new perspective on disease etiology
and prevention by binding together thinking from social network with infectious disease epidemiology. There are five
components in the proposal. The first is a proposal to map the social pattern of health by conducting descriptive analyses of
trends in health inequalities in Sweden from 1960-2010, leveraging on the extensive historical data available. The second
focuses on stress and sleep as determinants of health and the third has focus on inter-generational transmission of disease
(e.g. Uppsala Multigenerational Birth Cohort). The fourth component takes up the modeling of disease transmissions across
social networks and finally the fifth proposes studies of how economic recessions affect population health.
The rationale for the various focus areas is satisfactorily described, while some of the individual studies and methodology are
not described in sufficient detail to make a clear evaluation of the scientific merit. It would have been helpful, for example, to
briefly mention whether th SLOSH cohort has collected objective meaures of sleep (via actigraphy). The absence of research
component focusing on health metrics (e.g. measurement issues in the health inequality) and methodology (e.g. causal
inference in studies linking economic conditions to population health and evaluation of mediating and modifying factors of
social social aspects) is somewhat disappointing, given the importance of these areas to social epidemiology. The project is
focused and does not involve genetic or clinical epidemiology. However, one would have liked a higher degree of integration
between the five focus areas in order to create the best conditions for scientific excellence.
These criticisms notwithstanding, this is a top level programme in social epidemiology. Especially the areas on social
transmission and modeling of social transmission are innovative and might increase Sweden’s international scientific
competitiveness in this research area. The idea of creating a national research database for social epidemiology health by
combining a number of registers in order to map social patterns of health is very relevant and build on the applicant’s
expertise in register research.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The association between SES and health is one of the major questions in health research and a new understanding about the
mechanisms underlying this association has great interest both for Swedish and international governmental bodies. Several
aspects of the application have potential strategic significance. For example, the creation of a new comprehensive National
Research database for Social Epidemiology, will improve the ability to conduct improved surveillance of health equity, as
recommended by the WHO, and promoting population health through improved understanding of the social determinants of
health. However, the application does not include a clear linkage to translation of research finding into intervention or policy.
The business implications of the project may not appear evident, but have potentially a large scope. Indeed, monitoring social
determinants of health may have important implications for the workforce, and the society at large, and the involvement of the
business and productive sector in such research is encouraged. Apart from the generic interactions with WHO and EU
programmes, the participation and implications for the business sector and the society are not adequately described. The
practical implications of the project for the business sector and society could have been illustrated in more detail.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
Applicants are as noted above well qualified especially within social epidemiology and there seems to be established a good
collaboration between relevant research institutions in the Stockholm area. The project seems well integrated in these
institutions.Thus, the network of collaborating researchers is organized around the social science faculty of SU with a
prominent role also for the ECDC and international collaborators, although the latter are scarcely described. The social
science faculty hosts several well reputed research groups including CHESS which recently was announced a FAS centre of
excellence. The other core partner is S-GEM that consists of 15 senior academics from all universities in Stockholm, working
together on the modeling of how infectious disease spread through social networks. Provided that the databases are
available, the infrastructure for the project is largely available and the project should therefore not require major additional
infrastructural investment. The infrastructure needs for creating a virtual Centre are also relatively modest and the budget for
the entire application is accordingly reasonable lean. However, the creation of a national research data base for social
epidemiology represents an important infrastructural need that would require additional resources.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This is a top level programme with focus on social epidemiology. Sweden has clear international comparative advantage in
the field of social epidemiology, due to the many of registry-based data (e.g. linking income data to health outcomes) and this
application has potential strategic significance- especially the idea of creating a national research database for social
epidemiology by combining a number of registers in order to map social patterns of health is very relevant and build on the
applicant’s expertise in register research. The application presents a new perspective on disease etiology and prevention by
integrating social network analyses with infectious disease epidemiology. This is innovative and might also increase
Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in this research area.
The proposal is narrowly focused on questions of social epidemiology and does not cover other fields such as clinical and
genetic epidemiology. The limited attention paid to health metrics and issues of causal inference is a weakness.

A national research data base for social epidemiology represents an important infrastructural need for improving the
surveillance of health equity as recommended by the WHO.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Epi, 2009-1084 Bremer, Kåre
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1085         Wallberg-Henriksson, Harriet                    Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Karolinska Institutet
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   Epidemiologi: från mekanism till prevention, från övervakning till säkerhet

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                         Epidemiologi (VR-St-Epi), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This proposal includes three research programs: 1) human interaction with microorganisms, 2) molecular, genetic and clinical
epidemiology: steps toward translational epidemiology, and 3) lifespan approach to health and disease. The application is
well written with good knowledge of some of the scientific frontiers, and a good understanding of what it takes to produce
competitive results in this field. Much space is devoted to the impressive track records of the applicants. The close proximity
to and collaboration with the Karolinska hospital is a clear advantage. There is a lack of detail as regards the cohorts that are
available or planned, for instance Life Gene. It seems like they will continue with much of the same type of research with
which they have been successful in the past, with not many new ideas or angles to the research program. However, the
translational research program is interesting and promising for new developments. There is little in-depth description of the
more precise scientific goals of the research, and the application would have benefitted from a stronger focus on new
developments rather than describing work that has already been performed. It is valuable that diseases such as chronic
inflammatory diseases are studied. The biostatistics and genetic epidemiology are strong features of the group. There should
be many career opportunities for young scientists with so many resources at hand, and the young investigator program is a
good idea.
2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The strategic importance for business and the society is well demonstrated, including potential implications for innovation.
The collaboration with industry, national and international regulatory agencies, and international partners are also a relevant
added value of the project. The surveillance of infectious diseases will be of benefit to society.


3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
For successful research in epidemiology, solid infrastructure as regards biobanks, cohorts, registries and data management
is needed. Establishing and managing this type of infrastructure is essential. Studies, such as the LifeGene cohort will require
large investments for biobanking. Also, making data and biological easily available for others, with good documentation of
content and data quality is necessary.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              5
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This is a highly respected institute whose researchers have published extensively in high-ranking journals. Their proposal of
three research programs is well argued for and with the resources available is likely to lead to more output of high-quality
research. The biostatistics and genetic epidemiology are strong features of the group. It is valuable that diseases such as
chronic inflammatory diseases are studied.
However, there is little in-depth description of the more precise scientific goals of the research, and the application would
have benefitted from a stronger focus on new developments rather than describing work that has already been performed.
The strategic importance to business and society is substantial. The group also has a good educational program and will
attract young scientists.
Overall this is an outstanding application from a group of investigators with an international reputation, which would
consolidate Sweden´s position in the field.
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1087         Fredman, Pam                                    Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Göteborgs universitet
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   EpiCenterVäst- Ett epidemiologiskt forskningsprogram för att minska global ohälsa

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                         Epidemiologi (VR-St-Epi), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The University of Gothenburg proposes to establish a world-class center of excellence in epidemiology, EpiCenterWest. To
achieve this it will adopt a life course approach to ongoing epidemiological research on important health conditions (e.g.
obesity, cardiovascular and mental illnesses, cancer and other chronic debilitating diseases). Current accomplishments are
well described.
EpiCenterWest aims to build a large cohort in western Sweden incorporating data from existing studies, many of which are
longitudinal and to enlarge this with new participants including offspring from populations that have been previously
examined. This large cohort is expected to include approx 100 000 individuals, including a three generation sub-cohort. The
cohort will also contribute 20% of the “index persons” in LifeGene. The application would have been strengthened by
providing more details about the new cohort (e.g. what sort of biological samples will be collected) as well as type of research
questions to be addressed by enrolling a multigenerational cohort.
GU applies for all together 54.5 MSEK and describes that the university in addition contributes with around 700 MSEK for all
their strategic research areas. According to the budget sheet "the university will allocate 50MSEK yearly over a period of 3
years to support and strengthen its strategic research profile areas" but it is not clear if some of this is incorporated in the
table for epidemiological research.
GU has an impressive record of keeping and follow-up longitudinal cohorts that now covers the whole life span, e.g. the
GROW UP Göteborg Database, 50 year old men every decade since 1963, the Women study with repeated examinations
over 40 years, H70 with several cohorts with examinations and follow-up of 70 year old individuals. The epidemiological
apporach is disease oriented and strongly involves clinical epidemiology. GU has been awarded a FAS Center of Exellence in
the field of epidemiology, called EpiLife focussing on children´s lifestyle and the obesity epidemic (including interventions),
PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epi study) and EpiStat.
GU is involved in international studies, e.g. the INTERHEART study, the large PURE cohort study on lifestyles and chronic
diseases, urinary tract studies, EURODEP on depression in the elderly and several of the researhers have active
collaboration with low income countries. Other interesting programs are the Cancer Survivor Program, IVF child cohorts,
musculoskeletal disorders and follow up of surgical treatments and a strong program in biostatistics.
Although many of the described fields of research demonstrate high quality since decades it is not obvious that there has
been any major collaborative efforts between the different groups. The focus is on diseases and very little is explicitly
mentioned about social determinants. Neither molecular epidemiology nor translational studies are mentioned. The
application demonstrates a high-quality, traditional and solid epidemiologal environment but not much new thinking or
fertilizing with molecular and genetic epidemiology.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The GU epi studies, which cover most of the major diseases, have and will contribute to major findings that can be used for
prevention and clinical progress. The close collaboration with the surrounding county councils offers large potentials for
clinical epi. GU also cooperates closely with the nearby Nordic School of Public Health and has been involved in several large
EU projects.
The proposal also claims that "researchers within EpiCenterWest work in close cooperation with many of the worlds leading
pharmaceutical companies" but does not give any more details on the results of this cooperation. GU has established a
Research and Innovation Service as well as GU Holding and the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to facilitate
commercilization and knowledge-based business development.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.
Comments:
The applicant is rather unspecific concerning infrastructure but claims that it has a good infrastructure for epidemiological
studies and that "investments will be necessary to promote the establisment of new databases, establish new biobanks and
obtain high performance computing resources".
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The applicant has performed an impressive number of excellent longitudinal studies since more than five decades and the
research demonstrates high quality but it is not clear from the application that there has been any major collaborative efforts
between the different groups. The major components of the program concern diseases and clinical epidemiology but little is
explicitly mentioned about social determinants. Neither are any molecular approaches mentioned nor translational studies.

The application would have been strengthened by providing more details about the new, planned cohort (e.g. what sort of
biological samples will be collected) as well as type of research questions to be addressed by enrolling a multigenerational
cohort.
The close collaboration with the surrounding county councils offers large potentials for clinical epidemiology and the proposed
program is likely to result in important clinical findings and some preventive insights. The applicant claims close collaboration
with pharmaceutical companies but without details.
The application demonstrates a high-quality, traditional and solid epidemiological environment with a clinical emphasis but
not much new thinking or fertilizing with molecular and genetic epidemiology, and limited integration between social and
clinical aspects.




                                                                        Samlade yttrande VR-St-Epi, 2009-1087 Fredman, Pam
        Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom E-vetenskap
 Dnr               Last name, First name                          Type of grant
 2009-1055         Fredman, Pam                                   Strategic Research Areas
                   Göteborgs universitet



                   Project title
                   Breaking new ground for eScience

                   Research area                                  Ev group
                   *HS och Utbildningsvetenskap                   eScience (VR-St-Eve)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The proposal identifies aspects of e-science that are exciting and promising (e-science for exploration and access, not only
for computation), and that (1) contribute to extending and implementing e-science applications and (2) provide new
challenges for e-science research.
This proposal addresses particular needs faced by researchers in the humanities, social sciences, education and medicine.
The proposal focuses on the development of methodologies and tools that will enable researchers to extract from text,
transform, mine and visualize this type of information in productive ways. This project mainly focuses on fundamental
research in Language Technology (LT) and Interaction Design (the improvement of specialized human-to-text and
human-to-computer interaction). The partners of this project at University of Gothenburg are capable of conducting
fundamental research of the highest international quality. In the field of Language Technology, Gothenburg’s ongoing
research also involves LT research groups from the Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), the Dept. of
Swedish Language and the Dept. of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science. Within the context of this proposal, these
various groups are committed to one or more of three independent, but mutually reinforcing, LT research projects. The
excellence of this work is clear.
The focus on potential new e-science applications in SHE subjects is important to furthering the development of e-science to
new areas of scholarship and for pushing e-science research forward. The labs are a good way to structure interaction and a
good mechanism for delivering the focus of the proposal. A focus on usability and user interaction is important, though the
excellence and position as international leader of this research is not as convincing as the LT aspects of the proposal.

While the proposal makes explicit its involvement with a number of research areas, it does not specify how the initiative will
go about engaging researchers beyond those areas directly involved in this research. Similarly, the strategy for
communication of research is very general and not specific to this proposal.
The proposal does not make explicit the positioning of this initiative in relation to other projects and efforts on the international
scene, such as the semantic grid, TextGrid and SOKU. This makes it unclear why the proposal would be an internationally
relevant e-science initiative. The proposal is also underdeveloped in terms of establishing collaborations with such initiatives.

Similarly, the outreach of this proposal on the national scene is not very strong. The activities are focused on work at
Gothenburg and Lund. The participation of Lund, at only 8%, is very small, and may not be sufficient to make Lund a full
partner in this effort. There is little indication of how further collaboration will be established on the national level. The
contribution and connection to CLARIN is very important and should be sustained in some form. The committee feels that the
Swedish researchers involved with CLARIN could form the basis of a strong network for such a proposal, thereby alleviating
some of the shortcomings of this proposal in terms of international and national partnerships.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The proposal will support major advances around collections of new corpora. This initiative clearly identifies ways in which
this project can be relevant to the public sector (especially in the area of language interface technologies) and its potential
relevance to public policy.
The proposal could have been made much stronger by the inclusion of a broader base of industry and society users, as there
are clearly potential benefits of this research to a very broad base. The University of Gothenburg has a strong base for
capacity and supporting activities, but no strong strategy is articulated as to how this project would engage those activities.
The proposal does not make explicit how its core research and tools might be relevant and extended for use in the business
sector and in other research areas. For example the Usability lab section emphasizes the importance of “user pull” but there
is little or no evidence of strong user engagement in the work proposed for this lab, or plans for developing such. Section 3 of
the proposal goes on to “strongly suggest that the results of our work will be useful” but does not articulate how this potential
usefulness will be highlighted and disseminated.


3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The project has a limited budget for infrastructure that is aligned with CLARIN. This aspect of the proposal is especially
promising and is to be prioritized.
The University of Gothenburg is host institution and co-funder of the Swedish National Data Service, the Swedish node in an
international network of data archives that spans approximately 40 countries. Chalmers University of Technology is host
institution to the national computing center C3SE (funded by SNIC), where part of Språkbanken’s servers are housed.

The proposal relies on the projects and development driven by Chalmers C3SE and SNIC, and on the so called "BLARK"
proposal, headed by the Sprakbanken as well, for the infrastructure. It seems that most of the infrastructure remains to be
built, and it is difficult to evaluate from the proposal whether the main PI´s can devote enough effort to both pillars.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This proposal addresses particular needs faced by researchers in the humanities, social sciences, education and medicine
which the panel believe have great future potential. However, this proposal could have been made much stronger by the
inclusion of a broader base of industry and society users, together with a strong strategy for how this project would engage
potential beneficiaries and collaborators, both nationally and internationally. CLARIN is a potentially significant international
infrastructure development which, although referred to in the proposal, is only briefly mentioned. It could provide a useful
vehicle for broader collaboration.




                                                                         Evaluations VR-St-Eve, 2009-1055 Fredman, Pam
 Dnr               Last name, First name                           Type of grant
 2009-1062         Gudmundson, Peter                               Strategic Research Areas
                   Kungl Tekniska Högskolan
                   Skolan för teknikvetenskap, SCI


                   Project title
                   Swedish e-Science Research Centre

                   Research area                                   Ev group
                   *Teknikvetenskap                                eScience (VR-St-Eve)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This powerful proposal is constructed around very solid groups from four institutions (KTH, Linköping University, Stockholm
University, Karolinska), most with excellent track record (some PIs are recipients of prestigious grants, such as ERC and
Royal Society). Institutions participate at high level in some key European projects . The majority of the scientific groups in
the application areas are well connected with industrial leaders and large European stakeholders (Aerospatiale, etc...). This
proposal is based on the two largest HPC centres in Sweden, hence there is a clear advantage for supercomputing
applications. The proposal contains broad and well documented e-science showcases. The link between research and
education, and the commitment to young researchers are guaranteed through a variety of programs, with a special mention
on the twinning of PhD:s between applications and core e-science, based on the successful experience at Linköping
University. All these points give to this proposal a high competitive profile.
Not all major pillars for e-science are described with significant details or emphasis, as it is done for computation. For
example, Social sciences are totally absent from this proposal.
Details are also scarce in the implementation plan and in the budget lines: "what, when and how" for going from the present ,
high quality baseline to the future could have been described with more emphasis. This proposal may be leading to quantum
leap into new territory, it however reads somehow like a high quality catalog of science cases preparing one incremental step
forward.
A well thought management structure is proposed, giving confidence that the institutions have committed to work together.
This is the key feature which carries the strongest potential for real change .

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
Through the number of excellent research groups and the span of the disciplines, the impact for the country will be high when
transferring knowledge and methodologies into other areas. The mechanisms by which the connections are established are
well planned: i.e.advisory board from public and private institutions, effort of outreach and transfer served by the Industry
liaison program, the SeRC software curation, all would enhance the progression of e-science beyond the original proponents.
This is a long term effort and the priorities inside the participating institutions have to be set over the corresponding period.

The ambitious program will develop many core methodologies which be applied in a wide variety of areas, including financial
and banking sectors.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The proposal has excellent links to the major players for the internationally competitive infrastructure of PDC and NSC. Some
of the core developments may find their way into the international arena thanks to these connections. This is one strong point
for the proposal.
The budget is split 60/40 between research and infrastructure budgets. More understanding about how the latter is going to
be spent would be useful: for example, 20% of the whole funding is planned to be used for hardware: is this only for
computation? Given the committment that SERC offers to be a national resource the infrastructure investments must
guarantee or commit to serving communities beyond the proposers.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                                      4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
Scientific quality and span of applications are very good to excellent. The potential for future development is good,
connections with industry are very good, background of the consortium is very good, clarity of the proposal is good.

This proposal has strong potential for significantly pushing the scientific boundaries beyond today´s state of the art. Its
collaborative aspect is convincing and well articulated. The capacity of the consortium in exploiting the infrastructure is very
good, and will leverage future developments in other areas. The panel encourages expanding to exploit opportunities in social
sciences and humanities
The overall quality of this proposal is excellent.




                                                                        Evaluations VR-St-Eve, 2009-1062 Gudmundson, Peter
 Dnr               Last name, First name                          Type of grant
 2009-1064         Hallberg, Anders                               Strategic Research Areas
                   Uppsala universitet
                   Universitetsledningens kansli


                   Project title
                   eSSENCE - An eScience Collaboration

                   Research area                                  Ev group
                   *Teknikvetenskap                               eScience (VR-St-Eve)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This proposal has a very well articulated vision, goals and process.
It provides a good approach for e-Science and a set of well defined key components. The vision and components play well to
the experience and capabilities of the teams. The science areas addressed provide a very nice balance of physical sciences,
social sciences and humanities. It also provides a strong base for the technology developments required. The proposal
supports research in, and has strong support from, a large number of areas: Physics, Materials Science, Chemistry, biology,
geography and linguistics. Medicine is also mentioned, but not represented in the PI/CoI’s. The initiative will extend
e-science applications to social sciences, addressing existing concerns, providing the opportunity to develop novel
approaches using e-tools, and enhancing existing resources (ie SDD SLI).
The underpinning research areas are classified as the following: Mathematical/Statistical models, Sensor Technology,
Computational Algorithms, High-Performance Parallel Computing, Database Technology, Distributed IT Systems and Grid
Computing, and Visualization and Image Analysis.
The expression of key research challenges in each of the application areas is very good and provides a set of measurable
achievements for the activity. The proposal provides a very clear set of science goals and directions that cut across national
and international strategically important areas.
The collaboration partners are very strong in the underpinning e-Science technologies and includes excellent groups
focusing on efficient and accurate models, algorithms and software for large-scale parallel computer systems, grid research
and middleware development, database techniques, image analysis and strong expertise in Life Science and Bioinformatics
at international level.
The vision of the consortium and the mission indicated in the proposal fits nicely to the call for proposals. It is a strong
consortium and research constellation with a broad and complementary set of skills. Most PI´s have a strong record in their
own field. The partners are able to provide access to large-scale computer resources at national and international level, and
have shown to be capable to build on collaboration and cross-fertilization and renewal of projects.

The proposal provides a good description of the scientific environment covered although many of the highlights are rather
generic, clearly identifying important areas of development but not clearly identifying what the proposing university groups
can bring to these.
The proposal is weak on specific plans of exactly what will be done, even initially, and how this will be done. The area
descriptions are all good. Not all areas covered are directly represented in this proposal. How would areas for investment be
chosen?
In order to ensure that PhD students receive a truly interdisciplinary training they will have a principal advisor in the science
field and one or more computer-focused advisors depending on the methods and tools used.
This project is clearly capable of providing collaborative structures and an organizational framework that will enable scientific
breakthroughs in a range of fields for scientific discovery. However, the proposal is weak on identifying exactly how these
disparate groups will be brought together. It is claimed that eSSENCE is about “breaking traditional barriers”, but there is little
indication of exactly how this is to be done beyond the indication that PhD students will get two supervisors.

The management structure described seems suitable but it is unclear who the Director would be – who would be the key
individual responsible for delivering on the activity. Who of the Director
Duo’s would ultimately be responsible.
However, the budget is poorly justified and information or details on the budget attribution are scarce.
There is little real evidence of the benefits of funding this as a single proposal. It appears to be separate funding for each of
the 3 collaborating universities and each University will make decisions regarding its own funding without any flexibility across
the consortium.
Areas of e-Science research and infrastructure have been invested in recently by all 3 participating universities. The proposal
aims to leverage an existing, successful industrial program for facilitating technology transfer.
2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The proposal identifies and provides evidence of the importance of e-Science and the activities planned to industry and
society – providing very well articulated and demonstrated cases. They promise a very proactive approach to engagement
with industry with the development of platforms to address industrial needs. This is to be applauded.
All three Universities have commercialization arms that will provide a very strong base of capacity and support activity to
enable the growth of benefits and uptake – it was a little unclear how, if at all, these would be coordinated. A large number of
spin-off companies have already the connection with the e-Science activities at the universities.

There is a good generic statement of the importance of e-science to business and society. The proposal gives good
application specific examples of relevance and opportunities, but it is hard to relate some of these to the specific or planned
expertise of the proposers. The proposal has some interesting possibilities for collaborations with the business sector but they
are described very briefly and it was not clear what companies had already engaged with the activity or what agreements
might be in place for future collaborations. The research discovery and the utilisation in the business sector could be
strengthened. The proposal would have been stronger if the arguments by the proposers did not seem like
individual/separate arguments from each institution, but had had a stronger integration of the institutions.


3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
This proposal gave a very good view of the infrastructure requirements within the context of the national e-Infrastructure and
identifies the additional need for this initiative as negligible. They provide a strong argument for the continuing coordinated
national funding of e-Infrastructure.
The eSSENCE initiative has connections to the administrative structures of organizations responsible for infrastructures,
HPC2N, UPPMAX and Lunarc providers of large-scale computational and storage resources within the national
e-Infrastructure. They are already well equipped to establish focal points for collaborative research activities and to provide
the core competence in HPC and GRID computing. HPC2N (High Performance Computing Centre North) is able to establish
an international network in order to provide services and resources for academic users. Currently, HPC2N is also operating
resources for SNIC and for the Swedish LHC consortium as part of the NDGF Tier1. These Infrastructure centres can play an
international role to support the research activities planned in the frame of this project.
The integration into international efforts, e.g. LHC, EGEE and PRACE is promising.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This is a strong proposal in terms of the science areas and e-Science technologies that are brought together by an
experienced team. However, although the proposal provides a good vision there is need for clarification on precisely how the
consortium will work together and specifics of the management and implementation. The committee would like to ensure that
the social science and humanities element of the proposal are given a priority.
Although the consortium members and partner institutions have a strong record of industry and society engagement, the
proposal was again lacking in details of how this would be achieved in eSSENCE.




                                                                         Evaluations VR-St-Eve, 2009-1064 Hallberg, Anders
 Dnr               Last name, First name                           Type of grant
 2009-1059         Markides, Karin                                 Strategic Research Areas
                   Chalmers tekniska högskola
                   Rektor


                   Project title
                   Chalmers eScience Initiative

                   Research area                                   Ev group
                   *Teknikvetenskap                                eScience (VR-St-Eve)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This proposal is focused on computational science and data driven research and explicitly includes contributions from 6
departments from Chalmers. The proposal identifies specific IT/computing challenges linked to a number of science areas:

oradio astronomy + data mining
oquantum mechanical modeling + parallel programming
ofusion research + workflow
The computational and data-driven applications are well identified and of scientific importance, although they represent a
relatively narrow group. The proposal is very strong on education and training. There is a clear path for the development of
the next generation of eScientists, which is key to the continuing embedding of eScience technologies. There is a good
articulation of the potential impact and importance to other strategic areas, but no clear strategy for bridging across to them.
The implications of this are two-fold: first, a very limited, conservative impact of e-science, and second, a missed opportunity
for computer science to confront new kinds of issues and to be challenged by problems to be addresssed in new areas of
scholarship.
This proposal has articulated a very strong process for eScience and the components identified clearly play to the existing
strengths of the group and provide the proper underpinning technologies required. The proposal aligns well with the existing
strategies and priorities at Chalmers and the University is proposing to provide significant additional local funding. The
proposal also articulates very well the need for collaboration at a national and international level. Chalmers is clearly
internationally strong in Fusion (leading EU Euforia project) and nationally leading in radio astronomy.

The Director for the initiative is already identified. This will be Catherine Coquand, currently head of computing science and
engineering.
The proposed budget is broken down relatively clearly.
Stronger collaboration with other Universities could have provided the opportunity for much broader impact and addressed
some of the potential narrowness of applications referred to above.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
This proposal has strong industry support and collaboration. There are ten industrial partners and one government agency.
The proposal provides the confidence that this group will deliver on impact through collaborations with industry, society and
academia.
The portfolio of applications is consistent with Chalmers strengths and strategic importance for science and engineering in
Sweden is high.
Life sciences, biology and environmental sciences are identified as some of the key scientific and societal challenges,
however, this proposal does not include strong representation of these areas. The proponents could establish partnerships in
order to broaden the span of applications, and help new communities to aggregate, or to adopt the new technologies. The
proposal is relatively weak on technological collaboration with other academic partners in Sweden and Internationally. The
proposal itself emphasizes the complementarity to Gotenborgs University, it is not clear, therefore, why there is not a stronger
commitment to work with them.
Due to the strong engineering connections and background of most of the PI´s, the transfer of knowledge, technology and
methods to major industrial (national or global) players with important activities in Sweden is on track.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.
Comments:
The proposal builds on currently existing infrastructure, which is nationally and internationally relevant. The precise
implications of this project for the existing infrastructure are not detailed, other than they should be ´strengthened´. It is not
possible to identify precisely what the infrastructure funds would cover.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This is a well written proposal which is extremely strong in education, training and industrial collaboration. There is great
potential benefit for business exploitation. The proposal is good in areas traditionally strong at Chalmers. The proposal would
be much stronger with more significant external collaboration to address potential narrowness of application areas and the
breadth of e-science expertise.




                                                                        Evaluations VR-St-Eve, 2009-1059 Markides, Karin
 
           Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Havsmiljöforskning
                                   Marine Environment

Nr        2009-139
Applicant Per Filip Billy Eriksson, Lund University
Title     A multi-disciplinary approach to managing multiple stressors in
          the marine environment (mmmm)


Scientific quality
This proposal brings together 4 separate departments at Lund University to study the
relationship between fisheries, nutrient enrichment, eutrophication, and climate. The Group is
headed by Prof. Daniel Conley who is distinguished scientist with an international reputation,
and he is complemented by an excellent team of workers at various stages in their careers.
The panel liked the underlying concept of trying to overcome the ´data rich, information poor´
syndrome that plagues many environmental monitoring programmes. We took the concept to
mean that much data is gathered but little increase in understanding flows from it. The panel
also liked the idea of analysing and re-analysing existing data sets to mine them for greater
(process) understanding, as well as generating well-aimed new sets to complement the re-
analysis findings. The use of the palaeo record combined with contemporary data is a
powerful and relatively novel idea, in this context. The panel liked the hypothesis that the
nutrient system in the Baltic is not simply a push-pull one. This means that addition of
nutrients to the water tends to eutrophication but this is not simply reversed if the nutrient
load is reduced, i.e the system displays some sort of nutrient/eutrophication hysteresis.
Addition of enhanced levels of dissolved organic matter (DOC) is and will have several
important consequences for water quality in the Baltic. All these ideas are within the
competence of the Group to deliver on. However, the amount of detail given in the proposal is
insufficient to make a definitive judgement of how well they will be delivered. There is very
little detail on the methodology, which is given at a very superficial level, hence it is difficult
to assess whether there is a good chance of success.

The proposal talks about looking at individual responses to changes in environmental and
nutrient scenarios, however, it is not clear whether this is a modelling approach or an
experimental approach or combination of the two. There is some discussion of the use of
modelling approaches to help achieve the objectives, but this was insufficient for the Panel to
make a judgement as to the competence of the Group in this area. Another concern was that it
appears that the expertise in the Group is mainly in terrestrial and freshwater sciences, with
relatively less previous experience of the marine situation. This is not necessarily a problem
and might even be considered an advantage if they can bring a fresh perspective on the long-
standing problem of eutrophication of the Baltic Sea; it does, however, make the outcome
somewhat less certain. The Panel had concerns about the lack of socio-economic research
expertise in what is essentially a natural science oriented group. In order to tackle the
environmental problems of the Baltic, with its multiple stresses, it is necessary to consider
issues and drivers arising from the multiple stresses imposed by human activities. The Panel
felt that although the research agenda to be covered was of considerable interest and well
stated in the early parts of the document, the concepts to be pursued were not sufficiently
developed and described in the later parts of the proposal.
Strategic importance
In the section of the proposal called ´Strategic importance.....´ a well made case is presented
for linkage and outreach to a variety of bodies including the Swedish national and
international scientific communities, the general public, school teachers and other interest
groups. This will be achieved through scientific publication in high-ranking international
journals, popular science journals, round-table discussions, evening courses, as well as a
multi-disciplinary course, etc. Additionally, thought is given to communications to managers
and policy makers through white papers and round table discussions. This is all very good and
creditable. However, the Panel would have expecting some more ideas to be presented on
how the results of the research will feed into specific public policy arenas (including both
national/international and local government), as well as being of use and application to
industry.

Budget
The budget as presented has insufficient detail for any significant or detailed comments to be
made, but in general it appears appropriate.

Infrastructure
The infrastructure at Lund University appears suitable and conducive to the work proposed.
Bringing together the 4 separate departmental groups should be strongly supported for this
interdisciplinary study. It is not clear what ´Need for infrastructure´ there is, so it is difficult to
complete this section in a meaningful way.

Overall assessment
An interesting scientific proposal with some worthwhile ideas. The Panel particularly liked
the use of the data mining approach and the combination of palaeo and modern data sets. An
excellent group of researchers, including several younger workers, are being brought together
at Lund University to tackle the work but the team lacks the socio-economic expertise needed
to tackle research needed to address the multiple environmental stresses to which the Baltic
Sea is subject.


Overall grade: 3 = Very Good
                                   Marine Environment

Nr        2009-140
Applicant Lisa Sennerby Forsse, Swedish University of Agricultural
          Sciences
Title     Sustainable Fishfarming

Scientific quality
A well-written and well-structured proposal supported by ample referencing and reflecting the
research strengths of the team. The topic is aquaculture and falls within the scope of one of
the four research priority areas within the Call.

The selection of species that are easily adaptable to fish farming is important, but it is also
necessary to ensure there is a market demand for the species and that the industry will be
willing to shift towards the species selected.

Feed and nutrition is focused on searching for and evaluating novel food sources to replace
fish meal and fish oils in present day fish feeds. This has to be done without compromising
fish growth or the quality of fish for human consumption. Several options for alternative food
sources are discussed and will be explored spanning from the use of microorganisms to
utilising blue mussels or de-polluted herring from the Baltic. The idea of using bioremidated
organisms to provide food for fish is interesting, but there is no discussion on the potential
beneficial or negative consequences of targeting new natural resources for feed ingredients or
on consumer acceptability.

Marine environmental issues related to sustainable fish farming could have been stronger,
dealing with both beneficial and detrimental impacts of widespread fish farming on land and
marine based ecosystems.

The maintenance of flesh quality is a very important aspect to ensure that aquaculture
products maintain their high nutritional value. The use of sesame lignans to modulate HUFA
content in the fish fed oils of terrestrial origin represents an innovative and promising
concept, providing an opening for the use of low-value terrestrial oils while maintaining high
levels of highly unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, important for human nutrition.

Feeding management is likewise a good prioritisation of effort, often ignored in developing
culture techniques for new species. Good feeding management ensures optimal welfare,
which in turn will ensure maximum growth and improve feed conversion rates. The feed in
itself is also important to promote optimal feed conversion rates and high feed utilisation. The
exploration of temperature-dependant feed portions, feed duration and feeding frequency are
all important aspects of feeding management, which result in highly efficient fish production.
The researches here are clearly well up to date in current advances and have the necessary
links with industrial partners to be well placed and to make significant and useful advances.

Strategic importance
The project addresses one of the four high priority areas in the Call. If aquaculture is to grow
significantly in Sweden, then it is important to ensure that it is done sustainably. No
indication of the status of the significance of this industry in Sweden was given e.g. in terms
of jobs supported or production. The fish being targeted for aquaculture are freshwater species
and it was uncertain whether or not target culture techniques were land-based. If not land-
based what are the potential environmental consequences of farming and what measures
would be taken to ensure sustainable farming?
The development of an environmentally friendly culture technology is very important and
highly prioritised within the EU. The search for and successful implementation of alternative
feeds has already provided good results and is being exploited in a company, also formed on
the basis of the research. These successes should strengthen Sweden’s position in the search
for alternative feed sources in aquaculture and will also benefit the broader research
community as well as the aquaculture industry in general. This development would lessen the
pressure on wild fish stocks currently being exploited for use in fish feed and thus benefit
marine ecology in the long run.

Budget
The program requests a total funding of 22000 kSEK, distributed over a period of five years.
The outcome is expected to consist of the education of 3-5 PhDs and employment of 3-5 post-
docs throughout the five year project period which could be translated to 15-25 peer-reviewed
publications. The budget is more or less split between the two themes proposed.

There is no indication of additional internal or external funding contributing to the program.

Infrastructure
The program proposed reflects well the research strengths of the group. Stronger links to the
industry should be formed at the outset, especially in the consideration of consumer
acceptability of species, products and fish feed sources.

Overall assessment
The program proposed focuses on aquaculture and reflects well the research strengths of the
group. The proposal only addresses one of the four research priority areas within the call but
does it very well indeed.

To really claim a study of “sustainable fish farming” it would be additionally useful to work
out full carbon costs (including economic) of fish farming and the impacts in terms of
benefits/risks to the marine environment. It may also be worthwhile to include a consumer
study to examine public perception of new fish species for consumption and fish products
produced in such a manner.

It is evident that the researchers involved have a strong scientific background for this work
and can progress beyond the state of the art.

Overall grade: 3 = Very Good
                                   Marine Environment

Nr                  2009-144
Applicant           Pam Fredman, Gothenburg University
Title               Research for a sustainable use of the marine environment


Scientific quality
The proposal suggests the establishment of an interdisciplinary marine science platform in
research for a sustainable use of the marine environment. It covers a wide spectrum of aspects
related to the better management of the Baltic Sea. This is a very broad and encompassing
project, divided into four research directions.

For each of these research directions, it is proposed to develop an agenda that includes both
natural science and social science research problems. With the aim to improve communication
between disciplines and with society at large, the research platform is structured into small
problem-based projects with extensive resources for project workshops and professional
platform communicators. The individual projects are all self-contained and scientifically
convincing, many projects address very exciting new science. However, it seems that in many
cases the real and operative linkages are missing. Moreover, some of the projects seem to be
over-ambitious and the proposal does not explicitly contain a synthesis project that could help
to efficiently combine the results of the individual projects into a coherent larger picture.

The credentials of University of Gothenburg are highlighted and it is a leading institute in this
field. The scientific quality of the consortium of PIs is excellent. The PIs are very active at the
forefront of international research, and this project could be expected to further strengthen the
international competitiveness of Sweden´s marine research. The aim of integrating the
research into packages each with a deliberately multi-disciplinary approach is commendable.
The proposal gives a clear picture of what outcome can be expected from each of the single
projects. The panel viewed particularly the projects addressing ocean acidification,
institutional dilemmas, and the socio-economic and cost-effective mapping of marine
environments and biodiversity as very timely and relevant topics.

However, while most of the projects represent a scientifically sound stand-alone research
proposal, the individual themes and projects do not strongly support each other. Specifically,
the added value of combining the 8 projects into a single consortium could have been pointed
out more clearly.

Strategic importance
The University of Gothenburg has a leading role in the new Swedish Marine Institute, which
should provide a natural link between the science, policy makers and the general public.

The plans to generate commercial and societal benefits state an impressive list of mechanisms
and ideas that seem to be already available. It does not become sufficiently clear, what
specific contributions are to be expected from the current proposal. Marine aquaculture is the
area of most direct relevance to the business sector. Habitat mapping and mapping tools and
services in the marine environment are important tools in sustainable marine management.
Some developments in measurement techniques may provide commercial opportunities. The
main strategic importance for marine science in Sweden may be the establishment of a
platform for interdisciplinary marine research that can help to address the state of and the
risks to the marine environment. However, the strategic importance of the proposal is
undermined by the lack of integration of the apparently stand-alone projects.

Budget
The requested budget of 85 MSEK is rather high and, in fact, would absorb the entire funding
envelope (although the call stated that "normally, at least two HEIs will be chosen..."). The
planned investment in human resources is extensive and most of it goes into positions for
junior scientists, approximately half of which finances a large number of attractive tenure
track positions. 1 MSEK per year is scheduled for guest professors, of which the only named
candidate adds excellent support to the socio-economic issues addressed in the proposal. Only
a few percent of the budget is scheduled for infrastructure, which is met by a large investment
already provided in this area by the University of Gothenburg.

Infrastructure
The University of Gothenburg has a number of infrastructure facilities that are to be used by
the different projects. The university also has an established system that facilitates the
dissemination of the results to the decision makers and other target groups. There is also a
strong support system for legal and commercial issues. This infrastructure can secure quick
dialog with external users.

Overall assessment
The proposal suggests the establishment of an interdisciplinary marine science platform in
research for a sustainable use of the marine environment. Both the project title and the four
research directions identified cover a wide area of marine research. The more specific
research goals are presented in the form of 8 smaller projects, each of which has some
interdisciplinary component. The individual projects are scientifically justified and present
relatively well-defined and mostly stand-alone research projects.

The scientific quality of the consortium of PIs is excellent. The PIs are very active at the
forefront of international research, and it can be expected that the funding applied for here
would further strengthen the international competitiveness of Sweden´s marine research.
Thanks to successful earlier bids, the University of Gothenburg has excellent interfaces with
the users of the scientific results and has ample experience in driving interactions with the
stakeholders. A further positive aspect of the proposal is the planned establishment of an
international advisory board.

However, it does not become clear, how the different projects interact and how a steering
group will ensure that the overarching goal is kept in sight. It also does not become clear,
what the extra value is that one gains by combining the 8 specific research projects into this
single proposal. The panel questions whether applying for the full 85 MSEK is enough value
for money for this strategic area.

Overall grade: 3 = Very Good
                                   Marine Environment

Nr                2009-148
Applicant         Kåre Bremer, Stockholm University
Title             Ecosystem Approach to the Baltic Sea


Scientific quality
This is a very strong proposal from an internationally recognised team of experts in their field.
It was clear that Stockholm has access to the resources and facilities necessary to achieve the
research proposed and this was evidenced by the exemplary outputs from the research group.
Investing further in this research grouping will maximise the long-term return on investment.

The proposal clearly defines the vision of the science needed to achieve Ecosystem Based
Management (EBM) and is framed in a clear policy context. The proposal then outlines a
comprehensive programme of research to achieve this vision and how this research can be
used to help policy makers evaluate the consequences of their choices through decision
support systems. A critical strength of the proposal is the integration of social-ecological
systems research that will enable the outcomes to be implemented by science users and
managers. A further strength is the integration of the legal aspects that often are overlooked
by scientists.

The NEST institute provides the infra-structure and basis to translate the emerging science
into usable outputs. NEST is located at Stockholm University and has already been used to
evaluate management plans for individual countries and the whole Baltic.

A key strength of this proposal is the underlying ability to run climate scenario models that
will set the background against which the other elements of the research programme can be
developed. Without this framework the other elements would lack focus and the panel were
strongly supportive of this element of this research.

In a bid to address all of the strategic areas mentioned in the call for proposals, the proposers
have attempted to tick all the boxes to provide a complete package. Many areas of the
proposal were considered to be strong, and the expertise of a high calibre, however, one area
was considered to be weak relative to other proposals that dealt with this research area.
Section C deals with fisheries and aquaculture and was considered to be the weakest area of
the proposal that had the potential to duplicate better research elsewhere in Sweden. The
issues selected for research focus in this part of the proposal, although relevant, were not
sufficiently well developed to warrant funding. Such an ad hoc approach is not an efficient
use of the available resource. The proposers could have chosen to collaborate with another
Swedish higher education institute with more appropriate expertise in this area.

Accordingly the panel recommends that this area of research (Section C) is removed from this
proposal.

The proposal outlines all the elements required to achieve EBM (recognising that the fisheries
and aquaculture elements will need to be addressed, but not by this team), and that these
should be integrated with each other. However the proposal did not explicitly make clear how
this integration would occur and the panel makes the assumption that this integration would
occur through the NEST facility. However further clarification of this issue would have been
helpful.

The large element of unallocated funds within the proposal budget caused some concern and
no strategy to review allocation of this funding was specified. The panel appreciated the need
for flexibility to spend the funding strategically, however a clear initial vision would have
provided greater understanding of the need for the sum requested. The panel would like more
detailed information regarding the profile of expenditure.


Strategic importance
Strategically this research area is of the highest importance and the proposal attempts to
address this through EBM. EBM is enshrined in EU and national legislation but we currently
lack the tools or understanding to put this into effect.

The proposal is comprehensive and provides all the elements that one might expect to see in a
proposal designed to make progress and to provide Government with the tools necessary to
achieve its goal. The panel has identified the areas of strength in the proposal, but
recommends the removal of one critical area of weakness that should be addressed more
appropriately by another route.

EBM is further complicated by a changing climate and research needed to address this issue
underpins and informs all other elements within the proposal. Perhaps unique to this proposal
is the integration of a consideration of how this research will fit into governance structures
and these are considered a topic for research together with the legal framework. From this
point of view the proposal is very comprehensive and more likely to deliver useable outputs
than science projects that are stand-alone. This element, if developed suitably, should
interface with other major research initiatives in Sweden and elsewhere that focus on these
issues.

It is clear that the HELCOM and the Water Framework Directive and many of the current
regulatory legislation and policy formulation demand the type of science that is outlined in
this proposal. The complex nature of multiple stress agents acting in synergy make the Baltic
region a demanding location in which to achieve EBM, hence a major investment in
appropriate science as outlined in this proposal is appropriate.

Budget
As was common with all the proposals submitted under the Formas call, the details on the
proposed budget were extremely limited and did not provide the panel with detailed insight as
to how the requested resources would be invested, other than an indication of certain named
and as yet unnamed appointments. A better understanding of the perceived distribution of
funds among the different research strengths and the areas highlighted for investment would
have been helpful. Although the panel could see the need for ´unallocated´ funding, some idea
of how and when the allocation of this investment would be made is required. There appeared
to be no formal proposal to review progress and reassess the investment strategy in light of
developments over the long-term duration of the programme.

The panel recommended the proposal is funded at a level of 46 MSEK
Infrastructure
No formal request for infrastructure was made

Overall assessment
Overall an excellent comprehensive package of science by internationally renown researchers
to deliver the science need to achieve EBM for the Baltic Sea. Matched with other expertise
within the Swedish research community this research should greatly advance our
understanding of the science and its translation into usable advice.

While the panel judged this to be a comprehensive package of research, it would have been
helpful if the Stockholm University group had appreciated more fully the value of expertise
that other Swedish institutes could have offered to enhance their programme.

The panel therefore strongly recommends collaboration with the complementary strategic
proposal by Universities of Umea and Kalmar to ensure the integration of climate change
scenarios and the development of monitoring programmes. The combined input from the two
recommended research programmes will greatly enhance their overall impact and thereby
give added value for Swedish strategic research.

Overall grade: 4 = Excellent
                                   Marine Environment

Nr                  2009-149
Applicant           Göran Sandberg, Umeå University
Title               Ecosystem dynamics in the Baltic Sea in a changing climate
                    perspective - ECOCHANGE


Scientific quality
This is an excellent, very well written research proposal addressing all four research areas of
the call. The underlying rationale of the proposed work is that climate induced change will
accelerate in the near future and in turn is likely to accentuate current human-induced
ecosystem changes. The threats and their consequences in the Baltic Sea are laid out very
clearly and research is proposed to address, in 5 thematic areas (4 scientific themes and a
synthesis workpackage), the multiple simultaneous affects associated with climate change.

The rationale, objectives and approach are clearly described and it is highlighted at the outset
that the separate Baltic Sea basins are different and that separate, ecologically sound
management plans have to be devised.

This proposal directly involves the fisheries research institute which is strong and
complimentary. A key strength of this proposal is the expertise in and work planned on
cascading effects and feedback mechanisms related to fish predation and harvesting.

Interestingly the group is already tied into a large scale ecological experiment to ascertain the
effects of thinning sprat on other trophic levels.

The planned work along a North-South Baltic gradient is a strength and justifies the
geographic spread of the participants.

The overall research vision is very clear and this indicates a high level of competence in terms
of project management.

The proposal comes from very strong research groups with publications in high profile
journals and, perhaps more importantly, very high citation indices which evidences the impact
of the science in the long-term. The Umea University environment, the major proposers,
seems to be very supportive, especially as it encourages groups and individuals to apply for
leave from administration to enhance their research. Significant investment is outlined should
this bid succeed.

While packages 1-3 are well integrated, package 4 seems highly relevant but not as well
integrated.

The work could be strengthened by the collaboration with groups specialising in climate
impact modelling and by testing recognised climate change scenarios (see below). This would
enhance the work with climate modelling and integration / addition of socio-economic
impacts of food web changes. The panel therefore welcomes the suggestion in the proposal to
work collaboratively with other proposals funded in this call. (see below)
Strategic importance
The proposed research is entirely relevant to national and EU policies, e.g the WFD, and also
other international commitments. In addition, the proposers have produced a very elegant
table that lays out exactly how each component of research will address the various policy
priorities. This shows a very clear focus on what their research addresses and how.

The project has an excellent dissemination strategy designed to improve researcher
performance in this respect, but also designed to reach school children and a wide stakeholder
audience. There is a credible business plan supported by a very experienced unit that helps
researchers convert ideas to patents.

The proposal has a clear management plan and strategy. The proposal explicitly mentions the
use of a stakeholder reference group to ensure that they deliver relevant science, and
stakeholder representatives sit on the steering committee. This approach has been shown to be
a very successful method of delivering strategically relevant science.

HELCOM is identified as one of the end users of the research, but existing links to BNI and
HELCOM should be strengthened. Dissemination strategies for Swedish EPA, National
Water Authorities etc. exists.

Budget
In view of the funds available, we recommend to cut funding for this proposal to 39 MSEK.
To maximise the output and added value from this initiative for the Swedish society, it is
recommended to use appr. 1 MSEK to set up strong collaborations with the other project
funded under this call to strengthen the modelling and testing of climate change scenarios.

Overall assessment
An excellent, hypothesis-driven research proposal to investigate climate-driven ecosystem
changes in the Baltic Sea. The proposed research is entirely relevant to national and EU
policies, e.g. the WFD and also other international commitments. In addition, the proposers
have produced a very elegant table that lays out exactly how each component of research will
address policy priorities. This shows a very clear focus on what their research addresses and
how.

The inclusion of recognised climate change scenarios and a strengthened modelling
component would generate substantial added value for Swedish strategic research and the
panel strongly recommends collaboration with Stockholm University.

Overall grade: 4 = Excellent
             Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Hållbart nyttjande av
             naturresurser
                                                                     Strategic Research Areas
                                                                     Sustainable use of natural resources
                                                                     Final Evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area: Sustainable use of natural resources
Registration number: 2009-00992

Title: Centre for Sustainable Mineral Resources

Submitting university: University of Gothenburg


Overall grade: 3 Very good, competitive at a highest national level




Evaluation of the application

Scientific quality
This centre is built around geology/geochemistry and the strongest component is in the
hydrogeology/ground water part. Focus on industrial minerals is very good. The description
of the proposed research in economic geology is however weaker. The focus is on the
needs/mineral deposits of southern Sweden

Although the proposal contains a high level of science in important areas of study as geology
and minerals, it does not contain novel or world leading ideas as far as can been seen from
the proposal. The posts proposed in the text and budget are inconsistent.

This area might be highly prioritized by the main applicant University of Gothenburg,
although this is not completely clear to the panel. It is also difficult to understand from the
proposal how Bergsskolan contributes to the research. The research area also seems to be
peripheral at the universities of Chalmers and Lund.




Strategic importance to the business sector and society
Resources within Europe, such as those in Sweden, are very important for security of mineral
supply. At present Europe relies on imports of almost all metals and ferrous minerals and
European industry could be very seriously affected if part of this supply chain were stopped.
This is an issue that Europe is coming round to again, e.g. via the European Technology
Platform on sustainable mineral resources. However the proposal does not show clear links
to i.e. national support group of relevant ETPs.

Groundwater resources are also a very important issue for Swedish society, but other
environmental or health issues are vague in the proposal.




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                                                                  Strategic Research Areas
                                                                  Sustainable use of natural resources
                                                                  Final Evaluations, May 2009




Capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research
area are shown by spin out companies/alumni companies, but there is not much other
evidence for this.



Concluding evaluation of the application
The proposal concentrates on the geological and geochemical area, with additional work in
efficient use of industrial minerals, and groundwater. These are key strategic areas where
research capacity needs to be increased. The proposal explains additional appointments that
will be made in some of the research areas but does not give key objectives, or deliverables
and it is difficult to see exactly what will be done within each of the subject areas.




                                              2
                                                                    Strategic Research Areas
                                                                    Sustainable use of natural resources
                                                                    Final Evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area: Sustainable use of natural resources
Registration number: 2009-00976

Title: Sustainable use of mineral resources

Submitting university: Luleå University of Technology



Overall grade: 4, Excellent, strongly competitive at an international level




Evaluation of the application


Scientific quality
The scientific quality appears high and the track record of the research team is very high by
international standards. Use of waste from wood and paper industry is novel and although
other ideas have been seen before they are nevertheless topics that would be expected to
be included in a program at the forefront of mining development. It is felt that the
geophysical prospecting part could have been stronger. The team has recognized this and a
new professorship in Exploration geophysics is included.

The proposed research contains a good mix of science and engineering. The application
covers a very broad scientific area and there is a variation as might be expected from
outstanding to very good. Overall the team has a very strong background in this area and
large number of staff in a multidisciplinary environment that is required to successfully
pursue the key topics.

LTU is clearly prioritizing this area among their activities.

LTU has developed an excellent network of mining universities worldwide. The
establishment of this center will be a major step towards reaching the international summit
and to be the leading European University. Strong international cooperation including
connection to the relevant European Technology Platform is a stated vision. Very good
interactions with specialists from key mining countries currently exists, these can and will be
further developed in the project. The above areas are of critical international importance
and interest.


Strategic importance to the business sector and society
This proposal expands the capacity of a unit that is already very strong in this area and has
excellent links with the mining industry. The interaction between the university and the
mining community is first class. Iron and steelmaking topics are important because of



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                                                                   Strategic Research Areas
                                                                   Sustainable use of natural resources
                                                                   Final Evaluations, May 2009




Sweden’s long term leadership role in the mining of in iron ore. Although this proposal
contains a section on reducing carbon emissions this might be better developed with clearer
objectives. Security of supply of resources for European industry is now well established on
the European agenda. Mining is a very important business sector for Sweden. The six
research areas identified are relevant and important. Bringing these different research areas
together in a common platform should provide great benefit to industry


Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area could
have been better described in the proposal. Very good links with Swedish mining companies
and mining equipment suppliers certainly do exist as evidence by success of previous
projects. Here, however, no other specific plans were mentioned.

The goals and possible results from the center are clearly described. The LTU educational
program is closely aligned to the areas of research. Although the proposal mentions staff
exchanges where industry scientists take an active part in education and research, little
discussion was included about how, in practice, this might be accomplished.


The team has strong support from industry and there is an excellent chance the results will
be implemented. Being located in the north of Sweden, they are focused on the region’s
opportunities. The commitment from the industry is very important and an important
ingredient for future success. The Swedish mining industry is very much involved at all levels.
Little involvement with other major international mining companies was indicated.



There is the strong feeling that the team should indicate possible interaction with other
environmental components i. e. the impact on ecology, biodiversity etc. The panel further
recommends that goals should be set for gender and diversity aspects.



Concluding evaluation of the application
The proposed research is graded as excellent and strongly competitive at an international
level.




                                               4
                                                                     Strategic Research Areas
                                                                     Sustainable use of natural resources
                                                                     Final Evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area: Sustainable use of natural resources



Registration number: 2009-00963

Title: SMACC

Submitting university: Lund University




Overall grade: 4, Excellent, strongly competitive at an international level


Evaluation of the application

Scientific quality
The proposal represents an interdisciplinary program for studying how forests and non-food
crops can be used to mitigate climate change and the kind of adaptation that is needed for
biomass production systems. It also addresses, to a lesser degree, the resolution of conflicts
associated with the establishment of biomass for energy.

The work proposed is at the forefront of issues being raised in relation to the sustainable use
of ecosystems for mitigation of climate change. The adaptation part of the proposal is less
well defined than the mitigation part.

The scientific quality is very high in the biological aspects of the proposal but average to low
in the part dealing with conflict resolution. Lund University and the research team have a
clear potential to develop the natural science elements of this work.

The proposed work includes interesting cooperation between Gothenburg and Lund
Universities but it is unclear how this cooperation adds value to the application.

It is unclear how the research group going to test the developed new models. It seems
unrealistic to develop new sites within the time-frame and budget. The use of existing
research site infrastructure in Sweden should have been utilized better.

Strategic importance to the business sector and society
The research creates the basic information how the forests can be utilized the sustainable way
and the research work proposed is very important for the longer perspective. The project will
not lead to immediate economic benefits but in the medium term will become important for
the development of sustainable business models. However, the connection to the business
sector is not very clear and the relationship seems rather loose.


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                                                                     Strategic Research Areas
                                                                     Sustainable use of natural resources
                                                                     Final Evaluations, May 2009




Despite the fact that the research field is important for society and for new business
opportunities, but proposal lacks clarity and details how the proposed research and possible
results will be transferred to the industry and into the education system.

Management structure and strategies as well as industry involvement are not well described.

Concluding evaluation of the application
The panel thought that the proposed research effort has the prerequisites to be of a very high
international quality and it addresses an area that will contribute towards fulfilling major
needs and important problems in society but the research is not very well developed
connections to the Swedish business sector. That is to say that it adequately addresses the first
two criteria for funding of research proposals those of scientific quality and fulfilling major
societal goals but is less than adequate in demonstrating a clear link to the Swedish business
sector.




                                                6
                                                                          Strategic Research Areas
                                                                          Sustainable use of natural resources
                                                                          Final Evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area: Sustainable use of natural resources




Registration number: 2009-00978

Title: Forests and other plants

Submitting university: SLU



Overall grade: 4, Excellent, strongly competitive at an international level



Evaluation of the application

Scientific quality
Excellent scientific quality from world leading and outstanding scientists. The proposal has a very
strong scientific basis at SLU and UmU which are highly respected and productive research and
education institutions. Excellence in the addressed research areas already exist at the partnering
institutions: SLU, UmU and SkogForsk. It builds on existing Centers of Excellence (e.g., Umeå Plant
Science Centre, Berzelii, FuncFibre, Future Forests) and uses a strong network of existing
infrastructure (long-term experiments, research parks, environmental monitoring programs,
laboratory and technical platforms). The research areas are clearly one of the highest prioritized
areas at SLU and UmU

The research proposed is well structured and of high scientific quality at the international forefront.
A lot of knowhow and history is behind the proposal and the research areas relevant and logically
chosen.

The excellent proposal targets key knowledge gaps in (i) impact of carbon and nitrogen dynamics in
forests; (ii) forest genetics; (iii) sustainable and adaptive forest management; (iv) other renewable
plant resources. Overall, the research, scientific environment, opportunities for scientific
development, and strategies will increase Sweden’s scientific competiveness in the research area.
The main area lacking is interdisciplinary research on the social, economic and even some of the
ecological impacts of the proposed work. In addition, the connection and integration of the research
areas are not very well described. Strong connections to international leading scientific institutions
in the proposed areas have to be secured.



Strategic importance to the business sector and society
The need to react to changing environmental (Climate Change) and economical (finite fossil
resources) frame conditions of the research and is well documented in the proposal. Basic research
knowledge (N-C cycle, adapted forest genetic) is necessary to prepare forest owners to react
accordingly to future environmental changes. Theme 4 on the other hand can contribute to solve



                                                   7
                                                                         Strategic Research Areas
                                                                         Sustainable use of natural resources
                                                                         Final Evaluations, May 2009




global challenges and provide new business opportunities. Answers to both main topics - climate
change and limited fossil resources - are very important for the society and the connections to the
industry are strong.

If the proposal is granted, it is recommended that research team integrate well with NGOs and
research centers with system perspective on sustainable use of natural resources.




Concluding evaluation of the application
The proposed research effort has the prerequisites to be of the highest international quality and it
addresses an area that will contribute towards fulfilling major needs and important problems in
society. The connections to the Swedish business sector are strong and well developed. If the
proposal is granted the Panel suggest that the budget should be equally distributed between all 4
themes and not favor the genetic themes.




                                                   8
                                                                     Strategic Research Areas
                                                                     Sustainable use of natural resources
                                                                     Final Evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area: Sustainable use of natural resources


Registration number: 2009-01006

Title: Opportunities in a changing world – The Stockholm Platform for Natural
Resource Science

Submitting university: Stockholm University




Overall grade: 3, Very good, competitive at a highest national level



Evaluation of the application

Scientific quality
The main idea of this research proposal is to link together mining and minerals research,
forest, fibers and biomass research with research on resilience, innovation and transformation
research. Indeed relevant, interesting and of great potential but likely too ambitious with the
given frames and budget. The description on how mining and forestry themes are, and will be,
integrated into the research on resilience is weak.

While the investigators are world leaders in the area of resilience theory and adaptive and
transformative capacity, they seem to be stretching beyond their comfort zone to work in the
particular mining and, to a lesser extent, forestry research areas identified. A closer
connection with other key players in the mining and forestry sectors, at national or
international level, would have strengthened the application.

The research is clearly highest priority at SU but it seems less prioritized at KTH.

Strategic importance to the business sector and society

The proposal addresses an area of high industrial relevance but description on how this can be
realised, within the proposed work is weak and lacks clarity.

The engagement and participation of the business sector in problem formulation and
implementation of the business sector is also weak.


Concluding evaluation of the application


The proposed research effort has the prerequisites to be of the highest international quality in
some, but not all, areas. The review panel felt strongly that this proposal covers a research



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                                                                Strategic Research Areas
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                                                                Final Evaluations, May 2009




topic that will clearly contribute towards fulfilling major needs and addressing important
problems in society. Unfortunately, connections to the Swedish business sector were not
obvious and the review panel had difficulties understanding how the improved understanding
of resilience and innovation generated by this research project would be practically
implemented in the mining and forestry sectors.




                                            10
                                                                   Strategic Research Areas
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                                                                   Final Evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area: Sustainable use of natural resources
Registration number: 2009-00994

Title: Securing sustainable MinerAl Resources: new inTegrated methods
and models (SMART)-

Submitting university: Uppsala University




Overall grade: 3 Very good, competitive at a highest national level




Evaluation of the application


Scientific quality
The scientific quality is generally very good, and excellent in the core activities like
seismology. The lack of experience in mining and mineral exploration in the Uppsala team is
reflected in the quality of mining safety. The chemistry and mineralogy parts are also weaker
and sustainability aspects are not clearly described.

The proposal is thematically quit narrow and it does for example not include, or only indirect
address socio-economic analysis or mitigation of environmental damage or remediation.

In the core area the possibility to make strong progress is very good. Participants are experts
in their fields and have potential to develop the scientific environment.


How the applicant University and partners prioritize the area are unclear, it does not seem
to be a core activity at Uppsala University and no extensive plan for how the partners will
cooperate is shown. The research would benefit from a more interdisciplinary approach.



Project participants have existing and previous international collaborations. Plans for future
international exchanges or cooperation are however not clearly described. The proposal
does not show links to i.e. national support group of relevant European Technology
Platforms, ETP, and it may therefore be difficult to reach the top international front.




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Strategic importance to the business sector and society
The goals and possible results from the center are clearly described.

Finding new ore bodies or extensions of existing ore bodies is very important for
sustainability. This part of the project and the application in Bergslagen is good.

The proposal contain a number of supporting letters from mining companies, however the
interaction between the university and the mining community is not clearly described. The
commitment from the mining companies is also weak. The research will of course help
industry with exploration in Bergslagen and may thereby also provide employment for
communities who were previously reliant on the mining industry and are favorable towards
it. There are good structures in place at Uppsala to provide links with industry and help with
potential exploitation of results. The proposed research will also be of importance for
recruitment of geopersonnel to the mining sector.

Plans to use results specifically from this project to generate benefits from research findings
are weakly described and the strategy relies on using the existing capacity and support


Concluding evaluation of the application
Uppsala strength is in the geophysical part particularly the deep seismic. The scientific
quality is generally very good, and excellent in the core activities like seismology. The
chemistry and mineralogy parts are weaker and sustainability aspects are not clearly
described. The scope of the proposed research is quit narrow and would benefit from a
closer connection with other key players in the mining sector and to relevant ETP.




                                               12
 
         Slutgiltiga yttranden

 Expertpanelen inom IT och mobil
kommunikation, inklusive framtida
 lösningar för kommunikation och
          ledningssystem
                                                                   Strategic Research Areas
                                                                   IT and mobile communication
                                                                   Final evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area:           IT and mobile communication
Registration number:               2009-00970
Title:                             eLLIIT: The Linköping – Lund Initiative on IT
                                   and Mobile communication
Submitting University:             Linköping- Lund


Overall grade: Outstanding



Evaluation of the application


Scientific quality:
The constellation of researchers in this proposal has a very high scientific
ranking. We find the members of this team clearly outstanding also compared
at an international level. This is evidenced by:
    -    An outstanding number of published papers and citations;
    -    An impressive number of published books (31 books published by the
         10 investigators!);
    -    A large number of important scientific awards;
    -    The scientific and technical impact of the MATLAB System
         Identification toolbox (L. Ljung), which is without competition in the
         world.
The centre of gravity of the proposal is on a network and systems point of
view in the area of mobile communication, with a heavy emphasis on
embedded systems, high confidence software, autonomy and adaptivity in
engineering systems. Embedded systems research is particularly well
covered by the proposal; mobile equipment is treated from the point of view of
embedded systems. This topic is considered by the panel to be very important
for the future developments in ICT research and technology.
The proposal is structured around three highly relevant basic research
themes (high speed mobile communications, high confidence software and
systems, and autonomy in engineering systems), and on six convincing
application areas (mobile broadband services, industrial automation,
automotive and aeronautics, smart buildings, eHealth and networks in
society). The applicants have presented a realistic proposal that builds on
existing competences and, to a certain extent, on an expansion of existing
programmes. The application shows a good blend of relevant application
examples.




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Given that the team is essentially built by pooling together the resources from
Linköping and Lund University, the research programmes could have been
developed in a more detailed way by explaining for each topic how the targets
will be accomplished and by whom, and how these research programmes will
specifically benefit from the synergy between the teams of these two
universities.
Both Linköping and Lund have an excellent track record for the promotion of
the scientific environment, and both participate in many research networks.
They are active in many European Union projects and have a long tradition of
international collaboration. The panel was pleased to see the effort in this
proposal for the recruitment and career opportunities for young researchers.
The panel applauds the project to launch a specific exchange programme for
academics between the two universities; this is all the more important
because the geographical distance between the two groups is seen as a
serious difficulty in the efficient development of this research proposal.
The proposal claims that this new research programme will allow the
Linköping-Lund consortium to recruit post-docs and academics on the
international scene. The panel views this as an excellent scheme, but
suggests that the consortium should develop a precise scheme for the
distribution of these new positions within the research groups.


Strategic importance to the business sector and society
The eLLIIT team of researchers have a proven track record of collaboration
with industry, including some of the industrial leaders in Sweden like Ericsson,
Saab, ABB, Volvo, Infineon, Scania, and others. The six application areas
listed in the proposal are well targeted on the basis of either existing
collaborations or on the potential for the application of mobile services and
networks in these areas. Examples given for the automotive industry, for
smart buildings, for the health industry and for the use of networks in society
are convincing. All six application areas will have clear impact on business
and society.
The panel notes that the two partners in this proposal have an excellent track
record in university-industry collaboration, some of these being longstanding
collaborations. For the most part, the plans to generate benefits from the
research findings in eLLIIT build on the existing centres of collaboration
through 3 Vinnova centres of excellence and 2 SSF centres that exist in the
two universities. The partners in eLLIIT will need to invest some thinking into
how to best integrate these industrial partnerships with the new combined
eLLIIT team.


Concluding evaluation of the application
eLLIIT is a consortium made up of members who are at the very top
internationally, with several being world leaders in their domain. The project is
clearly formulated and covers the strategically important field of embedded
systems.



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Strategic Research Area:      IT and mobile communication
Registration number:          2009-00993
Title:                        ICT – The Next Generation
Submitting University:        KTH


Overall grade: Outstanding



Evaluation of the application
The application of the KTH Stockholm consortium is named “The next
generation ICT”. The main goal is to become a world-leading center in ICT
including the topics human in the loop, infrastructure, Internet of things, and
mastering complexity. The responsible researcher is Jens Zander. The
consortium is led by KTH and the other partners are Stockholm University,
ACREO and SICS.


Scientific quality:
Most of the research groups in the proposal are genuinely world class and the
principal investigators are among the top scholars in the world in their field.
The scientific production of these groups is impressive both in terms of quality
and quantity. Quite a few “best paper” awards have been obtained, too. The
consortium holds “center of excellence” status in many research areas. The
research goals stated in the proposal are ambitious, but with sufficient funding
they may be achieved. The proposal covers topics from human interaction to
components, i.e., the whole ICT chain. Consequently, interdisciplinary work is
among the main themes in research. The partners in SU, SICS and ACREO
bring in the diversity needed for interdisciplinary work. The groups have the
critical mass to make the desired impact on Swedish research, society and
industry.
The research environment is first class and includes high quality research
groups, research institutes, infrastructure needed for cutting edge research,
moreover a substantial part of Swedish ICT industry is in the vicinity. There
are start-ups and spin-off companies in the area that are able to turn the
obtained research results into innovations. Start-up packages are provided to
foster innovations. Career planning for highly talented individuals aiming at
academic career is included in the proposal (basically tenure track system).
The graduate level education system is very efficient in terms of producing
graduating doctors; so talented work force will be available for the research
projects. Participating groups are hosting 12 national Centers of Excellence
and also funding from European Research Council (ERC) is obtained even
though these programs are highly competitive.




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Strategic importance to the business sector and society
The proposal is ambitious since it is aiming at making Stockholm a world-
leading center for ICT research and innovation. In order to reach this status,
full commitment from the researchers and research groups, the hosting
universities and research institutes as well as surrounding start-ups and
industry is required. The applicants also plan to attract an EIT KIC in ICT.
We are convinced the applicants have potential to increase scientific
competitiveness in the area: The research groups already have high visibility
and additional funding will obviously increase it. The proposal covers a variety
of topics that are key enabling technologies crucial to future ICT systems.
Because the critical mass is available in the consortium, the whole ICT chain
is covered. The topics are well chosen and within those areas, the consortium
will be able to make a real impact.
World-class research combined with fruitful environment for start-ups and
culture of effective technology transfer to industry ensure that research will be
of strategic importance. Moreover, there are well-established links to the
industry and processes for generating benefit from research findings through
industrial cooperation. Swedish ICT companies are highly dependent on being
in the forefront of the technologies covered by this proposal. By including
ACREO and SICS in the consortium, this part is made even stronger.
A considerable number of major companies from different sectors of industry
are involved in collaboration with the consortium. The number and volume of
research contracts with industry and government and other public funding
agencies is impressive.


Concluding evaluation of the application
A very impressive and challenging research program is presented in the
proposal. The team behind the proposal is world-class and the links to
industry very extensive. The proposal has the full support of the evaluation
team.




                                        4
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Strategic Research Area:      IT and mobile communication
Registration number:          2009-01001
Title:                        Large Area Sensing and Imaging Research
                              Network – LARGE
Submitting University:        Mittuniversitetet


Overall grade: Very good


Evaluation of the application


Scientific quality
The objective of the proposal is to reach enabling solutions for large area
sensing that will provide new measurement tools, mainly for industrial
development and growth in industry. The research program presented
focuses on sensors and measurement tools for industry such as image
processing and data fusion from streaming imaging sources. The related
industrial focus is on forest products, metallurgical industries, process
providers, mechanical and hydraulic and energy providers.
The proposal joins three research centers, the Sensor Technology Centre
(STC) at Mid-Sweden University, the institute excellence centre Acreo
IMAGIC and the institute excellence centre Acreo Fibre Optic Centre (AFOC).
The research program is remarkably well motivated, clearly explained, precise
and inspiring. The subjects and corresponding new research ideas are well
presented, in particular the photon counting imaging, infrared detection, large
area sensing as well as RFID and fiber optical technologies. The individual
subjects are described in large detail and clear demonstration activities are
foreseen.
The consortium is highly qualified. Some of the participants are at the
forefront of research on the highest national and international level. The
proposal aims to further develop the available scientific strengths and
technology platforms such as the photon counting radiation imaging, quantum
well infrared photo-detectors and the microstructured fiber technologies by a
collaborative effort.
The relatively narrow focus matches very well the number and size of the
participating research groups. The proposal is to investigate the following
areas more closely: imaging measurement technology, sensor networks and
large area sensing, and fiber optic sensor technology. On the other hand,
there are some doubts whether this selection of topics will lead to a major
push of IT and Mobile Communication in Sweden as a whole.
Because of the small size of the participating groups, the applied funding
would definitely give an essential boost to the research activities. It would be



                                        5
                                                                Strategic Research Areas
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                                                                Final evaluations, May 2009




essential for the participating groups and would lead to a clear prioritization.
Not many details concerning the related global strategy are given besides
activities that are standard in any internationally competitive institution. For
example, concrete innovative measures to increase the scientific strengths on
an international scale would be highly appreciated, e.g., new graduate
schools in challenging research areas, specific educational activities that
support the research infrastructure and lead to excellent PhD students and
directed measures to increase the attractiveness for hiring excellent research
staff.


Strategic importance to the business sector and society
The consortium involves over 40 industrial partners and appears to be well
embedded into the business sector. It is made clear that the proposed
research will develop technologies that will enable new innovations in
Swedish industry. The program addresses fields of importance to companies
in terms of monitoring and control of industrial processes. The proposed
research area will develop technologies that will enable innovations in
Swedish industry. Examples of important developments are novel
measurement and distributed sensing technologies, better X-ray imaging
solutions for quality control and non-destructive testing, imaging of the CO2
concentration in buildings, cars, industries as well as monitoring flow variables
in supply chains.
The consortium can rely on a very well established innovation set-up, in
relation to the university as well as to ACREO. There exist well-established
infrastructures of commercialization and technology transfer which suggests
that research results will have a short-term and long-term impact in industry.
One of the main mechanisms to strengthen the ties to industry is related to
the technology demonstrators. They are well designed and can be seen as
one of the major outcomes of the project: “In the research we are targeting
demonstrations of new methods to measure and image quantities extracted
over large areas providing insight that significantly improve the decision
making process. The demonstrations will be made in cooperation with
industrial partners, which will guarantee that the demonstrator setups are
design to really provide industrial benefits. “
Other channels to disseminate the research results appear to be
conventional, and are provided in form of a long list of individual activities
such as a PhD level educational program and staff sharing. No further details
are given and it is hard to measure (a) what is new in relation to the current
situation and (b) whether the new activities are appropriate.
The proposal contains an impressive list of national and international partners
to be involved in the collaboration. It would have been worthwhile to
understand their concrete role in the project.




                                        6
                                                               Strategic Research Areas
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Concluding evaluation of the application
We appreciate that the proposal contains concrete projects and
demonstrators. As a result, it is clear what to expect at the end. On the other
hand, global measures to increase the scientific strength and international
visibility of the research program could have been described in more detail in
the proposal.
The research program is remarkably well motivated, clearly explained, precise
and inspiring. The well focused research matches well with the current
research groups, but there are doubts whether such a concentration will lead
to a major push of IT and Mobile Communication in Sweden as a whole.




                                       7
                                                                     Strategic Research Areas
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                                                                     Final evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area:               IT and mobile communication
Registration number:                   2009-01002
Title:                                 C-MARS: Context aware mobile and
                                       autonomous real time service
                                       development and integration for process
                                       oriented enterprises
Submitting University:                 Lulea University


Overall grade: Good



Evaluation of the application
The proposal of Lulea University of Technology is named C-Mars, Context
aware mobile and autonomous real time services. The responsible scientist is
Jerker Delsing. The goal is higher efficiency in production and services by an
appropriate infrastructure, context-dependent extraction of complex data, and
technologies for autonomous decision and control. The addressed application
areas are ICT services for people of different ages and process IT for
industrial automation.


Scientific quality
The researchers appear to be at a good national level both in terms of the
quality of the research conducted and quantity of scientific papers and
contributions. Their international visibility is fine, but not yet at the level of
other universities in the country as reflected by Table 2 of the proposal.
One of the key themes is based on the vision of a transition from product-
based industry to process and service based business. There are three main
themes: technology and service infrastructure; context dependent information
structure, autonomous decision and control. Synergies among these themes
are not clearly understandable from the application. Also the research goals
and the connections and relations between them could have been outlined
more clearly. Process IT is one of the focus areas of C-Mars and a good
choice especially addressing the industry in Lulea area. In general, the
proposal has a significant regional focus, but has modest influence on
competitiveness of Swedish industry in strategic areas. There is potential for
significant contributions in some limited application areas. In such areas the
research groups will provide competitive edge to Swedish companies. The
ambition level of the proposal is very high in special areas, but it may be
difficult to reach. On the other hand, several objectives are mainly application
oriented. Some of the projects and demonstrators described in the proposal
are difficult to understand, which might be due to the limited number of pages
available.




                                           8
                                                               Strategic Research Areas
                                                               IT and mobile communication
                                                               Final evaluations, May 2009




Strategic importance to the business sector and society
Lulea University and industrial partners are committed to the research
envisioned in the proposal. Lulea University has also defined process IT as
one of its focus areas. There is a good practice of fostering and mentoring
junior faculty that will be beneficial to Lulea University in a long run. This
funding program would provide significant additional funding. Consequently,
there would be rapid growth in the number of faculty and research staff that
might be hard to manage (similarly to ICT industry in early 2000’s). There
appears to be sufficient infrastructure for conducting this research.
There is fruitful environment for making an impact on the process IT area. The
relationship with industry is well established in that area and technology
transfer would be effective. In limited areas of technology there would be
significant benefit from the research findings. In order to achieve the level of
strategic importance envisioned in the call for proposals, the contributions
should be more substantial in broader areas of ICT important to Swedish
society.


Concluding evaluation of the application
Although the proposal addresses research areas of interest to industry it is the
opinion of the evaluation team that the proposal does not fully meet the level
of strategic importance and the scientific impact envisioned in the call for
proposals.




                                       9
                                                                  Strategic Research Areas
                                                                  IT and mobile communication
                                                                  Final evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area:            IT and mobile communication
Registration number:                2009-01007
Title:                              Innovating Integrated Information
                                    Environments
Submitting University:              Umeå University


Overall grade: Good


Evaluation of the application


Scientific quality:
The application is written on a very general level and is rather unclear,
concentrating on the overall research domain but lacking detail in describing
the research objectives and activities. The scientific record of the team
members is judged to be relatively modest in terms of publications and
citations. It is difficult to gain an understanding of the competences of the
team.
The proposal clearly includes some able researchers, but strategies and ideas
are not outlined clearly. The list of work packages lacks detail, making it
difficult to evaluate the quality in terms of science. It is not clear what concrete
steps are necessary to overcome the current limitations, e.g. in terms of
linking the different islands that are mentioned. When concrete measures are
mentioned, they tend to be the obvious ones that would apply to every
research environment in this domain. There is a list of current projects, but no
further detail about goals, funding involved, or participating research groups
(as opposed to institutions).
There is potential for some worthwhile development of the scientific
environment within the scope of the proposal, including plans for Graduate
and Masters Schools. The proposal contains valuable though standard ideas
concerning career, recruitment and dissemination.
The area appears to be adequately supported by the applicant, which has the
ambition to be Europe-leading in applied IT research with a recent strategic
investment of approximately 30M SEK. The proposed funding would
substantially increase the current funding level of the participating research
groups.
The proposal is focussed in a relatively narrow area, helping some parts of
traditional Swedish industry to integrate ICT concepts and tools. What is
described is more focused on the innovations process but we find that the
links to more fundamental scientific research are not sufficiently described.
The use of integrated information environments is definitely an important and
timely area for the automotive and process industries, but it is - to our opinion




                                         10
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- too specialised to be characterised as strategic in the context of the present
program.
The application did not provide sufficient information to enable a positive
judgement to be made on some of the evaluation criteria, being focussed on
the innovation process rather than on scientific and technical aspects within
ICT.


Strategic importance to the business sector and society
The research area is important for the automotive and process industries. The
main points of the project appear to be more in planning and production than
in ICT. Again, the description is very general.
The proposal describes plans for generation of benefits from research
findings. These are, however, lacking in concrete detail, although there are
some worthwhile ideas mentioned concerning the interaction between
academia and industry, e.g., researchers’ forums, improvement projects, and
boundary-spanning forums.
The applicant has an established infrastructure for commercialisation and
technology transfer. A workpackage is dedicated to knowledge dissemination,
but the instruments seem to be the standard ones and the description is kept
at a rather general level.
There is participation from a number of companies within the automotive and
process industries with which the applicant has existing collaborations. A
number of projects and planned projects are listed in the proposal but again
detail is lacking and it is difficult to get an impression of the size of the
collaboration.
The team has had extensive projects with industry in the past, and has
obtained support letters from 7 companies. The existing track record of
academic/industrial interaction suggests that research results are likely to
have an impact in industry. The ideas and opinions concerning strategic
importance and the link to the business sector are among the stronger parts
of the proposal. Nevertheless, many aspects concerning the management of
the whole project are left open, e.g., selection of projects, quality-driven
distribution of funds, and indicators of success.


Concluding evaluation of the application
The proposal is thematically overly focussed and we should have liked to see
the scientific ambitions related to more basic ICT disciplines described in
more detail. Within its scope, it seems likely to deliver useful results with
impact on some industry sectors. The proposal is lacking detail in a number of
areas and the information provided is at a very general level.




                                       11
                                                               Strategic Research Areas
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                                                               Final evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area:     IT and mobile communication
Registration number:         2009-01008
Title:                       Chalmers Initiative on Information and
                             Communication Technology - CHICT
Submitting University:       Chalmers


Overall grade: Outstanding



Evaluation of the application


Scientific quality:
This proposal is well organised into clearly defined research areas in which
Chalmers has very good to outstanding research. It is especially noted that
Chalmers has a very strong standing in the radio and microwave area that we
consider of strategic importance to Sweden. Many of the researchers
involved are of top international quality.
The overall mission is to advance novel hardware and software technologies
for more efficient communication and sensing. The proposal makes obvious
that there is a great research environment already now at Chalmers.
Moreover the proposal contains a clear and convincing list of the research
activities and successes of the participating groups.
The research program (2b) is also designed to strengthen the collaboration
between the different subgroups. It contains general comments, concrete
research challenges as well as research objectives in the areas of design
efficiency, transmission efficiency, and energy efficiency.
The research subjects are definitely interesting and timely. They are also
described in much detail. On the other hand, some members of the evaluation
committee would have liked to see a higher fraction of more risky research
tasks in the proposed work.
Scientific goals in the application are very clearly described. We appreciate
the idea of an ICT Academy with the purpose to create a fine and coherent
education for young people. Overall we like the idea of looking at vertical
integration from student level to research collaboration with industry. Also the
focus on PhD education is very relevant so the idea of boosting this part of
operations is well motivated.
Plans to focus on cross-disciplinary research and technologies, collaboration
with industry and other universities, and new recruitment is also important.




                                       12
                                                                  Strategic Research Areas
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The ICT area is very well supported at Chalmers. This is emphasised by the
fact that the university will add at least 50 % to the awarded budget – it is,
however, not very clear in which way this will be done.
Chalmers has an internationally recognized effort in the field of ICT, but the
proposal could have given more details on how this position will be further
enhanced. Nevertheless it is clear that if the 2014 objectives are met the
accomplishments will contribute to the international standing in general.
Moreover, the 10 post doc positions mentioned in the proposal will also
contribute to an international environment.


Strategic importance to the business sector and society
The strategic importance of the research area and the concrete activities are
made very clear by the detailed analysis provided in section 3a. The analysis
is general enough as well as of sufficient detail to provide insights in the
relevant business sector – a well-structured and convincing presentation.
As to the strategies and plans to let the society benefit from the outcome of
the research, several measures and concrete activities are outlined. The
description shows the in-depth knowledge of the proposers concerning the
main processes to disseminate research results, e.g., indirect and direct
processes. In addition there are five additional strategies and plans:
entrepreneurial researcher, collaboration with companies, collaboration with
SMEs, collaboration with industrial research institutes and licensing. Besides
existing mechanisms, joint research centres with industry (new center in
software engineering planned) and joint projects with industrial research
institutes will also be promoted.
The ideas and plans are described in section 3d as well as chapter 4. The
proposal shows the current situation in terms of collaborations and spin offs in
great detail. It is noted that the list of spin-offs is impressive. Sections 4c and
4d present the special measure that will be used to ensure engagement and
participation of the business sector.


Concluding evaluation of the application
A very concrete and challenging research program is presented. It is based
on existing ICT research on the highest international level.
The proposal by Chalmers is highly professional and excellent in the way it is
structured and covers many details. It is made very clear where the
proposers see deficiencies and where the additional money should be
invested.




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Strategic Research Area:      IT and mobile communication
Registration number:          2009-01016
Title:                        Ease-IT Efficient and sustainable Embedded IT
Submitting University:        Uppsala University


Overall grade: Excellent



Evaluation of the application
The application of Uppsala University together with Mälardalen and the
research institute SICS is called Ease-IT. The main topic is "Embedded
Systems" which are energy efficient, have many cores utilizing advanced
platforms, and allow efficient software and system development. The
responsible researcher is Anders Hallberg. The excellent scientific quality is
shown by two strategic centers and one excellence center.


Scientific quality:
The research work is outstanding both in terms of quality and quantity. The
research work in the area of modelling, control and signal processing is of
particularly high quality. As an example, Prof. Stoica is probably one of the
leading scholars in the world in his field. The scientific production of these
groups is impressive both in terms of quality and quantity, especially in
Uppsala.
The research environment includes high quality research groups and the
infrastructure needed for cutting edge research. Most of the Swedish ICT
industry is in the greater Stockholm area in close proximity of the applicants.
Sabbatical programs for faculty, as well as post-doc positions are planned to
ensure that the research groups will be exposed to new ideas. The graduate
level education system is very effective in terms of producing graduating
doctors. The proposal covers research challenges related to embedded ICT
systems, which is an important research topic all over Europe. Ease-IT aims
to become the world-leading center of excellence in this area. Special
emphasis is put on renewing technical education programs. Especially the
plan for international scientific cooperation is viewed positively by the
reviewers.
The reviewers value the scientific quality of the participating researchers very
highly, but also note that there is room for improvement of the structure and
clarity of the application itself.




                                       14
                                                              Strategic Research Areas
                                                              IT and mobile communication
                                                              Final evaluations, May 2009




Strategic importance to the business sector and society
The proposal focuses on 5 different application areas that are of importance
to Swedish industry. However, the cooperation with industry could be
improved in order to ensure more effective technology transfer. Consequently,
the impact within the 5 years envisioned in the call for proposals would be
higher.
The consortium partners are highly committed to the proposal. IT is among
the focus areas of Uppsala University; hence the program matches well with
the university strategy. Similarly, real time systems related work done at MDH
is core ICT technology.
There is a culture of start-up companies and spin-offs in Uppsala. The number
of collaborating companies is large and they cover many different application
areas. However, the contributions from the companies in terms of funding was
less than what one would expect, since the high quality of the work would
justify more significant funding, especially from the big companies. The
groups involved are capable of making the desired impact on Swedish
research, society and industry.


Concluding evaluation of the application
We consider this proposal of excellent quality. The research work of the team
behind the proposal is outstanding both in terms of quality and quantity. The
proposal focuses on application areas that are of importance to Swedish
industry. However, we find that the proposal could be improved regarding the
plans for technology transfer.




                                      15
          Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Klimatmodeller
                             Panel Climate Models

Applicant: Professor Per Eriksson, Lund University
e-mail: rektor@rektor.lu.se
Identification number/Dnr: 2009 – 136



Project Title: ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system
Acronym: MERGE



MERGE proposes to develop an extensive programme examining biogeochemical
feedbacks in the Earth System, through collaboration between Lund University,
University of Gothenburg, Rossby Centre/SMHI, University of Kalmar/Linné University,
Chalmers University, and the Royal Institute of Technology.

There is a major focus on terrestrial ecosystem processes, including “natural” (physical,
biological and chemical) processes and also human-driven processes of land use change.
There is a mix of individual land surface / ecosystem models and work on a climate
model land surface scheme. The work involves model development, process
understanding and benchmarking against observations.

There is also a focus on aerosol processes, with a mixture of laboratory experiments, field
observations, satellite data analysis and modelling.

A further focus is on climate modelling, particularly on improving the representation of
local-scale processes and effects and extremes.

Strengths

1. Good components to the Earth System modelling initiative. Well-known, established
models e.g.: LPJ-GUESS. Recognition of need to develop new land surface scheme for
ESM. The components they wish to examine are appropriate (land ecosystems, land use
change, aerosols, coastal impacts, urban influences - these are things which do need
improving in ESMs).
2. It would be strategically important to have improved capability in Earth-System
feedbacks (this is from background knowledge rather than from information in the
proposal).
3. There is a clear list of potential stakeholders (Appendix C pages 3 and 4)
4. It is appropriate to devote significant funding to ecosystem processes as there are
important research gaps there (but see later comments)


                                                                                            1
5. The proposal would need the infrastructure described.

Major gaps

1. There is very little detail on how the components would actually be brought together to
create new Earth System Modelling capability. It is this bringing together which is the
hard part, so more details are needed on that. e.g.: How will F1.1.1 feed in to F1.1.2?
2. There is no prioritisation of the large number of specific areas. Which ones really are
of high importance?
3. The proposal needs more clarity on how this work will be innovation (i.e.: why the
work is significant steps beyond current knowledge and capabilities)
4. The proposal does not really define the reasons for needing the capability - there are
vague statements on advising policy for mitigation and adaptation, but what kind of
policy and what kind of advice is not specified. For example, will the inclusion of the
new feedbacks provide better information on how deep emissions cuts need to be in order
to avoid passing certain thresholds in the climate? Also, why are regional climate system
models needed (i.e.: RCMs with the new feedbacks processes) - is this to provide better
regional projections for adaptation? Are there any other barriers to be overcome there
(e.g.: in improving decadal-scale forecasts) - are these also being addressed?
5. Linked to the above, the nature, extent and timing of stakeholder engagement is not
clear. Would stakeholders be involved from the beginning and at key points throughout
the programme, in order to influence research directions and provide feedback as the
work progresses?
6. There are no clear links to wider Earth System Modelling strategy, e.g.: EC-Earth.
How does this fit with the strategy of that programme?
7. Although the diagram on Appendix B page 2 and Appendix C page 8 suggest links
from society and stakeholders back to the model development (RT1) and its application
(RT2), it is not clear when this will take place or what form it would take. Will this
dialogue happen at the start of the programme and at key points within it, rather than just
at the end? How will it happen?
8. Not clear how much funding allocated to doing the coupling of the models, or to
evaluating the behaviour of the coupled system. Presumably the Rossby Centre should
be involved in that - will the new feedbacks not go into Rossby Centre models? Will
they get sufficient funding to do this, or to facilitate the other partners in this?
9. It is not clear how the budget will be allocated between different infrastructure areas:
supercomputing, PC clusters, etc

Issues of scope

1. The aspirational scientific content (improved Earth System Models) has good fit to
scope of call (long-term, high international quality science)
2. The aspiration to develop new Earth System modelling also fits with the strategic
requirement to fulfil major needs and solve leading problems). The areas identified as
relevant to society, business etc are appropriate.
3. Budget is of an appropriate size for a significant initiative in Earth System Modelling
as part of a wider initiative.



                                                                                             2
4. The kind of infrastructure described is appropriate for a call on Climate Modelling, for
a project which also links to a wider programme with other infrastructure available.


Potential problems

1. There is little focus on actual coupling of new / improved components could mean that
the work does not actually find its way into operational Earth System models.
2. The coupling of biospheric feedbacks etc into climate models is a technical challenge,
and if this is not addressed (with time and funding devoted to it) then the proposal will
fail to achieve new coupled modelling. There is no evidence of established expertise in
coupling biosphere and climate models.
3. No information on strategy for EC-Earth and how this fits in. It is not clear whether
this work would duplicate that done elsewhere, or whether it really fits a research gap.
4. Lack of prioritisation of the many research areas could mean the project tries to do too
much and spreads itself too thin.
5. If stakeholder engagement is not properly planned then the project would risk not
meeting stakeholders’ needs. Focus and prioritization of this is needed.
6. The lack of focus on the coupling and poor links to wider Earth System Modelling
strategy means the potential strategic importance may not be fully realised. The proposal
was not convincing on its capability to deliver genuinely integrated modelling which will
be applied to focussed questions of high importance.
7. The funding shows a strong bias towards terrestrial ecosystem modelling at Lund. The
other components should get a bit more, especially if coupling the biosphere and climate
models is going to happen, and especially is adaptation questions will be addressed.
8. Lack of clarity on coupling strategy could lead to wrong decisions or timing of
allocation of resources between different infrastructure areas. Need to support capacity
for large coupled model simulations at the right time – needs forward planning

Recommendations to the applicants

1. The scientific content is good in its individual components, but needs more effort and
strategy on coupling of Earth System processes to global climate models.
2. The proposal needs a diagram showing how the different Focus items link to each
other, and a Gannt chart or similar showing the order in which work needs to be carried
out in order to build a new coupled model, understand its behaviour and provide new
predictions. (With more detail than the diagram on Appendix B page 2)
3. While the project is potentially of high strategic importance, the capacity to deliver on
this is compromised by the lack of focus on coupling the models and understanding their
coupled behaviour.
4. The project needs to engage with stakeholders early to make sure project is relevant.
5. More focus is needed on collaboration on coupling the new processes and on
understanding of feedbacks
6. Needs clearer planning on how budget will be allocated to different infrastructure
areas, and at what times within lifetime of programme




                                                                                           3
OVERALL ASSESSMENT

The proposal is good in its components but currently does not give confidence that it will
feed in to operational Earth System models or lead to significantly improved
understanding of climate feedbacks in the context of the entire Earth System, which is the
stated aim. Also it is not clear that stakeholder engagement will really influence the
direction of the work. We would encourage applicants to provide further details on how
these would be addressed.




                                                                                        4
                           Panel Climate Models
Applicant: Professor Pam Fredman, Gothenburg University
e-mail: pam.fredman@gu.se
Identification number/Dnr : 2009 - 137


Project title: Modelling Climate Relevant Ocean Processes
Acronym: MCROP
The overall objective of the project is to improve understanding of the interaction
between different processes in the marine climate system and how they feed back to
climate change. The focus is on key physical and geochemical processes and the
exchange of radiative gases between the ocean and the atmosphere.
The consortium aims to build on state of the art ocean biogeochemical process studies
which the partner research groups involved in MCROP proposal successfully carried
through in the past, and to strengthen biogeochemical process modelling capabilities
of the group, by including improved biogeochemical ocean process studies and
modelling in regional models.

MCROP further aims, within a context of international collaboration, to incorporate
results of process- and regional modeling studies to Global Climate System Models.
Key element of the MCROP proposal in this aspect is the collaboration with
University of Bergen, which has a state of the art Global Ocean Modelling Capability.

The MCROP consortium proposes to build a new Climate Modelling Platform that
will act as a focus for marine climate research at University of Gothenburg.

The research is proposed to focus on two geographical areas:

   a. Process studies in European coastal areas (Baltic Sea, Black Sea,
      Mediterranean)
   b. Marine physical and geochemical observational studies of the Arctic Ocean


    A. Strengths

   1. The oceans play a major role in controlling climate, and this is very well
      described and recognized in the rationale of this project.
   2. The MCROP research team has a long term experience and very good track
      record in studying the marine biogeochemical processes which are governing
      the marine carbon cycle and other ocean-atmosphere gas exchanges.
   3. The MCROP research team has an impressive track record in oceanic
      observational and monitoring activities.
   4. Individual process as well as observational studies have a high scientific value
      on their own, and given the past track record of the groups involved, these
      studies will undoubtedly make a good contribution to improved process
      understanding of the marine biogeochemistry and of the marine climate
      relevant processes.
 B. Major gaps

1. The proposal is written in a very general and unbalanced way, and the result is
   that much of the essential information which is needed to evaluate e.g.
   research and modeling strategy, research hypothesis and research method,
   field observational strategy, is either completely missing or provided with
   insufficient detail. The proposal leaves an impression that it has been written
   in a hasty manner, especially annoying is the large number of “cut and paste”
   sections which reappear in different parts of the proposal.

2. It is not clear which regional models will be used and further enhanced /
   developed. The proposal lists, in general way, a number of conceptualization,
   parameterization and sensitivity issues to be addressed, such as
   parameterization of topographic effects on large scale ocean circulation and
   developing a new understanding the effects of organic matter on the ocean
   surface on marine aerosol and cloud processes, but is entirely unclear what
   will be the starting point of this activity. Which regional models are there in
   the group, what are their current skills, what is the state of the art
   parameterizations included already, where are the main gaps in these, and
   how will the consortium go about making essential improvements? All this
   information is missing in current version of the proposal.

3. The consortium proposes to build a Climate Modelling Platform (CMP) that
   will act as a focus for marine climate research, and where modeling expertise,
   including programming and data processing, will act as a common resource.
   The CM is however described in the proposal only in managerial and
   procedural context. What is / what are the overarching modelling
   framework(s) and concept this platform will be build around? Which existing
   models will go in as a begin currency? What is a strategy for
   coupling/interfacing between models and their new components? No word
   about these issues is mentioned in the proposal.

4. Given the fact that climate modeling is the overall framework of the call the
   MCROP proposal is responding to, the important, if not key element of the
   MCROP proposal is the collaboration with University of Bergen, which has a
   state of the art Global Ocean Modelling Capability. The proposal states that
   the results are to be included, through collaboration with University of Bergen,
   in the Bergen Climate Model. But it remains un-elaborated in the proposal
   how the transfer to-, and collaboration with, the Bergen Climate Model will be
   materialized. There is no work plan, no budget foreseen in the project (except
   of a letter of support) to carry out this key activity.

5. What is the relation of to be established Climate Modelling Platform (CMP) at
   the University of Gothenburg, and the Bergen Climate Model? Would that
   model be ported to Gothenburg CMP? Is there any exchange of post-docs and
   modelers foreseen?
6. The proposal lists many of the ongoing EU and other already funded and
   currently ongoing programmes, which MCROP, if funded, would link to. This
   is an important and laudable part of the project strategy. However, it needs to
   be specified and made much more transparent, both thematically and
   budgetary, what is the value added if MCROP to these ongoing projects and
   activities.
7. The proposal is extremely narrow and inward looking when it comes to be
   more specific about national and international networking and collaborations.
   Out of 19 PIs and researchers proposed to be involved in the project, 17 are
   from the University of Gothenburg, and two (non-budgeted) from University
   of Bergen.

8. Strategic importance for the business sector and society: generic text about
   different elements and strategies inhere, including integrated innovation
   aspects of interfacing with the public and private stakeholders, is good and
   well written, however what are the elements/steps/actions/results specific to
   MCROP proposal?


 C. Issues if scope

1. The oceans play a major role in controlling climate, and this is very well
   described and recognized in the rationale of this project. Climate models need
   still major improvements with regard to including ocean biogeochemical and
   marine-atmosphere exchange processes. The scientific and thematic scope of
   MCROP, in general, is therefore relevant to the aim of the call.

2. However, the proposal in its current form seems to be merely a loose
   collection of a build-upon process-, observational/monitoring and incidental
   modeling and sensitivity studies. This individual studies have, beyond any
   doubts, a high scientific value on their own, and yes, they will contribute to
   better understanding of the marine processes, and in part atmospheric
   processes.

3. The overall call to which MCROP is responding is centered on climate
   modeling, but (climate) modeling is the least described and least developed
   part of the MCROP proposal. It is impossible to judge on the balance between
   experimental, observational, and process-modelling studies within MCROP
   versus a real effort towards improving of the regional and global (climate)
   models.



 D. Recommendations

1. Make clear what is the value added of MCROP with respect to many
   (international) ongoing projects in which the consortium partners are already
   involved.
2. Make clear an explicit which part of the intellectual and budgetary effort in
   MCROP goes to improving of the regional and global (climate) models.
   3. The proposal states that it is not the intention to build own global climate
      model at Gothenburg, but to make a significant contribution to further
      development and improvement of the Bergen global model. Potentially, this
      may become a strong scientific and modeling partnership. But if so, this needs
      to be explicitly reflected in the work and financial plan of the proposed
      project, in a long term vision about how to sustain this partnership, and in a
      more specific commitment of the Bergen University to invest in this
      partnership.
   4. The idea of Climate Modelling Platform needs to be further developed and
      perhaps reconsidered, especially in the context of necessary links to other, in
      many cases already very advanced and well established nodes of climate
      modeling in Sweden, including the Rossby Center.



OVERALL ASSESSMENT
The MCROP project as described in its current stage lacks a clear strategy, quality
and coherence in terms of local-to regional-to global climate modeling efforts, and
therefore it is unlikely that it will make a substantial contribution to the overall aim of
improving climate modeling capabilities.
                              Panel Climate Models


Applicant: Professor Kåre Bremer, Stockholm University
e-mail: rektor@su.se
Identification number/Dnr : 2009 - 145

Project title: Modelling Initiative of the Bert Bolin Centre for Climate
research




This proposal describes a plan to establish a strong climate modeling group at the Bert
Bolin Centre for Climate Research. Working with KTH and Rossby Centre, research
activities are planned to (1) enhance the ability to simulate climate variations at the
decadal to centennial time scales mainly through contributions to the development of EC-
Earth; (2) evaluate climate simulations using observations and process-based analysis of
simulations and observations; and (3) advance the understanding of past and future
climate changes through modeling experiments and analysis.

In pursuing the above research, the team will focus on areas that they already have
significant expertise. These include ocean data assimilation, atmosphere-ocean
interactions, aerosol-cloud-climate interactions, modeling stratocumulus and trade
cumulus, ice sheet modeling, and paleoclimate research. From the list of papers
published in high impact international scientific journal in recent years, it is clear that
members of the proposing team have indeed established themselves as leaders of these
fields.

The proposed research is organized into four research themes: (1) understanding
circulation, variability, and decadal predictability, (2) representing processes at
unresolved scales, (3) paleoclimate modeling, and (4) Arctic climate change. Within each
theme, several projects are planned that include tasks related to model development,
model evaluation, as well as model applications.

Strengths:
   1) The proposed research topics, including decadal prediction, improved process
      modeling, and Arctic climate change, are highly relevant and timely for
      improving climate models and reducing uncertainty in model-based projections of
      climate change.
   2) The proposing team has already demonstrated significant leadership in many of
      the research areas that are proposed. The partnership between SU, KTH, and




                                                                                              1
       Rossby Centre can further advance its leadership position through complementary
       capabilities and collaborations on strategic topics.
    3) Development of EC-Earth is potentially new significant contributions to European
       efforts on earth system modeling that will be used to provide decadal and century
       scale predictions.
    4) The research questions can generate benefits to society and business sector
       through improved understanding and predictions of climate variability and
       change.

Issues of Scope:
    1) The proposal includes a good selection of research topics that the proposing team
       has already developed significant capability, so the research is relatively low risk.
    2) There is no experimental or new component that can be seen as significant
       extension to current capability. There is, however, application or extensions to
       current capability (e.g., data assimilation) in a relatively new problem (e.g.,
       decadal prediction) that could lead to important new understanding and prediction
       capability, so the research could potentially have high impacts.
    3) The budget is commensurate with the research tasks proposed.

Major Gaps:
  1) The proposal does not provide enough information about the innovative aspects of
      the proposed research. While most of the proposed focus areas are worthwhile
      and important, the proposing team did not articulate what approaches they will
      take to make significant impacts in the fields, or what they will do that is new or
      different from what they have already been doing.
  2) The proposal lacks cohesiveness or integration of the research. The proposal plan
      is made up of individual projects that are important on their own right, but there is
      no attempt to provide a more integrated research plan that will accelerate progress
      in understanding and modeling the climate system at the decadal and century time
      scales. Also, it is not clear if and how scientists working on these individual
      projects will interact to achieve the overall objectives.
  3) With the various research surrounding improvements of EC-Earth, there is no
      plan by the proposing team to evaluate EC-Earth as a whole, and apply the model
      to support IPCC and global research activities. This is particularly important to
      establish key leadership role in national and international activities. The proposal
      did not clearly laid out a plan of establishing such leadership roles through
      integration of research activities.

Potential Problems:
   1) It is assumed that new process models and understanding will be added to EC-
       Earth and the model will then be used to study climate change and improve
       understanding of decadal predictability, etc. Given the development of EC-Earth
       is a larger community effort, it is not clear how the proposing team will plan and
       coordinate their research to provide inputs, as well as take advantage of, EC-Earth
       in the various research activities.




                                                                                           2
    2) The readiness of EC-Earth for the proposed research is of concern. A more careful
       timeline should be developed to ensure smooth transitions from one research
       component to the others.
    3) The information that will be produced from the proposed research does not, in
       general, translates directly to information that stakeholders and decision makers
       can use.

Recommendations:
   1) The proposing team needs to develop a more detailed plan of how the various
      proposed efforts can be coordinated and how collaborations across the team will
      be accomplished to achieve larger impacts. Examples include coordinated efforts
      to apply and evaluate EC-Earth to produce high impact results on Arctic climate
      change.
   2) The proposing team needs a more detailed plan and timeline of how they will
      coordinate model development activities within the context of the larger EC-Earth
      modeling community. They also need a plan if EC-Earth is not ready for
      implementations of the new components proposed.
   3) The team should consider a plan to coordinate large numerical experiments that
      will be performed to support international activities such as IPCC.
   4) The team should consider investing in a formal member with expertise on
      translating their research finding to a form that is more directly relevant to
      stakeholders. This could be achieved by replacing the full time communication
      staff with a scientist with expertise in Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation
      (IAV) research and direct stakeholder engagement.

Need for infrastructure:

This proposal focuses on numerical modeling and analysis of observations and numerical
model outputs, so the success of the research will depend heavily on the computing
infrastructure including computing power, grid facilities, and data storage. The Bolin
Centre has recently acquired a powerful computer, which is expected to partly meet the
computing needs of the proposed project during the first 3 years.

Budget:

Need clarifications on the FTE of new hires and current staff who will be devoted to the
proposed research.




                                                                                           3
                             Panel Climate Models 
 
 
Applicant:  Chalmers – Professor Karin Markides 
e­mail: markides@chalmers.se
Identification number/Dnr: 2009 ­ 146 
 
Project title: Observation­guided Earth System Model Development 
(OERSTED): A Chalmers climate modeling initiative – for a 
sustainable future 
Acronym: OERSTED 
This proposal describes a plan to strengthen the strong geophysical observations research
groups at Chalmers University of Technology and Luleå University of Technology and
link their research closer to the EC Earth model via inclusion of the Rossby Center in the
proposed research. Their activities mainly encompass analysis of observations,
comparisons between observations and model output, and improvement of models.

The project team will focus on three scientific topics in which they already have
expertise: 1) Water in the atmosphere, 2) Chemistry-climate interactions, and 3) Arctic
sea ice. The three research groups all have relevant and sufficient publications in high
impact international journal to indicate that they are capable of doing substantial research
within the field they propose to do research within.


Strengths:
   1) The scientific quality of the proposed team is good in terms of production and
      rating of the published papers. The team encompasses the skills needed for doing
      observational research within the three areas they suggest. Using the existing
      modeling framework of EC Earth and compare to new observations appears as a
      feasible strategy and inclusion of SMHI/Rossby Center does guarantee that
      modeling expertise is part of the project.
   2) All the proposals within the call can become strategically important to the
      business sector. The indication of past successes in turning improved knowhow
      on remote sensor technology into new business areas in existing and new
      businesses are therefore a strength in the proposal. The education and outreach
      activities are well described and seem to be on a high level.

Issues of Scope:
    1) The need for observation-driven research is obvious and a strengthening of the
       field by continuous development of sensors and analysis tools are needed in order
       to improve earth system model performance. The call text phrases this need in the
       following manner: “To accomplish all of this we need more reliable data, both
       meteorological and geological, with better geographic coverage and greater


                                                                                           1
       knowledge and techniques to interpret these data”. However, the overall topic of
       the call is “Climate Models” and as such the link between the observations and
       the models should be clearly defined and the objectives more ambitious in a
       proposal mainly focusing on observations.
       Figure B.1. Gives a clear description of the steps included in the proposal.
       However, the description of how validation is turned into improved process
       understanding and thus feedback to the models are inadequately described, giving
       an indication that the bridging between the modeling community and the
       observation community is not achieved by the proposed project. This means that
       the review panel finds that the application is on the borderline of being within the
       scope of the call.

Major Gaps:
  1) The CVs indicate that the suggested work is an extension of research already
      carried out and no bold new hypothesis are put forth, probably due to lack of new
      observations.
  2) See Issues of scope.

Potential Problems:
   1) In the current form of the proposal it is not clear how the suggested comparisons
       between climate model simulations and observations will be carried out. Also, the
       modeling community should be incorporated better into the workflow and an
       increased percentage of the workload in order to ensure that the findings will lead
       to an improved process understanding and that the results will be incorporated in
       climate models.

Recommendations:
   1) The proposed project is likely to achieve the results that the proposal states.
      However, in order to reach long term, highest international quality there should be
      a closer link to the modeling community.

Need for infrastructure:
No specific investments are foreseen although the budget allocates a total of 1.6 MSEK
to infrastructure/equipment. The amount can reasonably be assumed to be running costs
of existing equipment as well as minor investments. The project is based on an
assumption of much infrastructure that has already been financed.




                                                                                          2
            Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Materialvetenskap,
    inklusive funktionella material
                                             Materials Science including Functional Materials
                                                          Strategic Research Areas, May 2009



Final evaluation of the applications

Strategic Research Area: Materials Science including Functional Materials
Registration number: 2009-00971
Title: Advanced Functional Materials (AFM)
Submitting university: Linköping University (LiU)

Overall grade: Excellent / Outstanding



Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality

General
The proposal aims to establish an International Interdisciplinary Materials Science
Laboratory for Advanced Functional Materials (AFM) with focus on advanced surface
engineering, including thin films, quantum structures and next-generation electronic
materials. Subjects under investigation are in the area of high-performance soft, hard, and
hybrid smart materials. Furthermore, new concepts in synthesis, processing, analysis, and
computer based modelling will be established. Besides these scientific issues, attention is paid
towards R&D capabilities by enlarging and protecting the IPR base of Swedish companies
and stimulating new spin-off companies. Active, focused innovation efforts will facilitate the
introduction of novel smart materials into the Swedish industry. Finally, effort is put to
educate future generations of outstanding innovative scientists, engineers, technologists, and
industrialists.

Scientific quality
- The overall scientific quality of the proposal is excellent to outstanding. The proposed
research programme is challenging and well balanced. The work on multifunctional materials
is of high quality at Linkoping. In this proposal the focus is on different subjects, some of
which already belong to the key research topics of the institute, while others are new or just
started.
The work on wear resistant coatings is of high international reputation. New directions like
the fullerene-like carbon based coatings look promising and could lead to international
recognition of the institute.

The wide band gap semiconductors are gaining interest, especially in doping and
functionalisation of nano-sized TiO2 and ZnO particles, as well as the use of nitrides.
Although the Linkoping group does not yet belong to the highest international level in this
particular field, they have developed expertise that may give them such positioning through
the research described in the proposal.
The molecular self assembly work is of high quality. To explore this field in the direction of
large area electronics, including organic lighting, is a challenge. The well-known work on
photoelectron spectroscopy on polymers forms a good basic for this. Self-assembled


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                                             Materials Science including Functional Materials
                                                          Strategic Research Areas, May 2009


architectures, hybrid systems, high mobility organics, high K dielectrics for low-voltage
applications, and organic electronic gels are demanding subjects in this field.

The computational and modelling research is of high international level.
This proposal mentions investigating in more depth the linking of soft with hard materials.
This is indeed an interesting and upcoming field. However, it has to be kept in mind that
several (very prestigious) groups work on the proposed subjects like hybrid spintronics,
including graphene and related materials. However, the strong reputation of the spintronics
group could lead to exciting new ideas in this field.

- The panel finds that the proposal would have been stronger if the subjects proposed were
explained in more detail. This holds in particular for the description of new and explorative
research fields for linking soft and hard materials which are discussed.

- The potential for international excellence is ensured and the proposed chair position
appointments should expand the expertise in the newer areas.

Potential for development of the scientific environment
- The proposal is built on several initiatives that are running (or have been running) at
Linkoping. The Linkoping group has shown to be very successful in developing a scientific
environment; initiatives such as FunMat and SENMAT are good examples. However, there
are some pitfalls to be considered. Not every new grant or proposal has to be an initiative for a
new platform. Too many different initiatives hamper visibility. The latter is important for the
international reputation of high quality science but also for visibility to industry. The AFM
initiative is ambitious and well organised as described in the proposal. This distinguished it
from the other applications.

In view of the already mentioned overlap with on-going projects (FunMat and SENMAT), the
Linkoping group should invest in a broader platform of high ranked and respected
researchers, such as the involvement of (organic) chemists who are experts in the organic
conjugated polymers.

How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
scientific excellence
-The projects that have been selected in the proposal are well prioritised. Some of them are
based on existing expertise at Linkoping, (nitride thin films, wear resistant coatings,
molecular self assembly, modelling) others are new or expanding the research topics
(fullerene-like carbon-based coatings, large area electronics, organic sontronic materials,
hybrid spintronics and especially graphene).

Strategies to increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the research area
-The panel is very pleased to see that the importance of IPR’s is underlined. Also the patent
activities and innovation opportunities are incorporated in the proposal. Although contact with
industry already exists, these contacts need to be further expanded to address the wide range
of systems described in the proposal. As stated by the applicants, the opportunities on organic
LED’s in combination with large area electronics is a field where new business are likely to
occur.


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-The awareness towards creating start-ups is important. The groups have shown to be very
successful in the past.




Strategic importance to the business sector and society

Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
business sector and society
- The research covers areas which have great importance to both society and industry. The
research areas are strategically important since they address some of the most important issues
in materials science. Much can be expected from organic electronics. Some fundamental
problems have to be solved, like electron and hole mobilities, large scale electronics, high K
dielectrics. New materials (and functionalities) will be introduced and explored towards
industrial applications.

- The panel specifically finds the efforts in attracting industry by offering an open innovation
structure providing access to the different laboratories interesting. Furthermore, the industry
reference panel, besides the scientific advisory board, gives a good platform to gain
interaction with industry.

Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area
- The groups have an excellent track record in several aspects of the research programme,
especially in the field of thin film physics, theory and modeling, functional electronic
materials and molecular physics.

- The IPR situation is clearly addressed and is a strong point in this proposal. The same holds
for the ongoing activities for excellence in R&D.



Concluding evaluation of the application
The panel considers that the proposal fits very well in the aim of this Strategic Research Area:
Materials Science including Functional Materials. The research areas can achieve the highest
quality at an international level and are of strategic importance for society and the business
sector.
The approach is excellent in most of its aspects while others are outstanding.
The panel recommend this proposal for funding with a total budget of 110 MSEK




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Final evaluation of the applications

Strategic Research Area: Materials Science including Functional Materials
Registration number: 2009-01000
Title: Composite Materials Science
Submitting university: Luleå University of Technology (LTU)

Overall grade: Good



Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality

Scientific quality
The present proposal aims at the interesting areas of structural fibre composites,
biocomposites and nanocomposites. The project team has shown sound scientific quality in
the area of structural fibre composites and biocomposites. The nanocomposite part of the
proposal is of interest as the project focuses on novel environmentally friendly materials.
However, the panel finds that the potential for international excellence is limited to the area of
structural fibre composites and biocomposites. It is not obvious to the panel that the proposal
addresses the problems of obtaining consistent properties in nanocomposites. Extending their
work to the nanoscale in a systematic matter would have helped to make their proposal more
competitive.

Potential for development of the scientific environment
The potential for further development of the scientific understanding of most of the
composites is already present in the scientific environment at Lulea. However, for
nanocomposites the group does not have sufficient access to analytical equipment-expertise.
The proposed investment into a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) is a first step.
Access to more advanced methods such as computer tomography techniques and in-situ
Raman AFM among others could have benefited the proposal. This type of facilities or
collaboration would be necessary to become a world leading consortium on nanocomposites.

How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
scientific excellence
The panel finds that the project is placed well in the different divisions of the university with
respect to the structural fibre and biocomposites but the knowledge and the foreseen
investment and cooperation on nanocomposites is too limited for the consortium to become
world leading in this field in the time scale of the project.




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Strategic importance to the business sector and society

Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
business sector and society
Composite materials enable lightweight designs of high stiffness which is required in many
structural applications such as transport and aerospace. The research may also be important
for the forestry and packaging industry. Hence, the research is of strategic importance in
Sweden and internationally. However, the important question of recycling of these materials
needs to be addressed more and remains an open question.

Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area
The consortium has demonstrated an impressive link to industry and related research and has
focused well their efforts. They also have an excellent track record on implementing research
and development into industrial production. There is a strong industrial basis of support for
the proposed research. The thriving composite industry in Sweden and Europe needs well
educated specialists in the composite materials area. The education of these specialists was
well addressed in the proposal. The interface with the industry can be viewed as international
leading.


Concluding evaluation of the application
The panel finds that the proposal has excellent components and the approach to the structural
fibre and biocomposites is of high level, but for the nanocomposites the approach is less
convincing. Hence the panel concluded that the overall level of the proposal is good.
Furthermore the proposal would have gained from a larger and stronger involvement with
external experts in the field of nanocomposites and larger investments in advanced
characterisation techniques.
The panel don’t recommend this proposal for funding.




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Final evaluation of the applications

Strategic Research Area: Materials Science including Functional Materials
Registration number: 2009-01004
Title: Lund-Uppsala Functional Materials Initiative (LUMINI)
Submitting university: Uppsala University (UU)

Overall grade: Very good



Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality

Scientific quality
The proposal aims at the set-up of a platform to address issues regarding materials for
sustainable use of energy and natural resources. It focuses on the synthesis, characterization
and modelling of materials for energy production, conversion and storage as well as natural
resource saving. To reach the goals, it is proposed to combine fundamental and applied
research, an advanced and specialized educational program and connections with large scale
research facilities.
The teams of the two universities are excellent and have well known track records and
certainly provide a critical mass.
The overall quality of the proposal is very good but the global scope is hugely ambitious and
broad. The panel would have wished to get more in-depth presentation of the approach. In
addition, the overall topic of the proposal is timely and of primary importance for society.
However, defining targeted subjects of research would strengthen the proposal and give a
larger coherence. As is, the project seems to be mainly technically driven and characterization
oriented.

Potential for development of the scientific environment
The proposal is built on two universities that are already providing excellent scientific
environment for their groups. Part of the budget would be devoted to recruit more young
scientists (post-docs and assistant professors) and to an educational program (research school
creation, undergraduate program) to have a long term impact on the Swedish society.
Strategies to promote synergies between the two institutions could have been described more
precisely to warrant a smooth development of the platform.

How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
scientific excellence
LU is supporting the development of Materials Science in the institution by providing in 2008
funding for chairs in Materials Science and Chemical Synthesis and for new activities related
to MAX IV and ESS. In UU, Materials science is one of the profile areas, that receives an
increase in faculty funding. Three new chairs were also opened recently in this field. UU is
also supporting the large Swedish infrastructures.


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Strategies to increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the research area
The potential for international scientific competitiveness is high. The modelling and synthesis
teams of UU and LU are already internationally recognized. The groups have also developed
a large number of international connections. Identifying more precisely the areas where
breakthroughs are the most probable would have strengthened the proposal.


Strategic importance to the business sector and society

Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
business sector and society
The impact of the proposal on the business sector and society in Sweden and internationally,
is stated in broad, general terms.

Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area
All participating groups have a large network of collaborations with other universities and
industries. However, the strategy to enhance the integration of UU and LU groups in a
common platform could have been more detailed. The added value would become clearer.

Capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research
area
Both universities have technology transfer offices to support the transfer of innovations with
high commercial potential. The roles of the LUMINI board and Executive Office could have
been more precise and a vision for exploitation of the results better described.

Engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other
community organisations in problem formulation and implementation.
The large number of existing industrial contacts warrants that the business sector is likely to
be involved in the definition of research priorities. The intention to have an industrial mentor
for each PhD student is also very positive and could promote the development of start up
companies or the transfer of know-how. Examples of existing successful technology transfers
would have demonstrated their competence in this area.


Concluding evaluation of the application
The merging of the groups from the two institutions has a great potential for the development
of materials in the energy field. However, the added value was not obvious to the panel
beyond the area of characterization. Identification of research areas where the two
Universities have complementary strengths could have shown better the synergy to promote a
world leading position.
The panel don’t recommend this proposal for funding.




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Final evaluation of the applications

Strategic Research Area: Materials Science including Functional Materials
Registration number: 2009-01012
Title: Strategic Initiative - Materials Science
Submitting university: Chalmers University of Technology (CTH)

Overall grade: Excellent



Evaluation of the application

Scientific quality

Scientific quality
This is a highly regarded grouping, internationally recognised with a strong and rich research
environment. The main focus is chemistry/physics-based. The proposed areas of research are:
    - soft and supramolecular materials
    - functional surfaces and interfaces
    - characterisation and modelling
These areas are related to health, sustainability and energy technology - key areas for society.
The proposal addresses timely issues in supramolecules, oxides and corrosion.

The panel is of the opinion that these areas exploit the strength of the teams and stimulates
collaboration over areas/disciplines. The proposal is driven by fundamental science that
addresses industrial questions. The overall scientific context of the proposal was clear;
however, more details could have been provided for research in each area.

The CTH and GU groups are among world-leaders in characterisation and modelling and
biomaterials as demonstrated by the examples of the research given in the proposal.

The overall scientific quality is excellent.

Potential for development of the scientific environment
The panel was impressed by the integration of science between the two Universities; their
collaboration extends beyond simple sharing of facilities and will result in high added value.
A key point is the foundation of the joint Centre in Soft Microscopy – this will provide the
opportunity for a world-leading position in this area as it draws together the strengths of both
universities.




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As a result of the strong and real collaboration between the universities, the potential for a
dynamic scientific environment is high and there is a proven track record across the
disciplines. The panel hopes that this collaboration expands beyond the areas described in the
proposal and becomes a permanent feature. There are clear routes for building the scientific
environment through inter-university, inter-institutional and international
communication/collaboration – for example, funding of ‘excellence positions’ for young
researchers, visiting professorships and visiting programs for their postdoctoral researchers.
In addition, the proposal includes a well-integrated educational program.

How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
scientific excellence
Materials research is the foundations for their strategic initiative with the elements energy
technology, health and sustainability. This activity is highly prioritised by the applicants; the
university will match at least 50% of the governmental funding to support the wider landscape
for the programme.

Strategies to increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the research area
By providing a strong research network with an international dimension, the scientific
competitiveness will increase. In addition, the proposed Centre for Soft Microscopy, which
draws on the expertise of both CTH and GU, will be an important focus for research in this
area (biomaterials/implants and soft materials). One of the strengths of this proposal is that it
addresses the fundamental building blocks of Materials Science.

Strategic importance to the business sector and society

Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
business sector and society
The panel is of the opinion that one of the strengths of the proposal was that it addresses a
range of business sectors as well as society in general; pharmaceuticals, gels, functional
surfaces and oxides are key issues for energy, health and sustainability. The research covers
areas that have great importance in society. Most areas already have industrial partners.
Letters of support reflect the range of interest in the research of the CTU and GU teams.

Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area
A range of strategies are presented to produce and exploit the research finding - Chalmers
Industriteknik is a well-functioning mechanism to exploit research. International links
through postdoctoral initiatives will increase the profile of both the research and the
Universities. The proposed seed projects provide for more innovative approaches to
industrially relevant materials.




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Capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research
area
An existing route for supporting benefits from research is in place, Chalmers Innovation acts
as incubator for ideas to realisation activities (e.g. setting up a new company). In addition,
several other organisations within the university structure support the task of innovation at the
Universities, for example, Chalmers Invest.

Engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other
community organisations in problem formulation and implementation.
The panel is of the opinion that the Universities have a proven track record in engaging
industry by addressing problems faced by manufacturing and product optimisation,
exemplified by the coordinated effort on dental implants. The ability to apply fundamental
materials science to industrial issues is a major strength of this proposal. Existing centres and
collaborations, for example with MAXlab, ESS and MBRAB, demonstrate the ability to link
with other partners.

Concluding evaluation of the application
The panel is of the opinion that the scientific base for this application is impressive; however,
more detail on the proposed scientific program would have been beneficial. Nevertheless, it
is a strong proposal, the synergy between the two Universities will enable them to deliver
world-leading research, especially with the establishment of the Centre for Soft Microscopy.
The research teams and activities are excellent at an international level and are able to address
fundamental materials science questions currently faced by industry as well as exploring new
avenues for products and processes.
The panel recommend this proposal for funding with a total budget of 94 MSEK.




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Final evaluation of the applications

Strategic Research Area: Materials Science including Functional Materials
Registration number: 2009-01019
Title: Stockholm Material Centre
Submitting university: Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Overall grade: Very good / Excellent



Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality

Scientific quality
The Stockholm consortium (Stockholm Material Centre) consists of about 500 materials
scientists from 10 departments and institutes in the Stockholm area. The main objectives are
an integrated optimisation of materials, multiscale engineering and multiscale material
development. Sustainability and environmentally adapted materials are key elements. The
program deals with five subfields (Materials exposed to severe conditions, Fibers and
polymers, Interface and corrosion science, Porous materials and Materials for electronics and
photonics). A joint effort between KTH and the Stockholm University is an essential part of
the proposal. The approach is based on modelling, experiments, performance tests and
characterisation. The program deals with both scientific understanding of conventional
materials and of new materials/material systems.
The quality of the coordinator and the team is excellent. Their scientific output is impressive.

The five proposed subfields are understandably not at the same level of maturity. The topic
“Materials exposed to severe conditions”, “Interface and corrosion science” and “Storing,
sorting and delivering – Porous materials” are examples of individually top level activities.
The other two topics have been chosen for developing world class research between KTH and
SU. However very few details are presented about how integration of the five subfields would
be attained, beyond a list of activities. The equilibrium between breadth and focus is not
always reached. The panel finds that the proposal would have been stronger if there had been
more coherence in the research program.

Potential for development of the scientific environment
There is already a well established scientific environment at the different locations. There are
centres of excellence present. A strong international collaboration is ongoing and a common
SU-KTH MSE undergraduate program is planned. The actual collaboration conditions
between KTH and SU are not always well described.

How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
scientific excellence



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The project is in line with the university strategy: Materials is one of the five strategic
platforms of KTH, which includes sustainability and environmentally adapted materials as
key elements.
Although the proposal aims to develop further an overarching world leadership position in
material science, the panel would have welcomed a more pronounced integration of the depth
and breadth of the program.


Strategic importance to the business sector and society

The strategic importance of the research area
The research has high importance considering that the availability of suitable engineering
materials is decisive for the introduction of new or improved technologies. The panel also
welcomes the effort to replace non-renewable materials by renewable resources.

Strategies and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings
The partners of the Stockholm consortium have a longstanding collaboration with the
industry. Also the participation of several research institutes such as Acreo, STFI Packforsk,
Swerea KIMAB, YKI can stimulate and provide an efficient interaction with the industrial
players in the field. The proposed steering group consists of representatives from the
universities and research institutes. It is evident that the advisory board will also represent the
industrial component. However, it would be advised to also include some direct
representation from the industry in this steering group. Finally a strong international network
can ensure worldwide interaction.
Existing organisations such as Innovationsbron Stockholm can support a good
implementation of research output.


Concluding evaluation of the application
This proposal aims to address one of the fundamental problems in material science, i.e. the
acquisition of a systematic understanding of structure-property relationship of complex
materials through multiscale modeling and experimental techniques. The involvement of
materials scientists with physicists and chemists can further help in the realization of
materials, which are available for multifunctionality over a large length scale. The goals of the
proposal are thus commendable. The panel is of the opinion that the proposed work would
add further to the strength of the material science effort at KTH and SU. However, the lack of
a well defined implementation plan and scientific details on collaborative subfields influenced
the overall rating.
The panel don’t recommend this proposal for funding.




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Final evaluation of the applications

Strategic Research Area: Materials Science including Functional Materials
Registration number: 2009-01023
Title: Weight Efficient and Competitive Cast Materials
Submitting university: Jönköping University (HJ)

Overall grade: Good



Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality

The present proposal aims at the timely subject of light weight castings for transport
applications. The proposed research focuses on the performance of castings including their
microstructure and properties determined by the casting process. Particular emphasis is given
to Fe alloys, for which there is an established track record for the principal investigator, but
also to aluminium and magnesium alloys. Novel aspects of the research aims are the
correlation of fatigue and creep to predicted microstructure by simulation. Similar research is
conducted in Germany, Austria and in the USA. However the panel is of the opinion that
proposal does not clearly show how the software chain between different software modes
FEM/FDM of topology/fluid flow, filling and solidification, microstructure/property and final
performance will be achieved. In the area of Aluminium alloys the applicant is not addressing
the influence of pores, melt purity and Silicon morphology on the fatigue behaviour. The area
of processing of Fe based alloys is excellent and might lead to a world leading research group.
However a key characterisation technique for the detection of casting defects such as pores,
the computer tomography, is not included within the collaboration framework of the
international proposal partners. This would have been an opportunity to a unique Swedish
facility at the university.

The panel is of the opinion that the potential for development of the scientific environment to
an international leading standard is currently limited to the principal investigator. The other
contributing persons in the university are at the early career stage. Moreover, it would have
been beneficial to include a Swedish collaborator to contribute to the FEM calculation for e.g.
topology and fatigue. The applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for scientific
excellence are spread world wide. In summary the current base in the field at the university is
not sufficient for strong support of the proposal.



Strategic importance to the business sector and society

The proposal has clearly identified the needs of the industry and the necessary research to be
performed. The proposal can be considered as part of the automotive and transport industry
strategy to reduce CO2 emissions by usage of lighter and more energy efficient vehicles. Key

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for the lightweight cars is a lightweight power train and engine components in both of which
castings dominate. In Sweden the casting industry is mainly focused on truck and automotive
original manufacturers, and this proposal addresses well the needs. The University of
Jönköping is taking active part in Swecast which is ideally suited to define the needs of the
casting industry and to transfer novel methods and scientific findings into industry. This part
of the proposal has to be seen as internationally leading.



Concluding evaluation of the application
Overall the panel considers that the proposal has world class components. However, there are
parts of the proposal which substantially weaken it. In particular the approach taken to
optimise castings by a chain of simulations is not convincing. Crucially the work planned on
aluminium shows a strong asymmetry to that planned on ferrous alloys.
In summary the panel considers the proposal as good.
The panel don’t recommend this proposal for funding.




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Final evaluation of the applications

Strategic Research Area: Materials Science including Functional Materials
Registration number: 2009-01025
Title: Consortium for Functional Materials by Molecular and Nano-scale Templating
Submitting university: University of Kalmar (HiK)

Overall grade: Good



Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality

Scientific quality
This proposal aims at establishing a worldwide unique centre of excellence for research
within the field of templated functional materials with special emphasis on molecularly
imprinted polymers which comprise a class of smart nanomaterials. The proposed work is
based on efforts of several of the PI’s of the proposal who have done the ground work of
establishing a research scheme for the synthesis of such materials from their building blocks.
Further research is needed in order to obtain a better handle on the structure and material
design. More in-depth study is necessary for understanding property-structure relationship.
The proposed work has high scientific content and broad applications in a variety of
disciplines. It is also a timely topic and of wide interest for fundamental and technical
reasons. At the very basis lies the development of a fundamental understanding of the nature
of intra- and inter-molecular bonding and its environment dependence but there is not much
discussion of this aspect in the proposal. Some molecular dynamics and DFT based
calculations are promised but few details are given.

Potential for development of the scientific environment
The PI’s have put together a broad based international collaboration which, if successful, will
help develop the infrastructure for the proposed work. A large number of work plans are
presented and each is expected to lead to its own scientific environment. Complementary
expertise of the project partners are also expected to provide an environment conducive to
educational and professional development of the junior scientists and students in the groups.
The panel was pleased to note proposed collaborations with Lund and Umea universities,
however, it was not clear how such collaborations would enhance the local research
environment.

How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
scientific excellence
Since the proposed work in molecular imprinting polymers is an ongoing major activity at
Kalmar, the proposed work will take centre stage and should receive the attention and priority
that it needs to accomplish the proposed work. It is expected that the PI’s will get support for
their research from their university administrators. Some release of time from teaching
responsibilities might be needed, although this is not discussed explicitly in the proposal.

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Strategies to increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the research area
A number of international collaborations are proposed. These should help enhance the
dissemination of the research paradigm and its results. Such cross fertilization should help
enhance the competitiveness of the partners. The panel noted that while the proposal had
many strengths and novelty, it did not address the issues of characterization of material
properties at the nanoscale. Establishment of linkages with scientists who are experts at
modelling and characterization at the microscopic level would make the proposal more
competitive.


Strategic importance to the business sector and society

Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
business sector and society
The outcomes of the proposed work are expected to be of relevance to the health care, drug
discovery, biochemistry research laboratories. pharmaceutical industry, and environmental
protection. Attached letters from several relevant agencies attest to the importance of the
proposed work to them.

Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area
A number of enabling tools for biomacromolecular analysis are to be developed.
Similarly, robust affinity techniques for proteomics are proposed for development. Generic
epitope imprinting techniques, surface imprinted polymer beads, fibers and tubes, and
monomers for bio- and environmental- targets are expected to be developed.

Capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research
area
The panel is pleased to note that the university is strongly committed to the project and
granted it the status of a cornerstone in its strategic development. The panel also recognizes
the collective expertise of the PI’s which should make the proposed project feasible.

Engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other
community organisations in problem formulation and implementation.
Benefits are also expected to arise from the research findings as a result of support from a
significant number of high-tech industrial collaborators and stakeholders. Their support and
experience in the commercialization of research results should help the PI’s take the results of
their research to the commercial sector.


Concluding evaluation of the application
The panel found this proposal to be on a timely and novel topic and ambitious in its approach.
The PI’s have put together a strong consortium of scientists from a number of geographical
regions to collaborate on the project and to help bring it to a successful conclusion. If a
synergy already exists among the various groups, the project would benefit from the
complementary expertise. This is, however, not obvious. Beyond that the proposal lacks
details in some important areas, such as acquisition of knowledge at the nanoscale which is

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necessary for obtaining a control over the designing of these materials and understanding of
structure-function relationship. It is the panel’s opinion that with additional effort and more
established collaborations the proposal could have been made more competitive.
The panel don’t recommend this proposal for funding.




                                         Page 17 of 17
       Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Molekylär
        biovetenskap
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1096         Bladh, Agneta                                  Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Högskolan i Kalmar



                   Projekttitel
                   Centrum för interdisciplinär influensaforskning

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Molekylär biovetenskap (VR-St-Mol)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
CIIR. Influenza.
This proposal aims to harness the complementary expertise of four universities (Kalmar, Lund, Chalmers and Uppsala) to
generate a research programme aims to tackle influenza, an important disease of human and animals. The stated aim is to
develop and use nanotechnology /biomimetics based methods for in vitro studies of virus-cell interactions and the
development of innovative biosensor concepts. It is argued that this may help in understanding viral tropism (and host range),
and lead to new methods for detection of this (and other) viruses as well as to the development of therapeutic drugs.

Some of the PIs are very good in their own specialist areas, but the program looks more like a collection of individual projects
(albeit with interconnections and some with prospects of scientific synergy) than an integrated program between physicists
and biologists. It appears to be more a technology program in search of an application, and is at an early stage. Indeed the
proposers argue that the main purpose of the management structure is to tie the work-packages together into an
environment rather than a scientific program. The proposers have much of the equipment in place already but there is a need
for instrumentation for sequencing, microscopy and fluorescence microscopy.
The aim to develop and fabricate novel biosensors capable of detecting viruses seems useful. The main goal here seems to
be their use in virus research and presumably in drug development of inhibitors of virus binding. However it was not clear
whether existing detection methods are really not adequate for this purpose, and what key advantage these novel biosensors
would hold for research applications, including drug development where it is not clear that speed would have a great
advantage.
The main advantage of the detections systems proposed here would be for rapid detection of the virus at airports, or in
populations, where these novel biosensors could indeed prove invaluable. However this presupposes that the research is
successful and is developed and commercialized successfully, and that other competing methods do not emerge. For
example rapid nucleic acid sequencing and very sensitive hybridization assays are in extensive development world-wide, and
would give much more information on the nature of infectious organisms. These biosensors are now available in array format
harboring thousands of different viruses or virus variant genes and will have many advantages that have not been described
in this application. As this seesm to be a key advantage of the proposal, it is surprising that more of the proposal did not
address the engineering and other problems of building such sensitive detectors.
The argument that the availability of such novel biosensors based on a single step in the life cycle of a virus will have a
significant effect in understanding the biology of the virus seems less plausible. The surface HA of influenza virus is the main
site of attachment and fusion of the virus), and its interactions have helped explain viral tropism to species (avian vs human)
and to tissues. The proposers have taken the attachment step as the main target for their research using absorbed glycans
established sensor platforms and novel ones (eg. nanowires, and molecular-imprinted polymers) to detect this event.
However, as the proposers are well aware, influenza is a complex disease, with many different aspects of the virus biology
contributing to infection, propagation and pathology, including the neuraminidase (the current target of approved influenza
virus drugs), the viral polymerases and the host immunological responses. The challenge in influenza research is as much to
understand the different contributions of the biology to different stages in the virus life cycle and evolution. The focus of the
programme to characterize limited aspects of the virus biology is therefore intentional, it brings a clear focus and allows the
technology to be deployed within an interdisciplinary approach. However the focus carries risks that such a one-sided view
may miss other important features of the virus biology, it is proposed that considerations of these areas will be added at a
later date.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              2
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Mol, 2009-1096 Bladh, Agneta
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1042         Eriksson, Per Filip Billy                       Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Lunds universitet



                   Projekttitel
                   MoReLife - Molekylär igenkänning i livet. Struktur och interaktioner i hälsa och sjukdom.

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                         Molekylär biovetenskap (VR-St-Mol)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This is an ambitious multi-disciplinary proposal focused on molecular recognition particularly in selected cell signalling
pathways, seeking to understand networks of interactions & their structure and dynamics.
The many and various individual technologies and expertise are good, and the aim of a multi-disciplinary approach to the
various diseases is a good one. The scientific quality of the individual groups is good to excellent, and covers the whole range
of molecular biological techniques from computational chemistry to cell biology.
The Lund area has a lot to offer in a small area, and is in a good position to encourage national & international collaboration.
The proposal seems to have strong support from the relevant departments of Lund University. The presence of the
synchrotron radiation source MAX-lab is a valuable asset for the structural aspects of the project, particularly in view of the
proposed new synchrotron MAX-IV.
The overall management scheme looks good: there is a target evaluation Committee to coordinate choice of direction, and
inclusion of clinical scientists to stimulate translational collaborations. Cross-disciplinary PhD projects would enhance the
value of research training and also help to cement together the various aspects of the program. Linking these with
post-doctoral and new group leader positions is a good idea.
The major problem with this proposal is that although broad areas of research are defined, and a number of medical targets
are identified, it is hard to know what are the major biological questions that will be addressed, and how the projects will be
prioritized. Presumably this is the role of the management at some future date. However it may prove a challenge to make
these decisions, and to link these different areas into a cohesive partnership within the academic scientific community.
However as a translational facility for industry this would not be an issue, and this is perhaps where the real value of this
proposed centre lies.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
This is core molecular biology with explicit links to pharmaceutical industry. It provides a resource centre for academia and
industry, actively seeking partnerships with industry, and offering commercial services to industry. Developing capacity for
large-scale molecular recognition would facilitate a wide range of biological research. The application emphasizes the
process of IP capture and how contracts for equipment use by industry can be facilitated.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
Much major equipment is in place, but more investment is needed in high-throughput protein production and crystallization,
and enhanced bioimaging equipment, to support MoReLife’s function as a local & national resource. Also extended
bioinformatics support. The need for infrastructure is well documented and balanced.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Mol, 2009-1042 Eriksson, Per Filip Billy
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1082         Fredman, Pam                                   Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Göteborgs universitet
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   Göteborgs Molekylära Biovetenskapliga Initiativ: Från biologiska nätverk till metabola sjukdomar

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Molekylär biovetenskap (VR-St-Mol)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Background
The GMBI aims to develop and integrate technology platforms such as genomics, imaging, metabolite analysis and
proteomics with biobanks of disease material and patient outcomes with a wide range of biological research on metabolic
diseases. The aim is to create a systems-level understanding of metabolic syndrome, including understanding the influence
of gut microflora on nutrient acquisition. This is an intensely studied area so international competition is strong. The
applicants have a very good track record in this area and some of them have collaborated previously. The potential for
synergy in this area is strong and the work, although tightly focussed, has the potential to provide foundations for related
studies in other diseases.
Resources
The infrastructure planned is appropriate for the research. It tends to be the application of methods in contrast to developing
new approaches. The potential synergy of the partners is high, but this was not well described in the proposal, which tended
to look like a large collection of individual research proposals. It was not clear how the sums of the parts added up to
something greater than the whole.
Science
It was clear that good science would come out of the proposed work. The teams were individually strong but more evidence
of team development and creating and capturing synergies could have been more clearly expressed in the proposal. It was
also not clear from the budget would be specifically allocated to science projects. For example, the panel thought that the
funding would provide extended support for ongoing work without promoting a step change in the way science is done and in
the acquisition of new knowledge. The funding would therefore not provide the impulse required to establish a systems- level
approach and integration.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
Gothenburg Molecular BioScience Initiative (GMBI)
Background
The GMBI aims to develop and integrate technology platforms such as genomics, imaging, metabolite analysis and
proteomics with biobanks of disease material and patient outcomes with a wide range of biological research on metabolic
diseases. The aim is to create a systems-level understanding of metabolic syndrome, including understanding the influence
of gut microflora on nutrient acquisition. This is an intensely studied area so international competition is strong. The
applicants have a very good track record in this area and some of them have collaborated previously. The potential for
synergy in this area is strong and the work, although tightly focussed, has the potential to provide foundations for related
studies in other diseases.
Resources
The infrastructure planned is appropriate for the research. It tends to be the application of methods in contrast to developing
new approaches. The potential synergy of the partners is high, but this was not well described in the proposal, which tended
to look like a large collection of individual research proposals. It was not clear how the sums of the parts added up to
something greater than the whole. Although the intention of the proposers is clear enough – to combine expertise from
medical bioscience, physiology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and engineering, and integrate data collected from
molecular and high-throughput studies in model organisms and in the clinic – exactly how all this will be done in practice
could have been clearer.
Science
Good science should come out of the proposed work. The teams were individually strong but more evidence of team
development and creating and capturing synergies could have been more clearly expressed in the proposal. It was also not
clear from the budget would be specifically allocated to science projects. For example, the panel thought that the funding
would provide extended support for ongoing work without promoting a step change in the way science is done and in the
acquisition of new knowledge. The funding would therefore not provide the impulse required to establish a systems- level
approach and integration.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
Strategic relevance
Metabolic syndrome is a complex trait that is emerging as a serious threat to western populations with an inappropriate diet.
The UGOT and Chalmers have established a network of companies with relevant interests in food, pharma and diet.
Companies developing diagnostic systems are also associated with the network. A good training programme is planned. The
description of IP management is organisational and would have been better illustrated with examples of spin- offs from the
previous work of the academics. The development of original products or services that could be commercialised was not
clearly described in the proposal.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                                3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Mol, 2009-1082 Fredman, Pam
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1076         Gudmundson, Peter                               Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Kungl Tekniska Högskolan
                   Skolan för teknikvetenskap, SCI


                   Projekttitel
                   Science for Life Laboratory - en nationell resurs för storskalig molekylär biovetenskap

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                         Molekylär biovetenskap (VR-St-Mol)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The science for life laboratory at KTH/KI/SU aims to build a large centre with core technology platforms for genome
sequencing, proteomics, functional genomics, bioimaging and bioinformatics, with allied scientific research programs on
cancer, infectious diseases, and human genetic disease. This is proposed as a major national resource to support groups
within and outside Stockholm, and will be housed in a new building.
This proposal involves a consolidation of the equipment and technology of teams at the forefront of their fields, each team
has an excellent publication record and of collaboration with each other, particularly in the development of sequencing
technologies and generation of antibody reagents on a mass scale. By bringing the groups together they should be able to
extend their collaborations in the development of the technology (mainly antibody profiling and automation) and to bring to
bear a full range of molecular biology techniques to human diseases. The Centre represents the next phase in a process of
organic growth of the individual groups and should help drive their growth together. It should provide an excellent
environment for competitive research, and it is proposed to recruit a number of young PIs (selected by competition). It is
proposed to add a structural genomics initiative at a later date, it is not clear that this will be synergistic with the other
activities, nor that the Centre will be the best place for this.
In common with other genomic projects, such as sequencing of the human genome, this is not classic hypothesis-driven
research, it is more a huge data collection exercise across a wide field. Others use the data to frame and investigate
hypotheses. The program is therefore not explicit about the hypotheses to addressed.
The SciLifelab models itself on multidisciplinary labs such as the Sanger, Broad and Whitehead and has the ambition to be
the corresponding Nordic centre. The SciLifeLab should be competitive with these other centres, furthermore the antibody
resource is unique, as is the proposed bio-imaging activity. These unique features should provide advantages and
differentiating features for this Centre compared with other well established international centres.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The founding of such a powerful facility in Stockholm can be expected to nucleate scientific collaborations within Sweden and
internationally, and generally act as a boost to Swedish science. It can be also be expected to help with Swedish industry, the
track record of the applicants in starting companies and forming alliances with major industries is outstanding, and the new
structure proposed here should capture new synergies. In conclusion this is an excellent, even exciting proposal, the
proposers make a very well described and compelling case, it combines proven technical expertise with a vision as how the
field can be developed.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              5
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Mol, 2009-1076 Gudmundson, Peter
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1065         Hallberg, Anders                                Strategiska forskningsområden




                   Projekttitel
                   Centrum för medicinsk genomik och proteomik

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                         Molekylär biovetenskap (VR-St-Mol)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Center for Genomic and Proteomic Medicine
This is a proposal to create a Center for Genomic and Proteomic Medicine (CGPM) at Uppsala University. The center will be
based on 3 platforms: Genomics, Proteomics, and Comparative Genetics, and 2 programs: Genome Biology and Medical
Biology.
Strengths of the proposal include an excellent research team, high-impact innovative science, and an excellent infrastructure
afforded by the proposed platform for development of competitive and innovative research. Key aspects include ready access
to biobank resources, and integration of the projects. Although the programs are not integrated in their scientific goals, it is
proposed to have strong management through regular meetings and shared mentorship of PhD students.

Scientific Quality:
1)The research team is experience and internationally recognized. The co-directors, Drs Ulf Landegren and Kirsten
Lindblad-Toh, have an outstanding record of first-rate research as illustrated by their many high-impact publications.

2)The scientific environment is excellent. The proposed platforms provide an outstanding infrastructure to support high quality
research. The Genomics platform is an already-established resource providing a high capacity for genotyping and
sequencing. The Proteomics platform is based on the advanced technologies developed by Dr. Landegren and colleagues.
This Proteomics platform program is a strength of the project. The Comparative Genetics Platform provides a unique and
innovative resource and will likely result in novel discoveries.
3)A major aim of the CGPM is to expand on the Uppsala Biobank resource. Indeed, access to biobank material is necessary
for development of the planned biomedical project. However, the technical, scientific, and ethical problems associated with
such resource need to be discussed in greater details.
4)The associated programs in genome biology and medical biology are very strong and are likely to benefit from the project
resources. Efforts in fostering communication/ collaborations between the various research programs should be contemplated
beyond sharing of technical platforms.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
Strategic importance
1)The platform resources to be developed as part of this project would clearly benefit research applications at the national
level. The model is that of the Broad Institute or Sanger Center. The CGPM has the potential to achieve the success of these
institutions.
2)The investigators are highly experienced in the development of biotech applications. It is likely that the investigators will
build on this experience to create opportunities for commercialization or business development.
3)There is a strong opportunity to train young scientists. This is an appropriate mission for such project. More details about
the education goals of the project should have been given, as well as the numbers of scientists (PhD, postdocs) sponsored
by CGPM (this latter aspect was supplied in the response to our preliminary report).

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                                      4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.




                                                                        Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Mol, 2009-1065 Hallberg, Anders
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1079         Millnert, Mille                                 Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Linköpings universitet
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   Forskningscentrum för diarrésjukdomar

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                         Molekylär biovetenskap (VR-St-Mol)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Diarrheal Disease Research Center (DDRC)
The DDRC is a joint initiative between Linköping University and the University of Gothensburg to elucidate the pathogenetic
mechanisms and pathophysiological consequences of infectious diarrheas. The research program is based on two
interrelated broad topics: pathogenetic mechanisms focusing on secretory and inflammatory processes, and diagnostic and
vaccination method development. There are 4 major research programs, which are linked via bridge projects and common
resources. The 4 research programs are 1) mechanisms of diarrhea, 2) Blocking secretion, 3) receptors and genetics, 4)
novel vaccinations. Bridge projects include 1) a carbohydrate receptor program, 2) cellular and animal models and animal
facilities, 3) methods for barrier function disturbance.
Scientific quality
The team of investigators is excellent. The selected program leaders are productive scientists with an excellent track record
of high quality publications. The proposed projects are tractable and focused. Expertise and facilities in key areas exist.
However, some aspects of the projects such as screening of small molecule libraries are weak, we understand that this will
be initiated as a part of service to be provided by a core facility, and this will require additional resources beyond the scope of
the proposed research.
While based on solid and worthy research programs, the overall project lacks breadth and scope. A more comprehensive and
ambitious approach would have been appropriate. It is felt that innovative and unique features of the research as well as
paradigm-changing potential are lacking.
There is also a concern related to the ability of the program to integrate the different research projects into a cohesive
partnership. As written, the proposed elements of the program seem to represent a collaborative effort in its early stages
rather than a mature relationship between the investigators, although we understand that these investigators do have a good
track record of collaboration.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
Strategic Importance
Diarrheal disease is an important public health problem especially in the developing countries and disproportionately affects
the young. The program has a well-defined plan for education and training of young researchers with a “twinning approach”.
The project clearly fulfills its important education mission with well-defined doctoral and post-doctoral programs.

The program has good links to industry and the investigators have a track record in vaccine development. However, the
program may be too focused to assure valorization.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Mol, 2009-1079 Millnert, Mille
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1078         Sandberg, Göran                                 Strategiska forskningsområden




                   Projekttitel
                   Umeå-Uppsala universitets gemensamma satsning "SweDPAR" inom svensk läkemedelsutveckling för att
                   stoppa antibiotikaresistenta infektionssjukdomar

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                         Molekylär biovetenskap (VR-St-Mol)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Overall:
The SwedPAR consortium aims to become a leading European lab in molecular infection medicine with a focus on chemical
biology and drug discovery. This is centered on and extends an established and already successful drug discovery &
development project (RAPID), particularly on TB, with the addition of some newer initiatives in the evolution of pathogen drug
resistance. They will explore bacterial pathogenic mechanisms (eg. virulence factors) and antibiotic resistance and set up
drug discovery pipeline for new antibiotics (targeting enzymes or receptors). the partners are world-leading in aspects of the
proposed research. The application is well laid out and the potentials for synergies are explained.

The program fits well with the existing research lines. The postdoc program is highly innovative.
Science:
Positive:
•We are convinced that this highly focused and very well orchestrated consortium will succeed in enhancement of the
scientific quality. For example, the Uppsala X-ray crystallography team are excellent, and have made important contributions
to drug design. The program is complete, as they set out to do three dimensional structures of the targets, computational and
organic chemistry to design leads, as well as screening of libraries of compounds.
•This is a very strong proposal, building on an excellent team and an established program, this proposal will increase
Swedens competitiveness internationally.
Negative:
•There is an imbalance in the scientific quality of the research team: Some of the team members have excellent publication
records, others are good/ very good.
•It is doubtful that cryoEM will be much use in make drug leads.
•A problem is that the committee is struggling to see what the grant will enable this consortium to do that they are not already
doing.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
Strategic:
Microbial infections are a major public health problem & the development of new antimicrobials is important.
The current infrastructure for valorization and collaboration with industry is obvious
The strategic implications of the planned work are very high, as bacterial and other infectious diseases are the main killers in
most societies. the rise of TB, flu, and HIV and the threat of pandemics requires an intense R&D effort to develop and apply
new research strategies.
Wide range of targets (bacteria, viruses, fungi) for small molecules leads. Important target of helicobacter adherence,
tuberculosis, collaborations through UBI (bio-incubator) with AstraZeneca and Medivir, so the strategic relevance and
delivery pipelines are clear. The collaboration with AstraZeneca India on TB drugs looks particularly interesting.

The central themes of this program are beyond doubt highly tuned to successful delivery of at least some promising future
drugs

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.
Comments:
Infrastrucure:
The applicants plan to develop a new cryo EM imaging facility. There is a strong emphasis placed on developing new
platform technologies and linking these for new drug discovery and understanding the mechanisms of host-pathogen
interactions. The application could have been clearer about the potential synergies to be obtained from the consortium. We
are less impressed by the proposal for a major investment in cryo-EM in this context: this technique has a valuable place in
molecular cell biology, but is of limited value in drug discovery & design. We do support the need for new X-ray equipment in
Uppsala and robots for the HTS facility.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                                    4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.




                                                                        Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Mol, 2009-1078 Sandberg, Göran
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1069         Schollin, Jens                                  Strategiska forskningsområden




                   Projekttitel
                   Forskningsplattform om samspel mellan tarmmikrober och tarm, med speciell fokus på tarm- hjärnsignallering


                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                         Molekylär biovetenskap (VR-St-Mol)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Overall:
The Microbe-Gut Platform aims to set up a multidisciplinary program to study gut microbe interactions and how this
interaction affects human health. The project is based on groups in Orebro university and a visiting professor from the
Netherlands. The consortium involves clinicians & basic researchers with substantial experience in the biology of the gut.

 The work is clearly described. It involves detailed investigation of gut microbiota and effect on gut itself and also the brain.
The proposed work on inflammatory bowel disease is clearly clinically important and further investigation of the role of gut
bacteria would be valuable. A special part of the project aims to link brain functioning vis MRI with visceral perception.

Science:
The overall scientific aim is to build on study groups, human samples, mass sequencing of gut flora, FMRI with intention to
generate hypotheses in field of gut function and particularly gut-brain signaling.
In contrast to other proposals this work lacks a wide impact beyond the field of microbe-gut signaling, although if fully
validated this could become a large area. Although several of the investigators are distinguished, the scientific output of the
consortium is from a qualitative viewpoint less than the competition in other proposals. There are many publications but only
very few in top-ranking journals. Partially this may be due to the field of research, partially this reflects the scientific depth of
the proposed research and prior work.
Specific comments raised by one or more referees:
•the group plans to go beyond state of the art in microbiome-gut research mainly by capitalizing on the putative output, rather
than by development of new technologies.
•The brain-gut relation in the proposal is highly innovative. Although there is some evidence that the gut microflora may
possibly influence behavioural disorders, this does not seem well-established.
•The relationships between gut microbes and disease are difficult to address experimentally. It is especially difficult to prove
causal relationships.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
Strategic:
There is no solid plan for education of young researchers.
The proposal is relevant for clinical treatment of gut disease & dietary advice for treatment. The ideas and know-how
generated by this project address several major diseases that afflict humans, and how gut diseases affect brain function-
mood disorders etc.
The capacity of the local university are adequate for tech transfer and IP capture and within this program this could lead to
treatments and prevention of IBS, depression, autism and ADHD.
Some industrial partners have been identified.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
Infrastrucure:
As for the main infrastructure the consortium proposes investment in further MRI imaging equipment. Apart from that the
proposal seems not to require a large scale integration and resources provided in this funding action.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.




                                                                        Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Mol, 2009-1069 Schollin, Jens
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1041         Sennerby Forsse, Lisa                           Strategiska forskningsområden




                   Projekttitel
                   Molekylär växtbiologi

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                         Molekylär biovetenskap (VR-St-Mol)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Molecular Plant Science
Background
The proposed research is focussed on a multidisciplinary approach to understanding wood formation, the adaptation of plants
to environmental factors, and the development of genomics resources for spruce, a major forest species in Sweden. The
application comes from a strong group of labs in Umea with a very high international reputation in plant and forestry research.
The areas of work are feasible and would add important new biological knowledge.
Resources
The research teams are generally all world-class scientists with excellent track records. An excellent set of relevant
equipment and capabilities exists to do the proposed work. These are world-leading. The proposal mentions spruce
genomics which clearly requires next generation sequencing equipment and associated bioinformatics. However this aspect
is not catered for in the proposal, we are informed that the infrastructure for the spruce genome will be applied for at a later
date, likely from other sources.
Science
The description of scientific programmes was quite general, with insufficient distinction given to work that was already done,
what would be done in the future, and also lacked specific objectives and milestones. The application was poorly presented
with little detail on how objectives would be reached and why the selected objectives were chosen.. The potential synergies
between projects were not clearly apparent, the projects appeared to be those of individual groups and lacked overall
coherence. External links with Swedish partners developing genomics and informatics capabilities would strongly enhance
this project, and it appears that the program will attempt to identify such partners.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
Strategic relevance
It is clear that the forestry sector is of major importance in Sweden, and that the Umea group have made important
contributions at an international level in developing tree biotechnology. Links with industry are well established, eg with
SweTree. The plans for generating benefits from the proposed work were described in terms of the process of IP capture, but
lacked specific examples of how the predicted outcomes of the work could be exploited. There is some general discussion of
the link of plant science to medicine, but the link with this program seems tenuous.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Mol, 2009-1041 Sennerby Forsse, Lisa
 
           Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Nanovetenskap och
             nanoteknik
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1036         Eriksson, Per Filip Billy                      Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Lunds universitet



                   Projekttitel
                   Nanometerkonsortiet vid Lunds Universitet

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Teknikvetenskap                                Nanovetenskap och nanoteknik (VR-St-Nan)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
A. The applicants are well known worldwide and considered first class in their field. The Panel agrees on the high level of
excellence of the proposal.
B. The Panel is convinced on the need to develop the theoretical and computational methods to understand many-body
quantum phenomena, observable in correlated electron systems, enabling to look beyond the single-electron phenomena
used in designing current quantum devices, is very reasonable in view of the device physics and state of the art in the field.
Within Quantum Engineering area the applicants focus on quantum coherence and spin physics, which may evolve into
important technological areas of spintronics and quantum computing. Also in the Nanobiology/Neuro-nanoscience fields, the
Panel agrees on the chances for the proposed research to cause an important impact on biomedical research and
development. Nanosized probes offer outstanding new tools for groundbreaking research in biology and medicine, allowing
for real-time electrical and chemical measurements at a hitherto unachievable specificity and spatial resolution even down to
single molecules.
C.     The area is prioritized among the applicants activities as demonstrated by their present involvement and high level of
excellence achieved in the area.
D. The applicants strategy to increase Sweden international scientific competitiveness is convincingly clear: To follow an
already very successful line, basically by aiming at concrete scientifically ground breaking objectives and, simultaneously, by
keeping in contact with the advanced technology that can be expected to arise from their scientific work.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
A.         The Panel agrees on the fact that truly one- dimensional electron systems might open new concepts for devices
and their optimization but some doubts arise on their applicability for low cost solar cells. Sweden and Europe in general, is
well situated in these emerging science and technology areas and consequently, multinational industries are establishing
their QI laboratories in Europe. nmC@LU clearly aims to continue its track in spinning out companies, in particular in the
alternative energy business, by training and hiring young researchers on private funds. In the Nanobiology/Neuronanoscience
fields, the proposal provides a highly competitive research environment with strong links to the clinic and the biomedical
industry. The achievements already made in this direction and the excellent cross disciplinary know-how already available in
the teams, represented in two ’Linnaeus Centers’ and their external collaborators, will open up unique possibilities for probing
subcellular processes and thereby solving a number of major scientific challenges such as how the memory is stored and
recalled, how molecular motors function, how to restore lost neuronal connections after injury and how to construct
self-sustained devices to compensate for endocrine failure such as diabetes. All of these areas are thus highly significant to a
number of clinical conditions.
B)         Another very positive aspect is the Nano-Safety initiative that in an interdisciplinary cooperation, seems to be
adequate to effectively increase present scarce understanding on how nanomaterials may affect the living world in the
context of production, manufacturing, handling, usage, disposal and recycling.
C)         The Campus has four Linnaeus Centers in related areas. The availability of these facilities as user facilities will be
expanded as part of the Center. There is also strong institutional support both in terms of funding and support for hiring lines.
Also, the applicants give a set of convincing examples on how LU teaching approach, spanning from high-school via
university to training for industry people, combined with the broad scientific basis given within the nmC@LU, will help
significantly to supply the work force needed for establishing a nanotechnology-based industry in Sweden.

   The strong management focus of this diverse center is also apparent with a high level roadmap described for the different
disciplines, both for the short term and the long term. The group also has an impressive track record in coordinating EU
projects which again underpins the leadership and management competencies.
In summary, the Panel regards the group to have the ability to deliver on their ambitious goals.
 D)          Strategy of the collaboration with industry is clear and baked by current achievements: On the European level
they collaborate with major industrial players (Philips, NXP, NAMLAB, Dresden and IBM) but they should continue to expand
their international collaborations on the nanowires industrial applications. Via participation of key senior scientists in various
Lund-based research programs related to circuit design and wireless communication (Wireless with Wires funded by SSF,
High-Speed Wireless Center funded by SSF, and System Design on Si funded by VINNOVA) they have established
already a well-working two-way communication with Swedish system industry.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
Infrastructures already existing at Lund are world class and perfectly adequate to implement the proposed program. Also the
Campus has four Linnaeus Centers in related areas. The availability of these facilities as user facilities will be expanded as
part of the Center. There is also strong institutional support both in terms of funding and support for hiring lines.

     The applicants have shown already that they have a long history in developing in-situ methods by which synthesis can be
followed in real-time and they have the ambition to create fully integrated multiprocessing units, combining epitaxy with NIL
patterning and formation of atomically controlled dielectrics and metals using ALD (atomic layer deposition). The concrete
objective to build a growth chamber as add-on to an STM-system, and to dedicate a beam-line laboratory for related studies
at MAX-IV, will become of great value to nmC@LU research. The Panel recommends that the Lund clean room becomes
part of MyFab .
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                                   4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The Panel agrees on the high level of excellence of the proposal. The applicants’ strategy to increase Sweden international
scientific competitiveness is considered appropriate, basically to aim at concrete scientifically ground breaking objectives and,
simultaneously, keeping in contact with the advanced technology that can be expected to arise from their scientific work. The
strong management focus of this diverse center is also apparent in view of the high level roadmap described for the different
disciplines, both for the short term and the long term. In addition the group is considering the future leadership of the center
which is an essential role in such a project. However, the Panel is concerned about the absence of young investigators
among the PI:s and encourages an aggressive recruitment and support of junior researchers. The group has an impressive
track record in coordinating EU projects which again underpins the leadership and management competencies.
Consequently, the Panel thinks that the group has the ability to deliver on their ambitious goals. The Campus has four
Linnaeus Centers in related areas and the availability of these as user facilities will be expanded as part of the Center. There
is also strong institutional support both in terms of funding and support for hiring lines. Careful consideration of the interaction
of nanoparticles with biological and ecological systems and the potential hazard of nanoparticles is addressed in an adequate
collaborative frame that might result in relevant results.
In summary, the general assessment comments by the panel are highly positive about the quality of the application according
to the above listed criteria. A general comment arises on the apparent regional focus of the proposal. Opening to National
collaborations should be particularly encouraged in this area.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Nan, 2009-1036 Eriksson, Per Filip Billy
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1074         Gudmundson, Peter                               Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Kungl Tekniska Högskolan
                   Skolan för teknikvetenskap, SCI


                   Projekttitel
                   Ett Initiativ för Nanovetenskap och Nanoteknik på KTH

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Teknikvetenskap                                 Nanovetenskap och nanoteknik (VR-St-Nan)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
A) The proposal has three focus areas: i) nanoparticles, ii) tailored electromagnetic phenomena in materials and devices and
iii) nanodevices and sensors and their integration. The scientific content is described at a rather general level and the
proposal does not build a systematic approach to nanoscience and nanotechnology. The proposal is more like planning to
support the already existing activities with not too much ambition.
B) The quality of the participating groups at KTH is high but a more ambitious approach with a more holistic view combining
the focus areas to form new nanoscience activities would have been more appealing.
C) The proposed work is within the defined research priorities at KTH, and a long term support can be expected by the
university and from the collaborating research institutes.
D) The competitiveness at national and international level would benefit from a strategy of broader combination of the
nanoscience related topics and with better defined interaction or a value chain, e.g., in this case a route from nanoparticles to
functions to sensors and to integration.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
A) Research on nanoparticles is recognised as one of the fields with potential impact on business and society. Also, the need
of various kinds of sensors, in health care and ubiquitous applications, will increase in the future.
B) The network of research institutes and industrial companies in Stockholm area has a tradition to effectively translate the
results from academia to exploitation by either existing industry or by spin-offs and start-ups. The past factor of Return of
Investments by public agencies has been very high, 10 is mentioned in the proposal. Thus, based on the track record, the
exploitation of the results has been efficient. However, the strategy to continue this track is not very clearly formulated in the
proposal.
C) The key route to commercialisation and to spin-offs is to use the existing research institutes Acreo and YKI, with the help
of the Innovation Office, business liaison education and the support by the City of Stockholm. The Panel thinks that a more
direct line to industry would be beneficial.
D) It seems that the interaction between the applicant and industry is mainly built on interaction via the research institutes
Acreo and YKI. The direct line to nanotechnology industry and the corresponding strategy was not apparent in the proposal.


3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The available infrastructure consists of Electrum clean room, Nanofabrication Facility, Interface Engineering Laboratory,
Computational facilities for nanoscience (SNIC/PDP) and MAX IV (will be decided in near future). The allocation for
infrastructure in the proposal is 22.5 % of the total. This amount will cover the costs to run the facilities and to guarantee open
access to academic and industrial institutes to use the facility. A need for extra 20 MSEK annual investments is mentioned in
the proposal but the use is not specified. The common understanding among the Panel is that the existing infrastructure is
capable to support the proposed work plan, and the investments are to keep up with the progress in the research field. The
applicant makes a general suggestion to better co-ordinate the investments within the MyFab network for efficient use of
money, and also suggests the facilities to be awarded a status of a National Infrastructure. In this case the infrastructure
would be funded from a separate source. Overall, it seems that there is no need to build new infrastructure to carry out the
work planned in the proposal.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                                   2
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The Panel felt that the proposal is not clearly written and the description of the research work is vague and incoherent. The
proposal describes more the ongoing activities at the institute and does not create a comprehensive approach for a new
project on nanoscience. The cross-disciplinarity of the three proposed research topics was not capitalised and they were
introduced more like detached topics in the proposal. The track record of the PI’s is very good and the collaboration with the
other institutes ample. The support to young scientists and the plan to increase their proportion in the faculty was found
positive. Also, the infrastructure available was found extensive. The connection with industry is not clear, only the role of the
research institutes Acreo and YKI have well described roles in the potential exploitation of the results. Overall, the proposal
would have benefitted from a more unified, cohesive and focussed editing and compilation of the otherwise interesting
research topics.




                                                                        Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Nan, 2009-1074 Gudmundson, Peter
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1075         Hallberg, Anders                               Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Uppsala universitet
                   Universitetsledningens kansli


                   Projekttitel
                   LINEUP - Livsvetenskapernas nanoteknologi i Uppsala

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Teknikvetenskap                                Nanovetenskap och nanoteknik (VR-St-Nan)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
A)      Scientific quality. The concept of developing a multi-disciplinary approach for addressing the needs of health care
through nanotechnology is a good one and indeed is reflected in the plans of many groups around the world. This proposal is
highly focused on nanobiotechnology and addresses diagnostics, biomolecular separation and analysis, as well as drug
delivery and implantable systems. While Uppsala University has an excellent track record in terms of high quality science
output, the proposal was written in such a generalist way that it was difficult for the Panel to realize these strengths without
doing a fair amount of independent exploration. The initial graphics were really not aimed at a scientific community, later
Figures of devices had no attribution. It appeared that the scientific core of the proposal was aimed more at a business
audience then a scientific one.
B)      Potential development of the scientific environment. Since the proposal was written in such a business-oriented
format, the details of how creative scientists would work together at the creative level were rather missing. The Panel felt
that this was more of a technocrats application that did not allow for any of the scientists personalities to shine through. Since
developing a community of interacting scientists is quite critical for a scientific creative environment, this was an unfortunate
weakness of the proposal format.
C)       How is the area is prioritized among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for scientific excellence? The
Panel would have liked to have heard a bit more on WHY life science Nanotechnology was chosen as the top priority given
the enormous range of applications that nanotechnology has in many areas of science and business. The lack of explanation
for the priority ranking spilled over into deeper concerns about the forces driving the direction of the effort. The Panel felt that
the scientific goals were not clearly stated with supporting details, due to the overly general terms of the proposal, and thus
the Panel was worried about trusting that future science would thrive here based on past successes. The proposal covers a
number of multidisciplinary projects in which nanotechnology could decisively help the development of knowledge and
practical applications. Scientific excellence in this kind of broad interdisciplinary work is a delicate thing to keep alive given
the greatly different scientific cultures involved. Given the excellence of the researchers involved and previous results,
including many successful stories of collaborations with the industry at Uppsala, the Panel would hope that the solid
background for the scientific and the technological feasibility of the proposal would promise scientific excellence. However,
the Panel did not see the detailed inter-group science framework to ensure this would happen
D) Strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research area The detailed links between
the proposed nanoscience and potential application areas in the health area is not well defined and therefore the international
impact of the research may be compromised.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
A) Strategic importance for the business sector and society. One of the greatest challenges in today’s world is that of
demographic aging. The global population of older people will almost quadruple to over 2 billion within the next 50 years. By
2050, half of the population of the EU will be over 50 while the death rate will exceed the birth rate from 2015 onwards. In
addition the soaring cost of healthcare is becoming a huge burden on government spending in all countries. As such the need
for nanoscience to deliver breakthrough nano-bio solutions to the medical world is a very real one.

B) Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings. The general
areas of diagnostics and targeted drug delivery described in this proposal are appropriate areas for the University to
contribute to this challenge. The work would benefit from a more direct link with the ‘customer’, i.e. clinicians and the
research work. The lack of a connection between the proposed nanoscience and the medical field would need to be
addressed so that the applications in such key fields as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, aging etc can be
developed.
C). Supportive activites. The ‘LineUp’ proposal can benefit greatly from the extensive support mechanisms for technology
transfer at Uppsala such as the Innovation centre, Incubator system and Bio-X.
D). Engagement of the business and industrial institutes. There is strong track record for company spin outs at Uppsala. The
provisions by Uppsala for translation of research results into applications and industry is very good indeed. However, for the
Panel the question remains what will fundamentally drive the effort: industry or basic research? The Panel felt the proposal
was quite confusing on this aspect.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The access to high quality synchrotron radiation is of prime importance for the
high-priority research areas of Uppsala University. Members of the applicant group are engaged in several instrument
development projects at MAX-lab, involving surface-sensitive techniques at the nano-level. A project of particular
importance for the present proposal concerns in situ studies of interfaces at high ambient pressures
(up to ~25 Torr) in a broad sense, where electron-and x-ray spectroscopies form the basic experimental techniques. Another
relates to transition metal oxides as agents for biomolecular separation. The proposed MAX IV facility is projected to be the
most brilliant (technical term) synchrotron radiation facility in the world with
unique capabilities. The possibility to create X-ray beams with a size of 10 nm or less will provide new opportunities in the
field of nanoscience. The high degree of lateral coherence provides phase contrast for nanotomography and imaging of
biological systems. The Ångström Microstructure Laboratory (MSL) represents a unique resource for R&D in the micro- and
nanotechnology field. A powerful combination of process and analysis laboratories makes the entire sequence from
fabrication to characterisation available under one roof. MSL is a part of MyFab, the network of Swedish university Clean
Room facilities. In the third focus area of this
proposal (Drug delivery and implantable systems) the fate of nanomaterials in vivo will be investigated by the PET tracer
technology. The Uppsala PET Centre is a cutting-edge facility for development of chemical methods for the incorporation of
short lived isotopes in tracer molecules. Simulations and method development in computational chemistry, physics and
molecular biology lie at the international forefront. In all national reviews recently made these activities are ranked ‘excellent’
and ‘world leading’. In general needs are well documented and reasonable.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                                      2
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The Uppsala proposal, LINEUP - Life Science Nanotechnology in Uppsala, was a focused proposal aimed squarely at life
sciences. There is a reason for this, Uppsala has a very strong life science record and solid links to the biotechnology
industry, and in particular Pharmacia Biotech has had a long and powerful presence in Uppsala. The Panel noted that this
strong industrial influence seemed to shine through in the way the proposal was written, it was rather long on organizational
charts and business plans and rather short on the academic details that allow one to ascertain where the next big
breakthroughs will be coming from. This lack of specifics made it difficult for the Panel to feel they could positively judge the
proposal. The emphasis on programs with little detail on projects made it very difficult for the panel to evaluate the science of
the projects behind the programs, and ultimately it is the science which makes a program a success or failure.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Nan, 2009-1075 Hallberg, Anders
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1066         Markides, Karin                                 Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Chalmers tekniska högskola
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   Chalmers nanoinitiativ

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Teknikvetenskap                                 Nanovetenskap och nanoteknik (VR-St-Nan)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Proposal Summary: The Chalmers Nano-Initiative proposes to combine two complementary approaches to the development
of new nanomaterials: Nano-physics (a top-down approach) and Molecular nanoscience (a bottom-up approach), and to link
them with Nanobiophysics. Research will be conducted in four strategic areas: Quantum phenomena at the nanoscale, New
nanosensor structures, Nanodevices, and Bridging gap between top-down and bottom-up.
A)Scientific Quality. The Panel is enthusiastic about the proposed research areas, which are important and “hot” topics in
nanoscience. In addition, the proposed work is first-rate, consisting of cutting-edge, high risk, interdisciplinary projects. In
particular, the physics component, with its focus on quantum computing and devices, and its top-down approach is very
strong, reflecting the existing activity at Chalmers. The molecular nanoscience and self-assembly component is less strong
than the physics component. More details of the proposed work and objectives in the bridging area of nanobiophysics would
have been helpful.
B)Potential Development of the Scientific Environment. The team of researchers is of high quality with excellent scientific
records in the field, reflected in papers in high profile journals, citations, invited presentations, etc. The P.I.s are all rather
senior, with no post-2000 PhDs. The Panel is highly enthusiastic about the aggressive plan for recruitment of diverse and
junior researchers, however, this will likely mitigate the current emphasis on senior researchers and significantly enhance the
scientific environment.
C)Priority of the Area, and Conditions for Scientific Excellence. Chalmers has a stimulating and competitive scientific
environment, as well as a strong administrative commitment to building on its existing strengths in nanoscience. The
administration has invested (and continues to invest) significantly in both people and equipment. The team and their local
collaborators have many grants and Centers in related areas, including notably two related Linnaeus Centers and a KAUST
grant.
D)Sweden’s International Competitiveness. The focus on international cooperation is a plus. The team is already
internationally competitive in the two sub-areas, achieving the convergence through the proposed “Bridge” will significantly
enhance Sweden´s international competency in a new area of nanoscience.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
Strategic Importance
Importance for the Business Sector or Society. Many of the proposed applications, such as sensors, and the focus on energy
efficiency, are important in today’s society. The strong scientific focus on long-range projects such as quantum computing
might have little industrial or technological payoff, at least in the short- or medium- term. Overall, however, the balance
between long-range, high-risk projects, and those with more immediate technological pay-off is good.

A.Strategies to Generate Benefits from Research Findings
and
B.Capacity to Generate Benefits from Research Findings
Chalmers has an excellent structure in place for securing international property and commercializing research results in
spin-off companies or through industrial partnerships. Existing institutions such as Chalmers Innovation, Chalmers
Industritiknik, Chalmers Invest and Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship are valuable.
C.Engagement and Participation of the Business Sector. While existing industry collaborations is a good sign of industrial
engagement, it is also strongly recommended that industry representative(s) be added to the Center’s Advisory Board.


3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.
Comments:
Infrastructure
The existing infrastructure at Chalmers is first-rate. There is a world-class cleanroom and nanofabrication facility, which is
available to other European researchers as a user facility. There is strong institutional investment in facilities, in particular
from the private Chalmers’ foundation. The existing budget is entirely devoted to personnel not capital purchases, the Panel
hopes that instrumentation resources will be available from other sources for instrument and machine upgrades so that the
facilities stay at the cutting edge.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                                    4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
Summary
This is an excellent proposed project from a first-rate team of researchers. The Panel encourages the team to focus
particularly on the collaborative Bridge component, which the Panel found to be the most innovative but least well defined.




                                                                        Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Nan, 2009-1066 Markides, Karin
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1037         Millnert, Mille                                Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Linköpings universitet
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   NanoMedicin för Framtidens Hälsa

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Teknikvetenskap                                Nanovetenskap och nanoteknik (VR-St-Nan)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
A Scientific quality: The proposal combines the strength in science/engineering of Linköping University with the Karolinska
Institutet, Sweden´s largest centre for biomedical research. The proposal is an interesting combination of nanomaterials,
nanoscience and nano-bio-medicine. The program is of high quality and a combination of the respective strength of the two
institutions. Nanomedicine is potentially a very broad topic but the proposer’s have narrowed the field down to two focus
areas: diagnostics and treatments with specific disease applications. This collaboration between the nanotechnology provider
and the clinical customer is an important element for success in achieving the required breakthroughs in this new field. The
suggested targeted focus is commendable. The medical research themes e.g. diabetes, regenerative medicine with cornea
repair and spinal cord injury/repair as targets, and materials development for advanced biomedical imaging make this
proposal outcome/application oriented.
The proposer´s teams are of very high scientific standard, first class in their respective fields.
Due to some vagueness in the text it was necessary to access primary publications to get sufficient information as examples
of previous relevant scientific results and concrete examples for prior successful interdisciplinary/inter institution research
projects. In some areas the interdisciplinary collaboration is not sufficiently backed up by previous results, e.g. the claimed
collaboration of the nanoelectronics and solid state theory groups at LiU, and are therefore not convincing. The incorporation
of spintronics raised doubts by the Panel on the validity of the programme - especially as this is not being backed up by
either concrete or even speculative potential uses in the context of the nanomedicine applications to be developed.

B potential for development:The science in this proposal is in parts very strong, especially the long established fruitful
collaboration between Liedberg and Richter-Dahlfors is a superb example of the excitement and interest which can arise
from good interdisciplinary science. As well as working on the more classic nanotechnology for medicine such as
nanoparticles and regenerative scaffolds, the proposers have also described research in new areas such as merging
magnetic and optically active materials into a single entity and THz imaging - although the latter raised questions with respect
to the “nano” aspect. The drive for a good joint proposal shines through. The Panel is, however, concerned about the
dominance of the LiU PI who is present in most of the proposed projects. There are clearly also some weak spots, e.g. the
nanoparticle safety associated research is mainstream and not innovative, and it is not joined up to the research development
in the materials development effort. Due to a distinct lack of detail in the proposal it was necessary to extensively consult
original publications.
If the two partners deliver on their promises, namely to have “physicists, nanomaterial scientists, engineers, chemists and
biochemists work together with pre-clinical and clinical expertise in selected areas, where the introduction of
nanotechnology-based solutions provides a great potential to advance the medical discipline" their potential impact could be
considerable.
C Prioritisation
Linköping and Karolinska have both committed a great deal to make this a success, the environment in both institutions is
excellent and fosters good science and collaborations. Both institutions have prioritised the research area - by recent and
planned future recruitment and investment in infrastructure necessary for the work.
D Strategies for competitiveness
This collaboration could give rise to advances in the scientific environment and generate new areas of scientific excellence in
Sweden. The joining of the strength of these two institutions would build a base that would be strong due to the
interdisciplinary nature of the intended research. If the proposed research is successful these institutions will be world leading
in some aspects of nanomedicine. The surface based nanoparticle research (sensor platform) is clearly world class, the
research on free nanoparticles and their use is not, although the LCOs are a nice idea with a large potential.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.
Assessment note:
A Strategic importance of the research area
Medical technology is of highest relevance to society and has long term business potential, in particular the proposed
partnership between the nanotechnology provider (Linköping University ) and the clinical customer ( Karolinska Institutet )
provides a strong platform for the management and leadership of this initiative.
The proposed research can be of benefit to mankind in as helping cure disease, and is therefore of strategic importance. All
of the science goals are clearly linked to specific disease applications. The target diseases chosen are of importance in the
developing (bacterial diseases) and the industrial world (diabetis, repair strategies for nerve damage). The involved business
sector will benefit if the ideas being developed are successful, but this is a high risk area - not all of the proposed research
will be successful, and not all of the successful research will translate into real products. Especially the plans, as stated in the
mission, to validate the results on live animals will ensure that the nanotechnology solutions are brought quickly to the point
where human trials might begin.
A caveat was that the interdisciplinary aspect of the proposed collaboration was a little less bold then it could have been.
There are some very novel ideas coming out of physics with applications in medicine and biology, and there was little really
transformative in the research proposed. There are dangers in bringing nanotechnology into medicine, this critical subject
was glaringly omitted, and should be addressed/included at a very high level.
B Strategies to create benefits
The strategies to translate research findings into products/industrial application can follow the successful examples of LiU´s
collaborative/inventive research (Agfa, Acreo,...) - therefore the plans are sufficient, as in being tried and tested. The joining
in of closely linked projects with Acreo is an example for commercial interest, although Acreo is only a government funded,
applied research institute. The ‘twinning’ practice, in which students and supervisors with different academic background
form a team targeting a common research problem is a unique approach that will facilitate convergence between disciplines.

C Capacity?
The Karolinska Institute is the largest Center for Medical Research in Sweden and in particular hosts the industry-funded
Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center. The joint effort of KI and LiU has the right capacity to undertake the research
proposed
Engagemnent with business etc.
The engagement with the business sector is good, some involved industry, but to what extent the industrial links - apart from
Biacore and Acreo - will be interested in the development of the NanoMedicine technologies listed is not clear. What the
input is from the medical community and from industry is not immediately evident.
Other programs such as the Innovation office, CeNano and regional umbrella organization ‘Growlink’ will also help in
fostering an entrepreneurial spirit within the consortium. In contrast to information technology (where all the big companies
are outside Sweden), there is an established base of life-sciences oriented companies, therefore a more fleshed out
declaration of the specific interlink to named industrial partners would have been better.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The infrastructure funding required is clearly described in the budget section of this proposal and includes running costs for
the existing facilities as well as some purchases of ‘expensive equipment’, which are easily addressed (microscopy), all the
rest of the work should be able to be pursued with the existing infrastructure.
The infrastructure of two supporting organizations, CeNano and Acreo, as well as the nanoelectronics groups at LiU are
necessary for the success of the nanomedicine project.
The intended investment into a biomaterials laboratory at LiU for Dr Griffith is necessary to allow some cell biology and
biomaterials testing at Linköping close to the materials/device fabrication which is essential for early feedback in the design
cycle idea/design/fab/bio/modified idea/design2/fab2/bio2/... . This should be complemented as indicated above by some
investment at KI into the small cleanroom.
The addition of the excellent and in their expertiese different LiU cleanroom facilities (soft lithography and printed polymer
electronics etc.) into the ranks of MyFab should be pursued in any case, because of the specialist expertise that could be
harnessed by the whole of the Swedish research community.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This is a good proposal that addresses the application of various nanotechnologies (polymer electronics, plasmonics,
targeted nanoparticle delivery, ...) to the bio-medical field. A set of areas of societal relevance, strategic importance and
scientific interest (CNS and PNS damage, diabetis, corneal disease, biosensing and imaging) were used as means to
concentrate the efforts of the interdisciplinary team. The Panel liked the idea that the interdisciplinarity of the teams was to be
reinforced by "twinning" researchers and students of different disciplines in the same project. Most of the research proposed
was perceived as being of high standard, but nanotoxicology and nanosafety - although of central importance was disjointed
from the rest of the proposal. The proposers intended uses of both spintronics and THz imaging were not convincingly linked
with the main theme of the proposal. Although commendably being aimed at funding junior staff, the praxis of actively
supporting new and junior staff which could have been demonstrated here was lacking - of the people recently hired (12) only
3 (Käll, Engström, Enander) are mentioned as being active participants in the proposal. How the bridge between the
nanoscientists and the biologists should work is not well worked out. The extent of the existing successful collaboration
between LiU and KI only becomes apparent, when accessing past publications.

                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Nan, 2009-1037 Millnert, Mille
 
           Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Neurovetenskap,
inklusive hjärnans och nervsystemets
              sjukdomar
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1038         Eriksson, Per Filip Billy                      Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Lunds universitet



                   Projekttitel
                   Multidisciplinär forskning med fokus på Parkinsons sjukdom - MultiPark

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Neurovetenskap, inklusive hjärnans och nervsystemets
                                                                  sjukdomar. (VR-St-Neu), normal (med ansvar)


Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
MultiPark is an outstanding, internationally competitive, application that is building on existing strength of a well established
neuroscience community with a world-leading track record in research on PD and other neurodegenerative diseases. The
major focus is on translation of results from basic research into clinical application by performing transplantation trials using
stem cells, implementing gene transfer based therapeutic strategies, using small compounds as neuroprotective agents,
monitoring the outcome of clinical trials by developing biomarkers, and testing the efficiency of clinical interventions in PD.
The proposed plan of work is imaginative, innovative and ambitious yet focused. The MultiPark consortium includes members
who, over a long period of time, have published regularly in high impact journals. The proven track record of consortium
members, together with a well defined plan of work and a robust management structure leaves little doubt that the project will
deliver. In addition to exploiting more conventional approaches, the application identifies novel areas for the development of
therapeutic strategies using gene-transfer therapy, stem cell transplantation and small molecule based neuroprotective
agents. Importantly the applicants intend to identify new biomarkers, not only to detect the early onset of disease and its
subsequent progress, but to monitor the efficacy of therapeutic strategies in clinical trials. A real strength of the proposal is
that it brings together a broad spectrum of scientists that enables a programme of work that is truly translational, from
preclinical investigations to clinical trials of new drugs.
The proposal represents great potential for the development of the scientific environment not least because investment in
young researchers is central to the application. A major part of the funding would be used to recruit talented young scientists
into tenure track positions (lecturers and assistant professors) and to provide them with start-up packages that include
doctoral students and running costs. Assuming that LU will underwrite the long term employment of these individuals, this will
go a long way to ensure the training and establishment of the next generation of scientists in this research area. The bringing
together of previously unlinked scientific communities to create multidisciplinary teams will further develop the scientific
environment.
It is clear that this research area is, and has been, highly prioritised by the PIs and LU over a period of many years. The
proposal is fully in line with LU’s research priorities and its strategy. To generate conditions for scientific excellence will rely
heavily on management structures that facilitate and support this complex research environment, including interactions
between academia and industry. LU has prioritised this activity and is supporting the appointment of a senior academic with
appropriate management experience.
The bringing together of diverse disciplines in a coherent multidisciplinary project that includes interactions between basic
scientists, clinicians, pharmaceutical and biotech industries will create a unique research environment that will serve to
increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the area of PD research. Importantly, the proposal to recruit,
train and support the next generation of scientists in this research area will help ensure Sweden’s continued competitiveness
for decades to come.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
As the second most common neurodegenerative disease, PD has immense socioeconomic impact. This is recognised in the
ultimate goal of the proposal which is to slow down and/or halt or reverse the course of PD. It is of tremendous strategic
importance therefore to develop new ways to diagnose and monitor the progress of the disease, and to test the efficacy of
novel therapeutic strategies, with the overall aim of decreasing the cost to society and improving the quality of life of the
patient. That nine of the ten PIs have existing collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech partners in related research
areas is strong evidence of the strategic importance to the business sector. The proposal will build on existing collaborations
between academia and industry. The application identifies ways in which the consortium can facilitate the translation of
scientific discoveries into industrial application as an area in which they can improve. The added benefits to be generated by
this proposal are largely three-fold: (i) to establish and nurture the next generation of neuroscientists in this research area, (ii)
to provide a unique framework for interactions between basic scientists of international standing, clinicians and industrial
partners to deliver translational goals of socioeconomic importance and (iii) the establishment of CSF and brain biobanks.
LU, Malmo and LU hospitals, together with established industrial links, provide the support and capacity to generate benefits
from research findings in clinical and industrial application. Most of the infrastructure critical to the success of the proposal is
in place and, in the main, only modest requests for maintenance of existing equipment and facilities are made. It is evident
that LU is 100% behind this research initiative and is providing management and business support for the proposal that will
undoubtedly facilitate the generation of benefits from the research findings.

Members of the consortium have long-standing and proven track records of engagement with the business sector. It is clear
from the proposal that industrial partners have an active role in problem formulation and implementation. There is evidence of
involvement of community organisations such as LU and Malmo hospitals and involvement with national patient
organisations.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The resources requested are largely for personnel. Most of the expensive infrastructure, including a recently established
bioimaging facility, is already in place and the applicant merely requests funding for maintenance of existing equipment and
facilities. Their requests are for relatively modest but important technical infrastructure that will make important contributions
to the development of the scientific community: a FACS instrument and the establishment of CSF and brain biobanks.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              5
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The MultiPark proposal will further strengthen the leading role of Lund University in the development of therapeutic strategies
for Parkinson Disease (PD). The major focus of MultiPark is on translation of results from basic research into clinical and
industrial applications by performing transplantation trials using stem cells, implementing gene transfer based therapies,
using small compounds as neuroprotective agents, monitoring the outcome of clinical trials by developing biomarkers, and
testing the efficiency of clinical interventions for PD. The LU researchers are highly rated for their outstanding research in the
field of PD. The international competitive position of LU will be further strengthened by MultiPark by attracting additional
young promising talents to LU. LU has established a very competitive research environment in neurodegenration by
strategically focusing on PD. Thus, Multipark will further strengthen LU and Sweden in the international competition and will
further build on the present expertise and leadership of LU in this field of research.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Neu, 2009-1038 Eriksson, Per Filip Billy
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1067         Fredman, Pam                                   Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Göteborgs universitet
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   VANLIGA OCH HANDIKAPPANDE PSYKIATRISKA SJUKDOMAR: Orsaker, mekanismer, nya
                   behandlingsprinciper - forskning inom Göteborgs psykiatrinätverk (GOPS)

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Neurovetenskap, inklusive hjärnans och nervsystemets
                                                                  sjukdomar. (VR-St-Neu), normal (med ansvar)


Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This proposal aims at strengthening preclinical and clinical research in the Gothenburg network of biological Psychiatry
(GOPS).
Biological psychiatry is an area of enormous importance, given the burden of mental disorder and the relatively immature
state of the science, compared with neurology. Gothenburg has been very successful in bringing together a large number of
clinician scientists in the area of biological psychiatry to create this network.
Scientific quality
The quality and impact of research within GOPS ranges between good and outstanding. Of particular distinction is the work
on autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders, brain development and learning, forensic
psychiatry and epidemiology of risk factors for dementia and depression.
The stated goal of the proposal is to strengthen interaction across the range of disciplines, to provide postdoctoral positions to
encourage collaboration and interaction, to provide an environment that will encourage young clinicians to move into research
on mental health, and to fund technical support for new infrastructure, especially for neuroimaging. The intention is to
combine clinical research with relevant preclinical studies in order to increase understanding of psychiatric disorders and, in
so doing, to revitalise psychiatric research in Sweden. The calibre of the PIs, together with a well founded research
environment, underpins this proposal.
The scientific environment
The applicants argue that Gothenburg is already the leading centre for psychiatric research in Sweden. They hope that this
programme, if funded, will enable them to become one of the leading centres in Europe. Certainly the priority of GOPS at
Gothenburg University and Sahlgrenska University Hospital seems high and the potential for development of the scientific
environment is high. In view of the general shortage of talented young researchers trained in both neuroscience and
biological psychiatry, Gothenburg asks for money to “start a research school open for both MDs and students from other
fields, aimed to provide training in both preclinical and clinical techniques of importance for the study of psychiatric illnesses.”
They also ask for funding for a large number of new positions, within clinical as well as preclinical research of relevance for
psychiatry, both at the post doc level and at the level between post doc and senior lecturer or professor. Additional money is
requested for personnel to run the new imaging facility (NMR and PET) and for the exchange and recruitment of post-docs
and guest professors from within Sweden and from abroad. It would have been nice to have seen a plan for supplementation
of the local faculty with full professorships according to a well structured and focused research programme.
Funding might increase Sweden`s international reputation and competitiveness in investigative biological psychiatry. But a
great deal would have to be taken on trust. A strong culture of interdisciplinary collaboration and novel approaches does not
appear yet to have been developed within GOPS.
Members of this consortium have internationally competitive track records that encompass preclinical and clinical research
areas. However, little evidence is presented of a genuinely catalytic effect of GOPS in stimulating new collaborations and
interactions.
In some respects, the proposal does not live up to expectations, the research programme is not well defined and, although
much detail of the supporting environment is provided, it is not clear exactly what would be done with new funding or how
GOPS would take best advantage of the resources available to translate preclinical findings into commercial and clinical
applications. The diversity of topics addressed within psychiatry is impressive but in the proposal, as presented, there is no
clear vision and no concrete objectives for the direction of future research. We could not see the common research goals or
the distinctive focus of the programme. There are only suggestions of the direction in which research will focus, such as “to
develop new pharmacological treatment modalities, enhancing knowledge on prevalence, clinical presentation, risk factors
and biomarkers”. It would have been more convincing to see a strategic plan for the way in which additional funding would
create new synergies and added value.
2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.
Assessment note:
The significance of research on mental health is very high for both business and society. Psychiatric diseases altogether are
common (ca. 25% of the total economic burden of disease) as well as disabling, and therefore of profound socio-economical
significance. Despite past achievements in translation, particularly the work of Arvid Carlsson and co-workers, interaction
with industry does not seem to be as developed as it could be. There are hints of commercial interest in the network and in
the research that would be covered by this programme. However, there are no well-articulated ideas for new translational
initiatives.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
There are no specific, fully argued proposals for large infrastructure in this application. The budget contains funding for
technical support for existing facilities, particularly for human neuroimaging.
The application also mentions the potential for establishing a MEG facility as an addition to the general neuroimaging platform
there. We recommend that the Swedish government should consider the establishment of a MEG centre, but it should be in
an environment in which other aspects of neuroimaging are well established, where there is a background of relevant
scientific questions appropriate to MEG, and where technical support exists or can be established.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
Funding would certainly promote psychiatry as a discipline in Gothenburg, with spin-offs to other Swedish Universities by
way of educational programmes and possible collaboration, which might strengthen the international recognition of GOPS.
But this proposal does not spell out a joint effort to solve a major problem or a set of problems in depth through novel
multidisciplinary approaches. The proposal appears to be mainly a request for additional funding for what is obviously already
a strong environment for clinical research. A decision to give priority to this programme would have to be based on trust and
political judgement, rather than on the scientific plan presented in the proposal.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Neu, 2009-1067 Fredman, Pam
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1072         Hallberg, Anders                               Strategiska forskningsområden




                   Projekttitel
                   Forskning för framtidens smärtlindring

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Neurovetenskap, inklusive hjärnans och nervsystemets
                                                                  sjukdomar. (VR-St-Neu), normal (med ansvar)


Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
1A
Members of this consortium (PAIN) are internationally recognised in their individual research areas and collectively they have
put forward a focused research proposal that encompasses preclinical, translational and clinical studies into underlying
mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain. The proposal is ambitious in that it aims to identify (i) genetic
predisposition of susceptibility to chronic pain and (ii) biomarkers that will enable the diagnosis of different pain states and the
monitoring of efficacy of treatments that can be better targeted to pain of different etiology. Critical to the success of the
proposal is the Clinical Pain Centre at UU Hospital which will provide access to large cohorts of well characterised patients
and enable correlative studies of pain pathophysiology and efficacy of treatments with internationally competitive expertise in
genotyping, identification of biological markers and brain imaging. Of particular importance is the planned development of
combined PET and MR imaging. This initiative involves the strengthening of an established collaboration with an industrial
partner and, if successful, will as the application suggests, ‘enable integration of anatomical alterations with functional and
structural connectivity, neuronal signalling neurochemical processes as well as neurotransmitter release in the same patient’.
One of the PIs is director of the SNP-technology facility, which will enable large-scale genotyping and the identification of
biomarkers that is pivotal to the research proposal. Other collaborations with industrial partners (Berzelii Technology Centre
and AstraZeneca) will provide functional proteomic analysis that is also central to the identification of biomarkers. An
important aim of the proposal is to set up a national biobank that will be essential for the identification of biomarkers. An
innovative aspect of the proposal is the development of behaviour-based programmes for the treatment of chronic pain that
can be available on the internet to complement analgesic regimes. Strong basic scientific expertise (in analytical chemistry, in
neuropharmacology, in the development of transgenic mouse models and in the study of interactions between the immune
system and the brain) combined with clinical pain research in UU and LiU hospitals and the participation of industrial partners
will provide an internationally competitive environment for novel drug development.

In summary, the document lays out the credentials of an internationally competitive team who are working at the cutting-edge
of their disciplines. There is evidence for on-going collaboration between the PIs. However, where the proposal falls short, is
that it does not give sufficient detail to assess the added scientific value that would result from any increased collaboration
following the establishment of the PAIN consortium, beyond establishing links with colleagues at LiU.

1B
Two strategies are identified that have the potential to develop the scientific environment, (i) development of links between
UU and LiU and (ii) the recruitment and training of young scientists. Both UU and LiU have strong preclinical and clinical
research bases. What is not sufficiently detailed in the proposal is the added value of bringing them together under the PAIN
umbrella.
Recruitment and training of young scientists would go a long way towards developing the scientific environment in this
research area. The proposal is to establish a national graduate school in pain research and to offer 3+3 year positions for
research and clinical work to clinical PhD students and young postdoctoral workers. However, no details (e.g. numbers of
students/ postdoctoral workers) are provided.
1C
The area is of very high priority within UU and LiU activities. International peer review of research at UU (2006/07) considered
several of the pain groups to be of high international standard with great potential for future development. The policy
document ‘Goals and strategies’ for UU (2008) indentifies interdisciplinary research on pain, cognition and drug development
as an area for strengthening.
LiU has established, and continues to support, neuroscience within the ‘Life Sciences Initiative’(LSI). LSI has funded
appointments and significant infrastructure and has a commitment to continue to recruit in this research area, to provide
competitive start up resources and to provide funding for graduate students and postdoctoral workers.
1D
There are four strategies that would increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in translational pain research:
(i) the recruitment and training of young scientists through the establishment of a graduate school and career opportunities for
young postdoctoral workers, including a scheme targeted at clinically qualified scientists, (ii) development of brain imaging,
notably the development of simultaneous PET and MR imaging (iii) development of collaborative links between UU and LiU
and (iv) development of a national biobank to correlate pain pathophysiology with genetics, biomarkers and imaging data.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
2A
Chronic pain is an area of immense unmet medical need. A recent survey identified that one in five Europeans suffers from
chronic pain, and that pain has a serious impact on their working and social lives. Currently only 40% of chronic pain patients
get meaningful treatment benefit, thus a huge number of people are exposed to a lifetime of debilitating pain. The proposal
places a numerical value on this of 8.7 billion Euro a year in Sweden alone. This represents an enormous socioeconomic
burden. The research area is therefore of great strategic importance to the business sector and society. Moreover, if they
were able to introduce powerful technologies, such as combined PET and MR imaging, this would improve the potential for
interaction with the industrial sector.
2B
This consortium has a good track record of publishing in high impact scientific journals. UU and LiU prioritise the wider
communication of research findings and their implications to society. The fact that a recent survey revealed that UU is second
only to the Swedish government in attracting international media attention indicates that the University has a very effective
press office. Close links with healthcare communities and industrial partners in Uppsala and Linkoping will facilitate two-way
exchange between the basic and clinical scientific communities and industry that will facilitate the translation of basic
research into applications of clinical and industrial importance.
2C
In addition to the stated commitment of UU and LiU in this research area other supporting activities include, (i) clinical pain
centres at UU and LiU hospitals, (ii) SNP platform for genotyping, (iii) engagement of GE Healthcare in the development of
combined PET/MR imaging, (iv) a high speed chemistry platform and (v) academic participation with the biotech company
NovaSaid .
2D
UU and LiU have stated commitments to facilitate interactions between academia and the industrial sector. Members of the
consortium have proven track records with business partners. These include AstraZeneca (Neurodiagnostics, central to the
identification of biomarkers), NovaSaid (development of prostaglandin based therapeutic agents, GE Healthcare
(development of imaging technology, including combined PET/MR imaging. Future initiatives include collaboration with CMA,
for the development of microdialysis technology.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
As a consequence of long standing financial support from UU and LiU and from external funding most of the infrastructure to
support the activities of PAIN are in place. The vast majority of resource requested is for investment in people. However
funds would be needed for the development of (i) the biobank and (ii) imaging facilities.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This is a strong application that focuses on an area of strategic importance - the understanding of mechanisms underlying
chronic pain, and its diagnosis and treatment. Internationally there are few centres that can bring together this breadth of
expertise in pain research from basic science through to clinical application. A notable strength is access to a large cohort of
well-characterised patients from which to develop a biobank that would enable the identification of biomarkers and genetic
predisposition to chronic pain. Evidence is presented for on-going collaborations between members of the consortium but
the proposal would have benefited from a fuller description of the proposed synergy between groups. The strengthening of
existing collaborations with the industrial sector would facilitate the translation of basic scientific findings into clinical and
commercial applications.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Neu, 2009-1072 Hallberg, Anders
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1080         Millnert, Mille                                Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Linköpings universitet
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   Centrum för systemneurobiologi: Utveckling, funktion och sjukdom hos neuronala kretsar

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Neurovetenskap, inklusive hjärnans och nervsystemets
                                                                  sjukdomar. (VR-St-Neu), normal (med ansvar)


Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The proposal from Linkopings University is for a Center for Systems Neurobiology to study the development, function and
disease of neuronal circuits. The proposal is in four broadly related areas: 1) development and behaviour, 2) circuits and
function, 3) neurodegenerative disease and 4) imaging and visualization of healthy and diseased nervous system.

This is a very broad proposal without a clear and tight focus. The individual research groups are mostly of high quality
(including recent recruits from the Karolinska Institute, Harvard Medical School and the Scripps Research Institute) but the
proposal lacks cohesion. It is presented as a collection of topics, as studied by each of the ten listed groups, rather than as a
unified scientific vision. Of the listed Professors, five were recruited to Linkopings in the last seven years, and this may go
some way to explaining why the proposal is not more joined up.
The application is overly ambitious in places, as highlighted in the ‘scientific goals in a 10-year perspective’ in Appendix 2,
page 11. For example, it would be a great achievement to: 1) ‘(decipher) the developmental biology of Drosophila and
mouse spinal cord stem cells’ and 2) complete the ‘molecular characterization of genes involved in development of neuronal
networks involved in behaviour control systems in the mouse, chicken and Drosophila’, not to mention the next five listed
goals.
The PIs point out that Linkopings is a fairly new University, having been founded in the 1970’s. In the next five years there will
be a large turnover of senior staff, with so many Professors due to retire. In addition to the ten listed Professors, several
Assistant Professors and their groups work in the general area of ‘Systems Neurobiology’. In fact, the research of some of
the more junior researchers listed in Appendix 2D, page 11, fits in better with the proposed program than that of the listed
Professors who make up the application. An award to Linkopings might, therefore, be viewed as an investment for the future.
If the grant were awarded, the funds would go towards recruitment, support for graduate students and post docs, and running
costs for animal facilities, there has been recent investment in the infrastructure of the University.
The proposal is in four areas:
1)Development and Behaviour
2)Circuits and Function
3)Neurodegenerative Disease
4)Imaging and Visualization of Healthy and Diseased Nervous System
Development and Behaviour – genes to behaviour
The PIs propose to ‘explore neural processes from genes to the behaviour of organisms (with) particular emphasis…on the
development of the nervous system, starting from …Drosophila …on to the genetic contribution to behaviour using the chicken
and mouse as models.’
This group includes highly respected scientists carrying out research in
genetic control of neural development in model systems. The inclusion of computational neurobiology is an added strength.
There is scope for productive collaborations amongst some members of the group. The more junior groups show great
promise in this area.
Circuits and Function
The focus here is on ‘the function of individual neurons and their integration into functional physiological circuits related to the
behaviour of the organism.’
It is difficult to see what interactions exist, or will be promoted, between these groups and how the groups aim to achieve their
stated ten-year goals. Again the more junior groups show great promise.
Neurodegenerative Disease
The groups in this area cover a very broad remit that is difficult to reconcile with the topic of “neurodegeneration”.

Imaging and visualization of the healthy and diseased nervous system

The fourth field is the development of neuroimaging and neurotechnical tools based on a “Center for Medical Image Science
and Visualization” (CMIV). An integrated neuroimaging centre could have helped to establish links between the individual
work packages. This would require strong leadership and a proactive effort to integrate the neuroimaging center into the
previously outlined areas of research.
2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
2a. Although many interactions with industrial partners are identified in the proposal, some of which are long-standing, the
consortium currently presents limited evidence for the translation of basic scientific findings into clinical and commercial
application. However, a greater understanding of neural function and dysfunction as proposed here has great potential for
translation into the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of neurological disorders such as those identified by the PIs, e.g.
chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases. All of the disorders identified represent an
immense socioeconomic burden and, as such, the research is, potentially, of tremendous strategic importance to the
business sector and to society. The PIs also identify animal welfare as a target for their research findings, which has obvious
potential for commercial exploitation in the agricultural sector.
2b. The PIs identify two main strategies to generate benefits from the research findings, (i) having a dissemination strategy
that allows publication unhindered by commercial interests such as patent application and (ii) developing and/or establishing
novel collaborations with industrial partners and the healthcare sector (see d below).
2c. LiU has demonstrated a strong financial commitment to neurobiology, for both infrastructure and personnel, and the
proposed Centre for Systems Neurobiology would represent an extension of the Life Sciences Initiative that LiU established
in 2001. Existing infrastructure includes human and animal imaging facilities (MRI and CT). The continued support of LiU is
assured, as external reviewers appointed by LiU selected this constellation out of the six put forward by the University. In
addition to internal support, external funding of the consortium includes the award of a Wallenberg grant, which has allowed
recent investment in infrastructure. LiU has an extensive and well-established support network to encourage
entrepreneurship and to facilitate interactions with industry.
2d. Members of the consortium have strong links with local and international industrial partners that support their activities in
the fields of biomedical imaging and engineering, neurodegenerative disease, chronic pain, excitability of the embryonic heart
and development of anti-inflammatory agents. Research in chronic pain is carried out in collaboration with the Pain and
Rehabilitation Centre at the University in Linkoping, which allows exchange of basic scientific and clinical expertise and
findings.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
No infrastructure support is requested. The research groups are well equipped, and substantial funding, specifically for
infrastructure, was recently received from the Wallenberg Foundation. An application for a new high-field MRI scanner for
animal experiments has been submitted to the Wallenberg Foundation.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The application would have benefited from a more focused proposal, with greater emphasis on the more recent recruits.
Given the research areas of the junior group leaders, the University clearly has identified a promising focus for the future.
Neuroscience is an important area for investment at LiU, and the foundation has been established for many years of excellent
research to come.
The section on gender equality and diversity was thoughtfully presented and bodes well for future recruitment.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Neu, 2009-1080 Millnert, Mille
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1077         Wallberg-Henriksson, Harriet                   Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Karolinska Institutet
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   Kognition och motorisk funktion vid hälsa och sjukdom

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Neurovetenskap, inklusive hjärnans och nervsystemets
                                                                  sjukdomar. (VR-St-Neu), normal (med ansvar)


Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This is an ambitious proposal “to create a truly interactive, translational neuroscience milieu with an international reputation
that will attract academic and industrial partners.” It brings together researchers studying cognitive and motor function and
dysfunction throughout the lifespan, using methods that extend from genetics through to behavioural studies and clinical
application.
The mission likewise is ambitious: “to reveal the biological underpinnings of cognitive and motor functions, to identify etiology,
pathophysiology, social and environmental risk factors of the major brain disorders, to develop biomarkers for early detection
and for monitoring disease progress, to develop new approaches for prevention and treatment, and to foster a new
generation of leaders and scientists in translational neuroscience.”
The application sets out three main aims: 1. to define the development and function of motor and cognitive networks in the
central nervous system with a view to using this information to treat spinal cord damage and Parkinson’s disease, and to
understand the effects of aging on cognitive function, 2. to investigate neurodevelopmental disorders that affect cognitive
and motor functions in childhood and adolescence, identifying new biomarkers as well as critical genetic and environmental
factors, developing new animal models and interventions, and enabling knowledge transfer into the clinic, and 3. to study
neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases that occur in mid and late adulthood, identifying biomarkers,
investigating the basic mechanisms of neuron death and inflammation, and developing new drugs and regenerative methods.
The proposal introduces a new Young Investigator Program in which promising young researchers will be given four years of
competitive research funding. The Karolinska will also recruit new senior researchers to build up strategic lines of research in
three of the proposed methods platforms and in the areas of basic mechanisms of neurorepair, and clinical research in
Parkinson disease and spinal cord injury. In addition, they plan to start a postdoctoral program to entice postdocs back to
Sweden after an initial postdoc abroad – as well as an integrated PhD program in neuroscience including a number of PhD
positions for physicians, (MD-PhD positions). The Karolinska, and its partner Umeå University, will also attempt to co-locate
the different research groups in a single site in each institution to facilitate intellectual interaction.
The PIs and collaborators on this application constitute an exceptionally strong group. The 10 PIs are all internationally
known scientists with impressive citation records. Moreover, there are a number of other highly visible scientists amongst the
collaborators. In addition to Umeå University, the Karolinska has aligned a number of other collaborating institutions including
Umeå Hospital (neuroimaging and neurobiobanks), the Royal Institute of Technology (neuroinformatics and computation),
Swedish Brain Power (multidisciplinary networking for knowledge translation), Stockholm Brain Institute (cognitive and
computational neuroscience), the Aging Research Center (multidisciplinary institute for research, training, and KT),
Stockholm County Council (databases and biobanks), and International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility
(neuroinformatics). The group at Karolinska also appear to have strong links with industry with well-established partnerships
with AstraZeneca, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, and IBM.
As already stated, the research outlined in this proposal is extremely broad in scope, and there is always a danger of such a
broad research endeavour losing focus. Indeed, at times the links between different lines of research are difficult to see. For
example, the first component on the development and function of motor and cognitive networks rightfully emphasizes the
relevance of identifying the molecular and developmental logic of the network organization in the spinal cord that could
illuminate the organization of an exemplar network in the mammalian brain. This is crucial for the next step, in which they
propose to investigate the mechanisms mediating spinal cord repair, and to elucidate mechanisms through which normal
motor functions can be restored or that will stimulate neuroregeneration. A strong focus is on neuron-glia interactions in
these processes. If the spinal cord is such a good exemplar network, this approach could have been easily integrated in the
proposed research on functional restoration in the basal ganglia, and also in the research on neurodegenerative diseases,
where understanding neuron-glia interactions is now acknowledged to be important (as mentioned in the proposed studies in
a mouse model for autism as well as in the formulated aim to develop new PET ligands for visualizing astrocytes and
microglia).
The proposal would have been even more compelling if all proposals had followed the diagram of figure 1, making it clear that
all elements are in place to construct the pipeline from basic research to translation of the findings into clinical applications.
Applying this beautiful scheme more universally would have helped to elucidate relationships within each of the three themes
as well as across them. An illustrative example within a theme is the relationship of cognitive functions in children and spinal
cord repair on the one hand and the study of function of dexterous object manipulation on the other hand, a link which is not
particularly convincing. Across-themes integration is also sometimes lacking. For example, the aim in theme 2, to identify
risk factors for cognitive decline in aging, could be obviously linked to the some of the overarching goals in theme 3. There is
also the important issue of selective neuronal vulnerability to neurodegeneration in a variety of diseases. Ambitious plans for
securing high-quality post mortem tissue are proposed, but plans to link this endeavor to animal models are not explicit.
Although the broad approach presents some problems for integration, overall this is an extremely impressive application.
And indeed in a number of cases, there are clear indications of a strong vertical integration between the different methods
(and disciplines) being used to tackle particular problems. A good example of such integration can be seen in the projects on
neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, and MS where work on early biomarkers is being integrated
with investigations into the disease processes underlying these disorders and the identification of susceptibility genes and
environmental factors, as well with the development of regenerative processes that can be used to treat these disorders.

Although the overall application was extremely broad, the possible shortcomings of this approach are offset to a large degree
by the emphasis on programs designed to recruit and retain researchers – particularly up and coming younger scientists – and
the effort to increase collaboration and communication amongst researchers from different disciplines within the neuroscience
enterprise. This part of the application is particularly strong. The Karolinska proposes to organize an integrated Neuroscience
Research Training Program (NRTP) with a unique mix of research training that stimulates interaction between basic and
clinical research, and stimulates entrepreneurship and interaction between the academy and industry. It would be useful if
they were to explain how the management and organization of the NRTP will relate to the two existing research schools in
neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet.
2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The Karolinska has a proven record of successful contacts with industry and the power to translate findings from
neuroscience research into applications. The proposal presents a well-articulated account of how they plan to communicate
their research findings both to society at large and to their commercial partners. Indeed, this aspect of the proposal was
amongst the strongest assessed by the panel. The partnerships with AstraZeneca and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma are
particularly well worked out. KI Innovation, a network of experts, organizations and services that help identify and develop
ideas for translating findings into a fully developed product, appears to play a significant role in fostering alliances with
industry as illustrated by the number of spin-off companies. It thus seems that all is in place to ensure that findings from this
group will generate economic and societal value. A very relevant additional point is that training in entrepreneurship for the
PhD students and post docs is stipulated as part of the proposed program.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The Karolinska, along with Umeå, has a considerable array of research resources and platforms. Nevertheless, they also are
planning to develop a translational neuroscience behavioural platform
as a core facility to study the cognitive and motor dysfunctions in human brain diseases. This resource would appear to be a
rodent behavioural lab (perhaps with associated animal holding facilities, although this is not clear). In addition, they plan on
developing the brain biobank, which will house well-characterized brain tissue of relevant diseases. Finally, there appear to
be plans afoot to develop a neuroinformatics platform as a joint project amongst the Karolinska, the Royal Institute of
Technology and IBM.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                                  5
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This is an outstanding proposal from an impressive group of researchers based at one of the leading research centres in
Europe. The proposal covers a broad range of important research topics in neuroscience from developmental disorders in
young children to neurodegenerative diseases in the elderly. Although at times the scope of the application was in danger of
becoming unfocused, in the end the strength of the individual researchers and the proposed plans for recruitment and training
offset any of the concerns that the panel had. The findings that are likely to emerge from this research have profound
implications for the health and well-being of society. The well-established conduits for knowledge translation will ensure that
the research findings will benefit the Swedish industrial and commercial sectors.
Five years from the start of funding, the progress of the research program will be evaluated. In addition to the usual criteria
such as publications, patents, and start-ups, one critical component that will form part of this evaluation is how well the
different lines of research have been integrated into a synergistic whole. Although the different lines of research outlined in
the application are all excellent, there was little evidence of proposed collaboration, except in the most general of terms.




                                                                    Samlade yttrande VR-St-Neu, 2009-1077 Wallberg-Henriksson, Harriet
          Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Politiskt viktiga
       geografiska regioner
 Dnr               Last name, First name                           Type of grant
 2009-1040         Andersson, Thomas                               Strategic Research Areas
                   Högskolan i Jönköping



                   Project title
                   Building Market Economies - Fostering Institutional Change and Entrepreneurship in Russia

                   Research area                                   Ev group
                   *HS och Utbildningsvetenskap                    Politically important geographic regions (VR-St-Geo)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Thank you for submitting your proposal. It was carefully considered by an international panel of experts. Each member
assessed each application independently. These evaluations were remarkably consistent in their assessment of the scholarly
and societal contribution of the proposal. What follows is the report from the meeting of these experts. This report combines
the summary evaluations of the entire panel.
The proposed research program has rather narrow focus on analysis of the development of small and medium-size business
in Russia with the theoretical perspective being reduced to institutional theory. Although the subject is important, the research
methodology is not clear. Nor is the design specified such that the panel had confidence in the proposal’s ability to deliver
comparative analytical research. The weakest element is the reliance on a Russian university whose ability to carry out this
kind of field work is not demonstrated in the proposal.
The panel was concerned that the background of the principal investigators didn’t demonstrate a long engagement with the
study of Russia, although they have clear expertise in the study of entrepreneurship.
There is little prospect that the proposed research will enhance Sweden’s international scientific competiveness beyond
fostering the research careers of young doctoral and post-doctoral candidates and international collaborations through the
program on Entrepreneurship and Growth. Without building a wider foundation in economics and in Russian studies, the
research programme is unlikely to contribute to a greater theoretical and empirical understanding of the role of
entrepreneurship and the transition to a liberal market economy in Russia.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
This is the stronger aspect of the proposal. The researchers and the institution have local contacts and have considered how
to engage with their Russian counterparts in Russia. However without guidance on the nature of the research itself and how it
is to be put into practice, it is not clear what the value added will be. Also, there is little consideration of the policy community.
This is all about business and academics interested in business. While the proposal starts from the premise that small
business is key to societal change, the implications are not discussed or teased out in any systematic way and potentially
interested communities are not engaged. Policy is absent. Furthermore, the dissemination of ideas is limited to business
partners in the Jonkoping University area.
Although engagement of the business sector potentially could be strong, particularly the Jonkoping Science Park, concrete
ideas and plans underpinning this institutional construct are not spelled out.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The infrastructure in this call for proposals played little role in the evaluation.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              1
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
Although the proposal has some strengths, its narrow focus and lack of scholarly, analytic foundation raises questions about
its potential contribution. On the methodological side, the lack of a clear research design and limited expertise on Russia are
problematic.



                                                                         Evaluations VR-St-Geo, 2009-1040 Andersson, Thomas
 Dnr               Last name, First name                          Type of grant
 2009-1057         Bergman, Lars                                  Strategic Research Areas




                   Project title
                   Sustainability of Russia´s Great Power Satus (SURGE)

                   Research area                                  Ev group
                   *HS och Utbildningsvetenskap                   Politically important geographic regions (VR-St-Geo)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Thank you for submitting your proposal. It was carefully considered by an international panel of experts. Each member
assessed each application independently. These evaluations were remarkably consistent in their assessment of the scholarly
and societal contribution of the proposal. What follows is the report from the meeting of these experts. This report combines
the summary evaluations of the entire panel.
Overall this is a solid proposal that draws on four academic or think tank institutions to develop a comprehensive program
that will evaluate the prospects of Russia´s status. The approach is multidisciplinary and includes a team of economists,
political scientists and historians. There are three broad rubrics: the economy, foreign policy, and domestic politics. Within
each of these three there are a series of guiding questions and issues that will drive the program. Under the economy, key
concerns that will be addressed are macroeconomic stability, natural resource dependence and exchange rate regimes.
Under foreign policy, the near abroad looms large as does Russia´s status as a key energy exporter to Europe (which relates
back to the economy).
The strongest section of the proposal is the economic side, followed by domestic politics, then foreign policy. On the foreign
policy side, there is little consideration of broader international issues and notions of power itself. Rather, the emphasis
seems to be on self-perception, identity and culture. There is little mention of China for instance, the nuclear balance (the
conventional balance is mentioned in passing), or power considerations in general.
The potential for development of the scientific environment is substantial given the synergies between researchers located at
different institutions. Each of the partners has a long engagement with the study of aspects of Russian politics, history and/or
culture. Each has also built an international reputation of excellence in its own right. Several scholars involved as principal
investigators are leaders in their areas of specialization. The various institutions have recognized this and invested heavily in
securing adequate financial resources. The proposed strategies to enhance Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness
in this research area are conventional but they are tested. They include publications in top-tier journals of the various
disciplines, participation in the major academic conferences, the creation of career opportunities for young researchers thus
securing a growing pool of expertise, collaboration with top international institutions, and the holding of a SURGE yearly
conference with international participation.
Overall the quality of scholars is high, but some of the proposed research and methods are underdeveloped, more
specifically:
Conceptual issues
Little evidence is provided as to how the research team will investigatehow Russia will sustain itself as a great power. This
seems to be a presumption. It would be helpful if the project more explicitly questioned its starting frame of analysis (i.e.
Russia´s surge as a great power). This is an issue because later in the proposal mentions that Russia is a "normal"
middle-income country. If Russia is a middle power, then the starting frame seems odd or should at a minimum be bolstered.

There is no sense of the timeframe for the analysis. Sustainability needs to be defined (e.g. 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 50
years). This matters because different factors need to be considered depending on the scale. Demographics for instance take
far longer to change and are considered vital to understanding the economic and political systems of a state.

Several integrating themes lurk below the surface of the proposal and could have served as a mechanism to link the different
aspects of the proposed research, theoretically and empirically. The resource curse is of particular relevance to
understanding all themes in the proposal. It is explicitly mentioned in the sections on macroeconomics, economics of energy,
state-firm relations (especially regarding corruption), and non-democratic trends, but this overarching theme is never
developed. Nevertheless the committee appreciated that the proposal does refer to existing literature, more is needed
however integrating the different themes and disciplinary approaches. So, for example, what does it mean for Russia to be
simultaneously resource dependent and yet a major energy exporter with considerable military power. Addressing such
issues would require greater collaboration than is highlighted in the proposal.
Research methods
The research consortium is composed of a part at SITE and at Lund University. The two parts are not well integrated. The
SITE team is clearly excellent. Lund has strong competence in politics and particularly with regard to political institutions. The
two teams excel in different areas offering little mutual benefit.
Part of the problem is that the research seems to be a continuation of already-existing research programs among the
scholars, with little integration or collaboration among the scholars themselves as they research. Given the lack of
coordination across the research tasks and the lack of integration, prioritization has focused on facilitating research already in
progress or similar to previous work. Little attention has been given to developing new research agendas across the different
research teams. Given the lack of an explicit plan for integrating the very disparate research teams, we are concerned about
the degree of development necessary for sustaining and developing the SURGE program.

More detail should have been provided on how the research will be executed. For example, some game theoretic models of
energy economics and politics are roughly sketched, but the implications are inadequately developed.
Some methodological discord undercuts the proposal too. Game theory, quantitative large-N analysis, and
genetic/geneological methods are mentioned, but little discussion is provided as to how these different approaches will be
integrated.
Although the proposal pays attention to methodological concerns, such as questions of endogeneity and the “natural
experiment” offered by the post-communist trajectory of the former Soviet (and possibly Eastern European) states. While
many of the individual projects clearly favor a comparative and systematic approach, which is a strength of the proposal, it is
not always clear which units (countries) are to be compared.
Furthermore, the rationale for case selection and possible benefits and drawbacks are lacking. For instance, the proposal
states that the project on exchange rate regimes will study such regimes “across countries,” but that is all the reader learns
about the comparison. The same goes for the claim that it is more “interesting” to study state-firm relations in Russian in a
comparative perspective. While the proposed program is multi-disciplinary and draws on different research methods, there
appears to be methodological divides among the different subject areas. Particularly the studies of economic relations in
Russia appear to favor a cross-national (and quantitative) analysis. Research on state-firm relations, for example, can
probably benefit from case study research to study and develop causal mechanisms for how firms interact with state elites.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The general strategy is to provide the institutions and scholars with further funding for doing what they already do, participate
and organize conferences and research seminars, offer joint graduate courses (SITE and Lund), and recruit post-docs and
PhD students and pay for existing faculty.
Because this project will be examining economic and energy policies, the business community will have a keen interest in its
findings. Moreover the collaborating partners (in particular SITE) already have access and contact with the business
community and therefore will be able to develop and hone these relationships. Moreover, the integration of politics into the
analysis will push the understanding a bit further than would be the case if the different scholars continued to conduct their
research on their own. Thus, the business sector would get a fuller appreciation of the interplay between the different sectors.

Also, the proposal mentions that the business sector will be solicited for ideas that might need further investigation, thus there
would be a true interaction between these scholars and the business community. Nevertheless there is not a clear sense of
how they will interact and how networks will be developed and enhanced.
The proposal seeks to more fully develop contacts and cohesion among a variety of research domains. There is discussion of
a "leading meeting place" labeled the Russia Forum that would allow for the presentation of research, however, it is not clear
how this will operate, who will organize, who will attend and so on. Generally speaking, specifics are lacking. So, for example,
there is mention of an advisory council. It is not clear who will be on it and what functions it will perform. And the proposed
joint portal is unlikely to produce the integrating effects as hoped without a better developed and integrated conceptual
overview of the project as a whole (as outlined above with regard to the discussion of the scientific merits of the proposal).

Nevertheless, this proposal does rank high here in regard to the network of SITE sister institutes throughout the former Soviet
space as well as SIIA’s network of collaboration with other institutes of international affairs in the Nordic

and Baltic countries. Like other proposals, there is no systematic attempt to engage the business sector and societal actors in
program formulation and implementation. However, there is a tradition of commissioned projects and an effort to bring
societal actors on board as part of an advisory council. As for the other projects, much will depend on the role and resources
that the council will be able to muster.
Finally, the proposal mentions that it will release 15- to 30-page papers related to the project that will be of interest to
non-academics. This may not be the best way to go. Shorter policy briefs that are put online and distributed quarterly might
be more useful. Overall how the results will be developed and disseminated beyond the academy needs work.


3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The infrastructure in this call for proposals played little role in the evaluation.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)
                                                          4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The panel found this proposal to be well formulated with clear empirical and theoretical foundations and a clear plan for
disseminating the results. The main weakness is the lack of integration of the different approaches and related research such
that advances to scholarship might be more limited. The proposal should have outlined or expanded upon a common
research questions as a guide under the broader rubric of the sustainability of Russia’s great power status.




                                                                        Evaluations VR-St-Geo, 2009-1057 Bergman, Lars
 Dnr               Last name, First name                          Type of grant
 2009-1056         Eriksson, Per Filip Billy                      Strategic Research Areas
                   Lunds universitet



                   Project title
                   The Middle East in the Contemporary World (MECW)

                   Research area                                  Ev group
                   *HS och Utbildningsvetenskap                   Politically important geographic regions (VR-St-Geo)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Thank you for submitting your proposal. It was carefully considered by an international panel of experts. Each member
assessed each application independently. These evaluations were remarkably consistent in their assessment of the scholarly
and societal contribution of the proposal. What follows is the report from the meeting of these experts. This report combines
the summary evaluations of the entire panel.
The Middle East in the Contemporary World (MECW) project aims to coordinate, redirect and expand Lund University’s
environment for research on the Middle East. It has clear potential to create a pole of scientific excellence. The MECW
identifies four research areas of clear academic importance and public policy significance: contemporary interpretations of
Islam and Muslim culture, conflict and conflict-resolution, migration and mobility and the Middle East in Sweden. The
proposal clearly builds on areas of strength and ongoing projects, including internationally recognized expertise in the fields of
Islamic studies and migration. It also builds on a strong field of established as well as young scholars. The inclusion of the
hard sciences to study areas such as migration and hydropolitics is particularly promising.
There are however conceptual and methodological issues in which further refinement is needed. The proposed research
domains remain poorly integrated and while the proposal clearly acknowledges the need to move in this direction, we urge
the team to address this weakness sooner rather than later. At present, it is difficult to conceive of what a common
framework would eventually look like given the widely diverging research areas. Given the choice of the four research
domains, the team might also want to consider including politics and economics more systematically. The proposed research
domain ‘hydropolitics, security and international law’ is fragmented and security, in particular, is underdeveloped. The focus
on Sufi Islam is not sufficiently justified. Although the panel was impressed by the intention to develop new areas of research
in migration and Middle Eastern communities in Sweden, it looked for a sharper focus in the articulation of these areas.
Generally speaking, more detail should have been provided on methodology, research design and execution. A careful
assessment of potential theoretical contributions to thematic literatures and empirical contribution to our understanding of the
Middle East would also have been needed.
Lund University has convincingly demonstrated commitment to prioritizing this area so as to generate conditions for scientific
excellence, including the creation of the Centre for Middle East Studies, the quality of the international networks of
collaboration and the decision to focus on areas that are already identified as domains of excellence at Lund. Planning for
and investment in the development of Turkish and Persian language education will provide the linguistic bases needed to
underpin the research. The institutional base is also strengthened by a considerable pool of researchers interested in and
working on the Middle East from diverse perspectives. The connections between the MECW and the Centre for Middle East
Studies would benefit from clarification of their respective areas of responsibility.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The strategic importance of the Middle East to the Business Sector and Society needs no elaboration. The policy implications
of the subjects to be researched, particularly in the fields of water access and migration, are likely to be influential. The
proposal also does a good job of explaining how the research domains have direct relevance for Swedish society and for the
Swedish government’s interest in peacekeeping and mediation in the region.
In light of Lund University’s track record, the capacity to generate benefits from research findings seems well established.
The strategies and plans to generate these benefits include an impressive variety of communication channels. The panel was
particularly impressed with the care given to developing a strategy of engagement with the general public as well as with the
depth and breadth of networks in the Middle East.
If not very detailed and concrete in all aspects, the plans however inspire confidence that the thinking and support needed to
ensure the policy and societal relevance of the research are available. The connection to the business sector and to
government actors seems strongly developed. There is also a stated willingness to respond to requests and feedback from
the business sector as well as the inclusion of business sector representatives on the Advisory Board.


3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The infrastructure in this call for proposals played little role in the evaluation.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This proposal has the potential to contribute significantly to the study of the Middle East but also to make broader theoretical
contributions to thematic literatures. In terms of strengths, the panel pointed to the internal coherence of the various
sub-components, the track-record of the team of researchers as well as the commitment of the university. In terms of
weaknesses, it drew attention to an apparent asymmetry between the four research domains and to the need for a more
developed integrating theoretical framework.
The panel appreciated the commitment of Lund University to fund in part and support the development of a pole of excellence
on the Middle East. The plans for dissemination of the research results and the detailed discussion of strategic relevance to
government, the business sector, and the general public are convincing, crafted in detail, and clearly outlined.




                                                                         Evaluations VR-St-Geo, 2009-1056 Eriksson, Per Filip Billy
 Dnr               Last name, First name                          Type of grant
 2009-1063         Fredman, Pam                                   Strategic Research Areas
                   Göteborgs universitet



                   Project title
                   Global Middle East

                   Research area                                  Ev group
                   *HS och Utbildningsvetenskap                   Politically important geographic regions (VR-St-Geo)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Thank you for submitting your proposal. It was carefully considered by an international panel of experts. Each member
assessed each application independently. These evaluations were remarkably consistent in their assessment of the scholarly
and societal contribution of the proposal. What follows is the report from the meeting of these experts. This report combines
the summary evaluations of the entire panel.
Scientific Quality
The proposal aims to establish Gothenburg University at the centre of a new node of interdisciplinary research on the Middle
East through the creation of a Middle East Centre (MEC) at the university. The proposal is for four platforms, ´related in
design and points of departure´: Conflicts and conflict resolution, Institution-building and reconstruction, Diaspora
communities and identity formation, Conflicts, culture and translation. One theme running through all of the platforms is the
relationship between the Middle East and the West.
The proposed research is a good ´fit´ with several of the university´s existing strategic research areas, but the level of
expertise and capacity is stronger in some of the intended areas of research than others. While offering some potential to link
what are otherwise disparate areas of research, the proposed research programme is not sufficiently developed to provide
either a common framework for analysis, or intellectual coherence to the intended research. A more coherent and developed
structure is needed for this research programme.
The proposal identifies the dispersal of expertise in small enclaves and the discipline and intellectual barriers between social
scientific and humanities/area studies scientific communities as a problem in understanding the region. Experience suggests
that the mere creation of a centre does not necessarily overcome these barriers – indeed a region-specific centre may
become yet another departmental ´camp´ – and the plans for the MEC are insufficiently articulated to convince the panel that
it will be effective in initiating and sustaining cross-disciplinary conversations and collaboration.

The team of researchers who will be involved in the MEC and projects is strong, with internationally leading scholars in the
study of regionalism, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and migration. More information about how the researchers would utilize
Gothenburg´s areas of world-class strength to integrate across disciplines and to help raise the level of research in those
areas which are not currently functioning at the highest level.
The design of the research platforms is evidently based on existing capacity (e.g.research interests of staff and PhD students,
recent and ongoing projects). Given the reliance on a small number of principal investigators, the panel was concerned about
the sustainability of the project should key personnel depart.
Research design and methodology are insufficiently developed and explained. Two of the platforms have a concentrated
focus on specific aspects or case studies: Israel-Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq for conflict and conflict resolution, the
importance of texts and translations in cultural relations for conflict, culture and translation. The reasons for prioritizing these
particular aspects or case studies and omitting others are not specified. The other two research areas are stated in more
general or abstract terms, without giving sufficient concrete detail of the research intended. Given the centrality of identity and
identity formation in the proposal, there is insufficient explanation of how this is conceptualized and how it will be researched.
While no proposal can be comprehensive, there are some important areas which the proposal neglects. For instance, the
salience of economic and energy relationships between the Middle East and the West are entirely ignored. Given the
emphasis in the proposal on the relationship between the West and the Middle East, this is especially problematic.
The proposal promises to further develop an international and cross-faculty masters programme in Middle Eastern studies
offering a combination of linguistics, religious studies, history and social sciences. The enhancement of post-graduate
teaching and training capacity, involving intensive study of the languages of the Middle East (with Arabic in first place) and in
relevant humanities and social science disciplines would be a national benefit, but the proposal does not make sufficiently
clear how central this is to the vision of the project, what part of the resources would be devoted to it, and how far the
envisioned masters programme represents an enhancement over existing provision. Given the proposal´s emphasis on the
importance of language for understanding Middle Eastern cultures and societies, it is striking that the proposal does not
address Middle Eastern language capacity beyond Arabic and Hebrew, especially since Turkey and Iran are explicitly
included in the definition of the region.
2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The treatment of strategic Importance to the Business Sector and Society focuses too much on making the case for the
importance of the subjects to be researched, rather than providing an account of how the projects and MEC will engage with
their users outside the academic sector. The role of different partners is never specified. Moreover the proposal does not
make clear who would be responsible for administering some of the activities: the systematic school outreach and public
lecture programme, for example. Similarly dissemination plans are not elaborated and there is little on associated
infrastructure. On the business and policy side much of the work, according to the proposal, was to have been done in March
and April, making assessment of this aspect difficult.
3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The infrastructure in this call for proposals played little role in the evaluation.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
Overall, the proposed research has some areas of strength in individual projects, but lacks a sufficiently coherent framework
and methodology and research design. It promises to strengthen Gothenburg´s existing research strengths in several areas,
and to make the University a focus for ME research with an emphasis on interdisciplinary connections. The knowledge
transfer and dissemination plans are inadequate, and there are opportunities missed to further develop existing strengths
(e.g. in ME langauges) or to open up new areas.




                                                                         Evaluations VR-St-Geo, 2009-1063 Fredman, Pam
 Dnr               Last name, First name                          Type of grant
 2009-1061         Hallberg, Anders                               Strategic Research Areas




                   Project title
                   Uppsala Russian Research Center (URRC)

                   Research area                                  Ev group
                   *HS och Utbildningsvetenskap                   Politically important geographic regions (VR-St-Geo)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Thank you for submitting your proposal. It was carefully considered by an international panel of experts. Each member
assessed each application independently. These evaluations were remarkably consistent in their assessment of the scholarly
and societal contribution of the proposal. What follows is the report from the meeting of the experts. This report combines the
summary evaluations of the entire panel.
The Research Program outlined in the application has high scientific quality and covers wide field divided into three thematic
areas with well-defined targets inside each. Each of the themes has a clear disciplinary profile (economics, sociology, IR)
and involves projects that examine interfaces with other disciplines on macro- and micro-levels, tying the three themes
together is a challenge, but it is well addressed in the application, which speaks about an ‘outspoken ambition’ to create a
‘multi-disciplinary research environment’ (App. 6, p. 4). Nevertheless, the theoretical foundation and methodological
approach for the research are not clearly articulated, neither is there a clear research plan for developing and connecting
various projects.
The potential for development is only briefly outlined in the application (App. 2, pp. 13-14) but the plans for research in each
of the themes are quite elaborate, and the intention to hire three post-docs and three PhD students opens more space for
scientific expansion. Of particular interest is the aim to investigate the role of Orthodox church (hiring of an associate
professor), the joint research program on ‘State Building after Soviet Totalitarianism’ with the Stanford University (App. 6, p.
3) is also very promising. However, in the key thematic area ‘State and Market’, there is not much new research initiatives, so
the impression is that the ‘Principal Investigators’ have an intention to continue with their on-going research.

The explanation of how the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities is not very clear in the application (App. 2, pp.
14-15), but it is significant that ten Uppsala professor are ready to assume the roles of principal investigators for the Russian
Center (budgeting for this amounts to 3.0-3,5 million SEK a year). A strength of this proposal is that it is underpinned by
strong capacity at and commitment from the Uppsala University.
The strategies for increasing Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness are not specifically outlined in the application,
but the ‘plans to develop leading-edge research’ and the assessment of ‘current quality of research’ (App. 2, pp. 1-2 and p.
13 respectively) provide sufficient information for the conclusion that the establishment of the Centre would significantly
increase Sweden’s competitiveness in the field of Russian studies, particularly in the theory-enriched analysis of market
developments and innovative approaches to identity formation.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The treatment of strategic Importance to the Business Sector and Society focuses too much on making the case for the
importance of the subjects to be researched, rather than providing an account of how the projects will engage with those
outside the academy. It is praiseworthy that the application establishes clearly that ‘the program has no obvious ambition to
commercialize its findings, nor to enter into partnership with research institutes in the business sector’ (App. 3, p. 3). This
assertion of academic integrity is however not complemented with plans for developing any systematic form of outreach.

The plan for generating benefits omits the importance of the Centre for providing expertise for policy-making, and gives
insufficient attention to the efforts in opening up the Centre towards domestic audiences of various kinds, including
policy-relevant communities, and in connecting with international milieu besides the select circle of partner-universities.

The capacity and supporting activities to generate benefits from research findings are listed in detail – with the emphasis on
the point that most of those ‘is already in place’ (App. 2, pp. 9-10). However, there is no plan for further capacity-building,
particularly in establishing a profile for the Centre.
Individual projects have multiple engagements with the business sector and other community organizations, but there is a risk
that the Centre might become just another department in a big university. While the International Advisory Board is supposed
to secure ties with international academia (there are no specifics), the Governing Board is comprised only from
representatives from the Uppsala University, so feedback will be circumscribed, which is striking given the well-grounded
ambition to serve as a hub for Nordic research on Russia.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The infrastructure in this call for proposals played little role in the evaluation.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The panel found this proposal strong in its capacity to develop a major research centre. In particular, the panel appreciated
the commitment of Uppsala University that will allow for building and sustaining a larger capacity at the URRC than the sheer
size of the grant allows. Although building on formidable institutional capacity, the proposal nevertheless falls short in pushing
in new directions and in reaching out to audiences beyond academia.




                                                                         Evaluations VR-St-Geo, 2009-1061 Hallberg, Anders
 Dnr               Last name, First name                          Type of grant
 2009-1054         Josefson, Ingela                               Strategic Research Areas
                   Södertörns högskola
                   Rektor
                   Rektor

                   Project title
                   Russia from the Inside Out - Culture, Society, Economy and Politics

                   Research area                                  Ev group
                   *HS och Utbildningsvetenskap                   Politically important geographic regions (VR-St-Geo)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Thank you for submitting your proposal. It was carefully considered by an international panel of experts. Each member
assessed each application independently. These evaluations were remarkably consistent in their assessment of the scholarly
and societal contribution of the proposal. What follows is the report from the meeting of these experts. This report combines
the summary evaluations of the entire panel. The proposed program has the potential to make important contributions to our
empirical understanding of contemporary Russian politics, economy, and society. The project’s bottom-up emphasis on
understanding domestic factors in order to better understand international relations is well taken. The proposal does a better
job addressing some research areas over others. The team at SH and SU appears very well suited to study questions related
to demographics, health, family, and welfare, as well as language and culture. In contrast, the team is not strong in the areas
of politics and statehood. Indeed, economists and political scientists are underrepresented. For that reason, there is a
concern as to whether the research team has sufficient capacity to conduct analyses of political participation and large-n
surveys dealing with assessments of public attitudes towards the state.The proposal provides evidence of experience and
links-on-the-ground in the Ukraine and the Baltic states, but little concrete evidence is provided for experience or links to
Russian researchers. Given the focus on market transitions we also concerned about the lack of economists on the team.
While the different projects could contribute to our empirical understanding of contemporary Russia, the themes and projects
do not significantly improve upon or challenge the existing literature. For example, on p. 7, the proposal claims that it will
“infuse new knowledge into current research by focusing on four sub-themes: democracy, state effectiveness, and
institutional trust, civil society, social movements, and media, ideas and ideologies, and heritage politics.” Yet it is not clear
how the different projects add new theoretical insights to literatures on post-communist democratization, institution building,
market transitions, ethnic conflicts, and so forth. In the section on economy, the proposal stresses the role of informal
institutions, but there is little discussion of how these institutions interact with formal institutions, politics, and the market.
Indeed, the articulation of how the bottom-up forces matter is under-theorized. The conditions under which and when
bottom-up transformations are significant are not theorized. While the proposal emphasizes moving away from “high politics”
or a top-down approach, there is little theoretical discussion of how bottom-up forces interact with “high politics.” This is a
critical gap given that this point is a key element of the proposal. There is much value to the proposal’s interdisciplinary
approach and individual research areas, but the proposal reads like a “catch-all” project of a number of ongoing projects that
do not necessarily speak to one another or a broader theme, apart from the claim that domestic factors matter. There is little
concrete consideration of how the participating institutions will ensure that the research that comes out of this project will
develop into a coherent research program and have an impact. Relating to the same analytical dimensions is not an
integrating framework. As for research design and methods, the project includes several statements about, for example,
comparison between Russia and its neighbour states, but it is unclear what the rationales for comparison and case selection
are, as well as whether these studies are going to be studied through qualitative or quantitative methods. In general, the
description of the different themes and projects provides few specifics about hypotheses (to be tested or developed) and
research methods. This makes it difficult to evaluate the potential output/contribution of the projects. The researchers’ track
record, as a team, is not sufficient to balance this reservation. It is a strength that SH is home to a large group of scholars
working on Russia and the neighbouring states—and many of the researchers have fieldwork experience in Russia, are in
contact with the Russian research community, and speak Russian. However, the potential for development of the scientific
community appears the greatest with respect to themes where the team already is strong—demographics and public health,
linguistics, literature, and cultural studies. The proposal does not suggest adequate steps to enhance the team’s strengths
when it comes to politics and economics. In this sense, the proposal is more about maintaining the existing research
environment at SH and SU, rather than developing something new. Some of the research areas are highly prioritized,
particularly public health and cultural studies, and SH is home to a large number of scholars working in the area of Baltic and
East European studies, including Russia. The application mentions that because SH was formed only a decade ago, the
“scholarly pyramid is thinner at the higher levels” (p. 11), and the proposed project would contribute to strengthening this
relatively young research community. As already noted, the proposal has some potential to boost Sweden’s international
scientific competitiveness in some areas, but not in others. At a practical level, the proposal’s main focus is to develop the
scholarly community at SH and SU. Collaboration with Russian universities (Moscow and Saint Petersburg) seems
well-established—and helpful for international exchange—although the choice of these urban centers may be counter-intuitive
given the proposal’s claim that one needs to look beyond urban centers to grasp the extent and full meaning of the
transformations in Russian society, economics and politics. While the application suggests that international advisors will be
included, which could be a strategy to provide the program with international exposure, this part of the proposal is not
sufficiently well developed.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The point that a more nuanced understanding of Russian domestic politics and society is important for international actors’
view on Russia—and how they go about interacting with Russian domestic actors—is well taken. The proposal outlines a
number of ways through which these actors can benefit from the empirical research generated through the proposed
program. The research finding with respect to demographics, public health, language, and culture can be of societal value,
but the proposal’s benefit to the business sector is under-developed and non-specific. The application shows that the
investigators have considered how to reach a broader audience, although the emphasis appears to be outreach to an
academic community. There is no clear agenda for how policy makers, politicians, and the business community can learn
about the research findings. Indeed, fora such as lectures and seminars often reach a constant set of actors who may not be
representative of the intended beneficiaries of the research. The outreach activities focus on how the academic community
can present its knowledge to businesses and other societal groups, rather than the other way around. The proposal says little
to nothing about the role of non-academic actors and potential stakeholders in the development and implementation of
programs—neither in Sweden nor in Russia.
3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The infrastructure in this call for proposals played little role in the evaluation.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              2
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
While the panel members found that the proposal includes some interesting projects, it lacked an integrating theoretical
framework and coherence among its elements, failed to theorize the link between bottom-up and top-down forces, included
little consideration of research design and methods, and had a number of gaps in expertise necessary for carrying out the
proposed research.




                                                                         Evaluations VR-St-Geo, 2009-1054 Josefson, Ingela
 
           Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Produktionsteknik
                                                                     Manufacturing Engineering
                                                            Strategic Research Areas, May 2009



Final evaluation of the applications

Strategic Research Area: Manufacturing Engineering
Registration number: 2009-01003
Title: Product Development and Production Laboratory
Submitting university: LTU

Overall grade: Good



Evaluation of the application

Scientific quality

Scientific quality

The proposal addresses the call for Grant Applications Strategic Research Area
“Manufacturing engineering”: specific criteria 2 “Product development technologies and
methods”. The applicants, Luleå University of Technology and University of Uppsala already
carry out good research in this area. The proposal focuses on research into the provision of
functional products with optimised lifecycle cost and customer value. While this area is not
new, it has been an active research topic in Europe for several years; the panel considers it of
value to Sweden provided a strong and grounded industrial view sets the direction of future
research. The panel considers that the collaborators have the infrastructure and people to
execute the proposed research. The presentation of the state-of-the art is considered generic
rather than specifically problem focussed. There are also ambiguities in definitions, especially
for functional products, and the directions of the proposed research. Work planned in the
application, although detailed, does not sufficiently consider the integration of the work of
different research groups with common or similar objectives. Mechanisms for integration are
not clear.

Most significantly however, it is the panels opinion that the proposers have not pushed the
area sufficiently far, there is no step-change to make their activities distinctive compared to
other ongoing activities internationally. The panel also finds the explicit exclusion of the
“economic approach” (page 26) at odds with the research objectives.

Potential for development of the scientific environment

The potential for development of the scientific environment can take advantage of the existing
human resources, infrastructure, equipment, and connection with education of the partners.
The proposal places special emphasis on the capabilities of the FASTE Laboratory, and the


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                                                                     Manufacturing Engineering
                                                            Strategic Research Areas, May 2009


panel recognises that this constitutes a strong basis for future research. The integration of
human work science into the Functional Product Provision (FPP) approach adds a research
area with high potential in an area where Sweden is recognised worldwide for its
contributions. However the panel did is not consider this sufficiently well developed in the
application.

How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
scientific excellence

The research area is a priority for the institution to strengthen current research and attain
higher levels of knowledge. The five research subjects have been university priorities since
2006. In particular, the product development methods will be the main focus of the PDP
Laboratory. The research group contributions are key for the attainment of the scientific
results in functional product provision.

Strategies to increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the research area

The application does not provide sufficient evidence of specific plans and activities for
international collaboration, research mobility, etc. Although, the intention of competitiveness
at an international level is recognized, this is not supported by specific actions in the proposal.
The panel was disappointed when reading about the proposed international collaboration
partners, where some important partners are not identified.

Strategic importance to the business sector and society

Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
business sector and society

The functional product approach is an important area of manufacturing engineering, the
research is consequently important for the businesses in the selected sectors. Interaction with
industrial partners is a key issue for the success of the functional product approach. However,
the real benefit for the business sector and society can be only realized through a better
demonstration of the real commitment of the collaborators to project work. The panel believes
that, while collaborators were clearly involved in the preparation of the proposal,
opportunities were missed to confirm the level, closeness, value and impact of individual
collaborations. The panel was also concerned with the lack of emphasis on the supply
chain/extended enterprise, a key issue when considering the strategies to support Swedish
SME globalization. This may reflect the proposals engineering led approach. The proposal
has areas of missed opportunities including those associated with work sciences and
international partnership.




                                                 2
                                                                    Manufacturing Engineering
                                                           Strategic Research Areas, May 2009




Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area

The benefits strategy is based on the proposers’ experience of running the Faste and Polhem
Laboratories. The proposed approach is centred on the development of case studies and
scenarios in close collaboration with industry. This way of interacting can produce benefits
both in the transfer of knowledge and also in capturing of real needs, especially when directed
at SMEs. However as indicated above the panel would have liked to see more detailed plans,
there was also some concern about the challenge in the demonstrators.

Capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research
area

The development of activities to generate benefits from the research work is based on past
experiences and on new methodologies developed by Uppsala University. However, it is the
panel’s opinion that the methods from Uppsala are not convincingly explained. Conventional
dissemination activities and the exploitation of tools and methods are planned as support
activities as well as knowledge transfer actions and engineering education.

Engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other
community organisations in problem formulation and implementation.

A large number of companies support the application although their roles are not specifically
elaborated or the types of agreed collaboration made explicit. Joint research actions with
international centres are also planned, but no overall track record is recorded of past
experiences, except as included in the individual resumes’.

Concluding evaluation of the application

The research area is important for businesses in the sectors identified. The functional product
approach is an important focus of manufacturing engineering and is an area with the potential
to enable transformation in traditional and new companies. There are however ambiguities in
definitions and the directions of the proposed research. The applicant acknowledges the
importance of interacting with industry and of the ways and methods to engage these critical
stakeholders. The development of case studies and scenarios with companies is an important
way of involving companies and promoting the close collaboration between academia and
industry. A large number of companies support the application although their roles are not
specifically elaborated or the types of collaboration made explicit.

The panel considers that the proposal is not fundable. While the focus is important and there
has been real effort put into preparing the proposal including significant interaction with



                                               3
                                                                  Manufacturing Engineering
                                                         Strategic Research Areas, May 2009


industry, the proposers have missed too many opportunities to deliver excellence and impact.
This does not give confidence that they will be capable of leading on a world stage and make
a real and significant impact on Swedish industry.




                                              4
                                                                    Manufacturing Engineering
                                                           Strategic Research Areas, May 2009



Final evaluation of the applications

Strategic Research Area: Manufacturing Engineering
Registration number: 2009-01015
Title: Integrated Sustainable and Innovative Manufacturing - ISIMan
Submitting university: LiU

Overall grade: Good



Evaluation of the application

Scientific quality

Scientific quality

The proposal aims to perform world class research in six different subareas; Production
Strategy; Sustainable Production; Integrated Product Development; Modelling, Optimization
and Simulation; Robotics and automation in manufacturing systems; and Manufacturing
development for advanced materials and devices. These areas are directly related to the call.
Within the individual topics, the scientific quality is good. However, the panel believes that
the proposal would have been much stronger with an integration of the research. The panel
finds that while the research objectives are described individually for each of the subareas,
there are no integrating objectives clearly listed and little integration of research approach.

Potential for development of the scientific environment

The research project is built upon a large number of research divisions (each with qualified
people), which could make the development of an inclusive scientific environment possible.
The potential of this research base is also enhanced by actions planned to promise high
societal pay-off, to pursue high-risk research, to mentor young researchers, to recruit
international researchers, to promote outstanding research, to develop new research frontiers
and to equip research groups. Although the proposal describes the creation of a Sustainable
Product Realisation Lab (SUPR-Lab) to support the development of the scientific
environment, the panel was particularly sensitive to the lack of detailed description on how
this will work and how divisions will co-operate.




                                               5
                                                                     Manufacturing Engineering
                                                            Strategic Research Areas, May 2009


How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
scientific excellence

The initiative is well aligned with the Linköping University policy and strategy. In 2006, LiU
created a unified department to develop integration and collaboration across areas and
disciplines, incorporating design, engineering, economics, environmental studies and
management and related disciplines. The research project has been prioritised by the
Linköping University, however less clearly by Lund University. A lack of relative
prioritization is also reflected in the budget structure, where each sub-area gets approximately
1/6 of the budget. The panel finds that the lack of a budget for integrating activities is a major
weakness of the proposal.

Strategies to increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the research area

Although the proposal describes the need to build on world class scientific research to support
the manufacturing industry in Sweden, it does not include strategies aimed to position Sweden
within an international context. The proposal describes conventional plans for the use of
research results within education and research training. The project describes some existing
international collaborations (Japan, Germany and USA), but there are no real strategies to
increase the relative international scientific competitiveness of the collaboration. The panel
judges the proposal as sound but not with the level of innovation required for significant
impact.

Strategic importance to the business sector and society

Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
business sector and society

The research initiative covers different areas with impact on different sectors (vehicles for the
construction industry, tooling industry, high tech sectors, automotive, medical, energy,
electronics and other growth sectors.). The reasons why the research is important are however
described in generic terms and the applicants largely follow published research agendas. The
panel particularly finds the linkage and integration between the different research areas,
sustainable product development, robotics and advanced materials and manufacturing, not
well described.

Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area

The proposers have good models for and track record in close industry-academia
collaborations and industry-academic liaison programmes. Their strategy relies upon the
development of a broad programme of collaborative arrangements and includes a variety of



                                                6
                                                                     Manufacturing Engineering
                                                            Strategic Research Areas, May 2009


activities to enable interaction between researchers and industrialists. The proposal however
does not describe strategies and plans that will generate synergistic benefits from the
additional resource.

Capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research
area

The main applicant has the capacity and the means to generate benefits from research
findings. To do this, it has well understood structures such as the Innovation Office. LiU is
also leader of the regional innovation system and responsible for the regional umbrella
organisation Growlink. Best practice examples are also provided showing the industrial
implementation of research results. In addition, LiU has a broad experience of operating joint
industry-academia centres and running extensive education programs in close collaboration
with leading firms. LiU has both centres of excellence and good research leadership.

Engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other
community organisations in problem formulation and implementation.

There are a large number of industries involved, but their role is less than clear. The industrial
support letters mostly outline the type of involvement expected from different companies, but
with no real commitments. The panel finds this a weakness of the proposal.

Concluding evaluation of the application

Within the individual topics, the scientific quality is good. The potential of this research base
is also enhanced by actions planned to pursue high-risk research, to mentor young researchers,
to recruit international researchers, to promote outstanding research, to develop new research
frontiers and to equip research groups. The panel considers that although the proposed project
aims to perform world-class research in integrated manufacturing engineering and product
realisation, the proposal does not convincingly articulate how this will actually be achieved,
and this is viewed as a major weakness. Mechanisms for integration of the technology,
product and strategy development strands could also have been much improved.
Sustainability aspects are somewhat weak.

The panel recognises that the proposal has some good components; but considers it is not
strong enough to succeed as a response to this call for strategic excellence in manufacturing
research. The proposed project would, by the equal division of resource, give each of the
disparate divisions of LiU and Lund an incremental step forward within their established
research areas and partnerships with industry. The proposal included no budget to integrate
and cross fertilise between areas. The panel consider the most significant failing of the




                                                7
                                                                  Manufacturing Engineering
                                                         Strategic Research Areas, May 2009


proposal is the lack of mechanisms by which the additional funding would deliver a real step
change in the excellence of an integrated activity.




                                              8
                                                                   Manufacturing Engineering
                                                          Strategic Research Areas, May 2009



Final evaluation of the applications

Strategic Research Area: Manufacturing Engineering
Registration number: 2009-01022
Title: Sustainable Production Initiative
Submitting university: CTH

Overall grade: Excellent



Evaluation of the application

Scientific Quality

Scientific quality

The panel considers this proposal to be well structured and relevant. Theories, methodologies
and applied research are balanced. The proposal has a very well prepared roadmap. Important
points for sustainability in industry and society are reflected in the research. The applicants
propose to build National virtual and physical laboratories. The vision in the proposal aligns
well with the call for proposals and addresses current requirements and future demands. The
research will build on Chalmer’s strong track record in environmental sustainability research
and previous investments. The research will also build on Lund University’s background in
production related research and education. The team will address three major areas of
manufacturing engineering; these are sustainable product development, sustainable production
systems and sustainable manufacturing processes. In respect to the product life cycle
perspectives, the research aims to develop a common theory base including a sustainable
generic platform architecture model. The objectives of this topic are also well defined.

Potential for development of the scientific environment

Within the sustainable production systems theme, the proposed research will address the
challenges in integrating and optimising key resources, e.g. manufacturing processes,
machines, people, robots and transportation devices and information technology. This is in
line with current trends in the research. Sustainable manufacturing process work focuses on
metal cutting (with key industrial partners), cost modelling and process mapping for ’design
for sustainable manufacturing’. Applications of the research also include micro systems which
has a significant future potential. The strategic roadmap identifies the key activities over ten
years indicating the research base requirements as well as the future research work. The
proposed development of the National virtual and physical laboratories is also included in the
roadmap.


                                               9
                                                                     Manufacturing Engineering
                                                            Strategic Research Areas, May 2009




Monitoring of the EU’s “Factory of the Future” is a significant precondition for the proposed
research. The commitment of the university partners to the Sustainable Production Initiative is
significant and shows the importance of the research to them and in the National context. The
whole area of sustainability is a major issue in the EU and internationally. The panel expects
that through this research Sweden will contribute significantly to the sustainability agenda at
the highest international level.

How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
scientific excellence?

Both Chalmers and Lund Universities recognise sustainability as a key theme and it is
reflected in Chalmers 50% additional investment to bolster the research. This is in line with
Chalmers vision: ”Chalmers for sustainable future”. The proposal shows significant
institutional support. The panel anticipates that within five years, the sustainable production
initiative will have positioned Chalmers, supported by Lund, as one of the leading European
centres focused on sustainable production.

Strategies to increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the research area

The proposed research will build on existing internationally recognised excellence in
production engineering research and education at both universities. There are a number of
international activities currently going on within the two universities; it is the panels opinion
that the proposed research will enhance and extend these. This will contribute significantly to
the ”ManuFuture” initiative. An international graduate school will be developed as well to
support the education and research, this is also significant.

Strategic importance to the sector and society

Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
business sector and society

The panel judges this proposal as very important for major industrial companies and SMEs. It
is also significant that industries such as beverages, food, pharmaceutical and construction
have agreed to participate in the research. The panel recognizes the importance of this cross-
sectoral collaboration.




                                               10
                                                                    Manufacturing Engineering
                                                           Strategic Research Areas, May 2009


Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area

The proposal outlines strategies to generate benefits from research results: research idea
definition, demonstrator and product and use. The proposal includes a well thought out
governance structure that engages industrial partners.


Capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research
area

The proposed research builds on existing Research Centres like the Wingquist Laboratory and
MCR. It is also noted by the panel that the software development which supports new
products will be dealt with by software and consulting companies. The proposal lists a
number of National facilities at both universities which will contribute to the research and the
capability.

Engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other
community organisations in problem formulation and implementation

Strong industrial involvement also shows the relevance of the research to industry. Most
letters of support clearly identify the focus of the collaboration. The co-operation is also
reflected in the management structure of the initiative. However, the panel considers that
plans for commercial exploitation of the research results could be improved. The panel also
finds that funding to other parties than Chalmers and Lund, “collaboration with institutes” and
“regional collaboration” does not add sufficient value to the proposal.

Concluding evaluation of the application

In conclusion, this is an excellent proposal with a very strong consortium. The Review Panel
recognises the international standing of both the universities in manufacturing and the
interests of Chalmers University in environmental sustainability research over last 10 years.
The additional 50% funding to support the research from Chalmers demonstrates their
ambition in sustainability. The proposal builds on existing research and facilities at both
universities and is well balanced, spanning theory, methods and the ability to perform applied
research. The panel expects that if funded, within five years, the proposed work will allow the
partners to achieve a world leading position in sustainable manufacturing.

The Panel recommends funding but with the proviso that the funding should solely be spent to
build the excellence of capabilities of the two universities. The panel in consequence
recommends that funding to other parties that Chalmers and Lund for “collaboration with




                                               11
                                                                   Manufacturing Engineering
                                                          Strategic Research Areas, May 2009


institutes” and “regional collaboration” is removed and that the budget requested is reduced
accordingly.




                                              12
                                                                     Manufacturing Engineering
                                                            Strategic Research Areas, May 2009



Final evaluation of the applications

Strategic Research Area: Manufacturing Engineering
Registration number: 2009-01024
Title: XPRES – Initiative for excellence in production research
Submitting university: KTH

Overall grade: Very Good



Evaluation of the application

Scientific quality

Scientific quality

The proposal has a well articulated and coherent vision responding to both the detail and the
spirit of the call. It covers the fields of production processes, production systems and digital
engineering with foci in three important cross disciplinary areas 1) manufacturing for
emergent materials, technologies and product configurations, 2) life cycle approaches to
product realisation and 3) adaptive and responsive production. The proposal integrates the
complementary competencies of the three participants, KTH, MDH and Swerea IVF and
KIMAB with a focussed group of core essential industrial partners.

The vision, mission, objectives and strategy in the proposal create a coherent and
communicable framework of stretch goals and the processes to achieve these goals. They
emphasise the creation of a base for excellence in production research, enabling enhanced
knowledge co-production, the provision of an efficient education and research environment
and the conditions for increased internationalisation.

Potential for development of the scientific environment

The proposal states that renewal of the production research area is a strong driving force for
the creation on the XPRES initiative and outlines 6 actions designed to achieve this goal.
However, the panel considers that the proposal would have been strengthened by a more
explicit diagnosis of the level of effort and resource required to make a strategic and step
change in the capability for production engineering research at KTH reflecting its
identification as one of the twenty core areas in the Research and Innovation bill.




                                               13
                                                                    Manufacturing Engineering
                                                           Strategic Research Areas, May 2009


How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
scientific excellence

The proposal discusses KTH’s historical strength in manufacturing engineering and where
manufacturing engineering is positioned within the structure of the university. The priority of
manufacturing engineering at Mälardalen University is clearly articulated. The panel
considers that the proposal would have been strengthened by evidence from KTH of the
priority of the broad topic of manufacturing engineering within the institution. KTH should
identify whether manufacturing engineering is an area for strategic institutional support in
their response to these comments. The panel recognizes that there are also opportunities to
engage other high quality researchers within the XPRES institutions in this important
programme of work, for instance KTH has internationally recognised strength in design
research, but these researchers have not been included in the proposal.

Strategies to increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the research area

The detail of each of the three focus areas is argued from the key drivers to identify key
research issues. This description gives the panel confidence in both the definition process for
these areas and their detail. The proposal presents a well defined and populated management
structure led by a principal co-ordinator and an executive committee reporting directly to the
KTH President.

The panel finds that the ambition and track record of the collaborators is shown by their focus
on quality (the KTH research assessment exercise), an emphasis on multidisciplinary
working, the creation of centres that support continuity of working and significant VINNOVA
and KSS funding. Between them, the partners span the continuum of styles of research from
the university laboratory to applied with industry. The details of existing projects and a
competence map (page 2-15) in each of the focus areas gives confidence that the proposers
have the capability and experience to deliver.

Strategic importance to the business sector and society

Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
business sector and society

The proposal includes a diagnosis of the strategic importance of the work for the business
sector and society highlighting the importance of the transportation section, particularly the
heavy transport equipment sector. The proposal makes a strong argument for the need to
transfer high-tech knowledge to enhance the manufacturing sector.




                                               14
                                                                       Manufacturing Engineering
                                                              Strategic Research Areas, May 2009


Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area

The proposal briefly discusses strategies to generate benefits from research results; however,
the proposal would have been strengthened by a more detailed discussion of the mechanisms
already in place, or newly required, to accelerate this transfer from the university to industry
and society as a whole. The panel finds that current activities in these areas are not described,
nor is the opportunity taken to identify necessary future activities.

Capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research
area

KTH is committed to promoting sustainable management of the environment and the XPRES
effort supports this commitment. KTH has many centres of excellence and world-class
research leadership; however, the panel finds that the proposal would have been strengthened
by a discussion of how this leadership position could be used to promote and support the
XPRES effort.

Engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other
community organisations in problem formulation and implementation.

The clear articulation of the goals of XPRES shows that there has been collaboration among
the partners. The model of interaction and transfer of ideas between industry and XPRES is
dynamic and the panel believes that this should enable the consortium to respond to emerging
needs outside the university.

Concluding evaluation of the application

The proposal has a well articulated vision and clarity in the objectives and issues that it will
addressed. However, while the current industrial linkages are good and focussed, their number
is small. Page 4.1 identifies a larger group of affiliated partners but there is little further detail
on how these will be interacted with or inclusion of letters of support. There is also a concern
that the aspirations of the proposal exceed the infrastructure available to the researchers. For
instance there is no clear description on how the present physical laboratory will be
practically modernized within the Swedish national context including the applicability of the
Aachen model to Swedish conditions.

The panel finds that the pass-through of finances to Swerea IVF and Kimab does not match
the intent of the competition to promote academic excellence in applied research. This should
be removed if a positive recommendation for funding is ultimately given, and the budget
adjusted accordingly. The importance of the contribution and activities of MdH in the
collaboration are strongly recognised by the panel.



                                                 15
                                                                    Manufacturing Engineering
                                                           Strategic Research Areas, May 2009


The panel finds that a detailed review is needed to ensure the delivery of internationally
leading work of real excellence. The panel strongly recommends that the leadership of the
proposed research is drawn from KTH. The panel also recommends that the leadership takes
the form of a full time director rather than a coordinator. The panel also recommends that an
industrial representative chairs the industrial reference group.

These concerns and considerations of the panel mean that the panel cannot recommend
funding to the level of the initial application if a positive funding recommendation is given.

The panel do however recommend funding to a level of 80MSEK. Such funding would be
conditional on a detailed review, a five-year-plan, to identify the detailed work areas to be
addressed with this reduced resource. The applicants should identify the timescale required to
generate such a plan in their response to these comments.




                                               16
 
         Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Stamceller och
       regenerativ medicin
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1035         Eriksson, Per Filip Billy                      Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Lunds universitet



                   Projekttitel
                   Nationellt initiativ inom stamceller för regenerativ terapi

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Stamceller och regenerativ medicin (VR-St-Sta)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
a) Scientific Quality
The StemTherapy Initiative focuses on efforts to use endogenous, human ESC- and iPSC-derived stem cells for successful
cell replacement treatments of clinically challenging diseases, i.e. diabetes, cerebro-vascular insult (stroke) and specific
haematological disorders, two of which are common and constitute a particular burden to the national Health Care System.
The chosen disease areas represent the expertise of the participating Principal Investigators (PI). The set of challenges will
be addressed by interdisciplinary research teams that comprise members from both Lund University and Uppsala University.
Both Institutions have a proven track record in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, as, for example, exemplified by
the excellence of the Lund Centre for Stem Cell Biology and Cell Therapy (SCC). The grant proposal is clearly defined, of
high quality, ambitious and is sufficiently broad but keeps nonetheless, a strong focus on the translation of basic knowledge
to clinical application. The translational potential is therefore to be considered very high as the questions chosen to be
addressed in this application are significant and their answers will likely provide a basis for new successful strategies for cell
replacement therapies. The interdisciplinary nature of the program constitutes a convincing approach that minimizes
duplication between the different therapeutic areas (although does not sufficiently coordinate efforts with industry, see below)
when addressing specific obstacles (referred to as road blocks). At present, these road blocks in fact largely prevent the
translation of several basic concepts to clinical application. In a defined and standard flow managing novel concepts and
ideas, projects will be taken from basic science knowledge to clinical applications.
Most progress in StemTherapy has so far been achieved in the area of beta-cell replacement, a highly competitive field that
seeks to meet several challenging endpoints, eg the development of functional islet cells from ESCs and iPSC. At present,
StemTherapy has a limited demonstrated record in generating iPSCs, an important prerequisite for the success of this part of
the application. Moreover, little consideration is given to epigenetic issues concerning iPSCs and the nature of the genetic
stability of cells derived from iPSCs and ESCs. However, there is apparently a close relationship with the Broad and Harvard
Institutes that should be key to access further expertise. The applicants have some recognized expertise in ESCs, definitive
endoderm lineage and gene targeting, but are some distance behind the leading international groups in these specific
research areas. Moreover, important details regarding the proposed methodologies are unfortunately not provided in the
application but could have provided insight into an competitive advantage of StemTherapy over others. As outlined in the
application, several substantial road blocks need to be addressed here, including the necessity to generate cells that secrete
a sufficient amount of insulin as a physiological response to different glucose levels. Furthermore, the application does not
indicate, among other issues, the preclinical efficacy testing to be applied to investigate the functional capacity of beta-cells
derived from human ESC. A particularly important issue for the successful use of allogeneic, “off the shelf” beta-cell
precursors will be the capacity to employ improved biochambers able to contain grafted cells as these may undergo
transformation or rejection by the immune system (the latter as a consequence of allo-recognition). Using bio-instructive
materials, additional research is proposed to improve these chambers. Details of this specific appliance (which is obviously
suited only for the diabetes focus) and discussions of its suitability in preclinical and eventually clinical settings are not
provided.
Bioscaffolds that allow a controlled release of drugs and substances which influence the survival of (pluripotent) stem cells or
the local suppression of the innate and adaptive immune response will also be developed for the diabetes (and possibly
stroke) focus. Again, specific details are not given to judge the quality and uniqueness of the proposed approach. Additional
research will also focus on the genetic basis of hereditary forms of beta-cell destruction employing iPSC lines derived from
healthy individuals and from patients with maturity onset of diabetes in the young (MODY). Although not unique as a principle
and already successfully pursued for other diseases, this approach will likely be informative.
The second clinical focus proposes to use neuronal replacement strategies to treat the consequences of cerebral infarction.
Proof of principle for the use of neuronal stem cells to re-establish functional neuronal circuits and to correct degenerative
neuronal pathologies as well as the migration and differentiation of human neuronal stem cells (NSC) grafted into areas of
damaged brain have previously been established. Several issues paramount to any success of the proposed therapy are
proposed to be addressed and should provide answers to a number of present road blocks including the efficient generation
of NSC from ESCs or iPSCs, the maintenance of their competence in situ to functionally repair substantial structural brain
defects and the recruitment, in situ survival, expansion and differentiation of endogenous NSC in the presence of bioactive
scaffolds. It will certainly be challenging to develop transplant methodologies for these approaches and StemTherapy may be
well positioned to attempt these goals. Importantly, several assays are proposed to assess the functionality and the
tumourgenicity of the graft. While the applicants do not expect to translate their findings within the next 10 years to clinical
practice, a clear (albeit generic) plan is already formulated of how to proceed from animal model-driven research to clinical
trials. Given that several of the applicants have already made substantial contributions to the field and are internationally
renowned experts, the likelihood is high that the proposed efforts will result in the relevant knowledge required for clinical
translation.
The third clinical focus of StemTherapy concerns the hematopoietic system. Designated aims of this focus are a better
understanding of the control and developmental options of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), the molecular cues (e.g.
extracellular signals, transcription factors) required for HSCs expansion and the influence of age as well as epigenetics on
stem cell biology. In addition, gene therapeutic approaches will be designed and preclinically tested for several rare but well
chosen diseases (i.e. Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, Morbus Gaucher, osteopetrosis). Substantial knowledge is already
available at Lund University regarding the identification, isolation, in vitro differentiation and gene targeting of HSCs. The
proposed projects require the development of technologies to expand and genetically modify HSC without unwanted
consequences (e.g. malignant transformation, transgene silencing, etc.). Tumour formation is mentioned as a major issue to
be addressed but apart from chromosomal and transplantation assays there are no other obvious or novel approaches
outlined. Though the differentiation protocols should be aimed at removing teratomas, followed by an appropriate screening
and attention to the control of manufacturing quality, these points are not specifically elaborated in the application. Moreover,
several central aspects of the hematopoietic research focus have no overlapping goals with the Diabetes and Stroke foci.
This fact constitutes a certain weakness to an otherwise concise research program. This shortcoming could be corrected with
a stronger focus on the interaction of HSC with their corresponding niche in the bone marrow and the exploitation of this
knowledge for Regenerative Medicine would be appropriate in light of the overall theme of StemTherapy.
b) Scientific environment: Potential development
The principal Investigators of StemTherapy are all excellent scientists at different junior and senior career stages and jointly
have very good publication record. Hence, this group of PI are very likely to deliver the promise of the proposed mission if the
universities continue to recruit the very best productive mid-career scientists from around the world. There is some indication
that both universities favour such a strategy. In addition, efforts will also need to be made to increase the number of female
leaders.
c) Priority given by applicant to establish scientific excellence
The scientific environment of the participating universities has the potential to create a uniquely stimulating structure that
fosters both basic science and clinical application in Stem Cell Biology relevant to Regenerative Medicine. To achieve such a
goal, there is however a need to develop a management system that amalgamates the programme parts of the two
universities. However, it is not obvious how such a seamless relationship can be achieved in a well-balanced fashion since
the Lund contribution to the programme is dominant.
Both Universities have demonstrated a commitment to provide sufficient infrastructural support. Indeed, more than half of the
overall budget will be contributed through streams independent of the present grant application. However, not enough detail
is given regarding the source of these contributions and whether they are in cash or in kind. In light of this, it will be important
to review the balance of spending as part of the assessment process.
There is a clear commitment to recruit new experts by offering a competitive package and mentorship. No indications are
given whether the StemTherapy Programme (at least at Lund University) will be housed in a single site and/or whether it will
be essentially an extension of the SCC. The management structure and the principles to govern StemTherapy are adequately
defined and remarkable for the fact that representatives of industry are included in an advisory capacity to assist the Steering
Group of the consortium. There is, however, little detail in the application concerning project evaluation over time and how the
finances will be distributed among the three different clinical foci.

d) Sweden’s competitiveness
Sweden’s competitiveness will be enhanced by the proposal but the application is more about enhancing the strategic
position of (mainly) the University of Lund given the partnership structure proposed. Success will drive the reputation of
StemTherapy but it will take time until translation to the clinics will become practice and appreciated locally and
internationally. The outlined connection to the Broad Institute, Boston, provides added value but could be complemented by
other national and international interactions that would increase the competitiveness of the program.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
a) Strategic importance for business and society
There are many opportunities for strategic value to business and society and their realisation will not only benefit patients but
will also be transformative for the biotechnology industry. The treatment of the diseases chosen to be further studied is very
costly and these expenses are presently paid for by the Public Health Sector. Hence, any progress made for alternative (and
eventually more economic) treatment and care strategies will be rewarding for the community. For education and research
training, the Lund Research School in Stem Cell Biology, which is already established since 2006 and which will be running at
least for another 7 years with funds secured independently of the StemTherapy application, provides a comprehensive
curriculum that is likely to attract and train the next generation of investigators. The School constitutes a high quality addition
to the research proposed by the StemTherapy Initiative. The management of results with a commercial potential and the
implications of StemTherapy Research for industrial exploitation are well described. The application specifies that dedicated
and highly specialized structures are in place that professionally assess the commercial value of research findings and that
assist with both seed money and links for teaming up with industrial partners. Parallel to these opportunities, StemTherapy
has established links with 8 commercial partners that assure that industry-relevant issues are addressed early and that novel
commercial trends are noticed in advance. More details on envisaged IP/commercialization of specific activities from these
collaborations would have strengthened the application. Given the unique position of Sweden in Europe, better access to and
substantial funding from as well as collaborations with “big pharma” companies could have been expected. Nevertheless,
StemTherapy is likely to mature as a consequence of public/private partnerships if the management of this initiative is able to
encourage, realise and maintain such academic/industry relationships. The applicants have also taken care to identify ethical
considerations associated with the development and application of Stem Cell Therapy, including the use of human embryonic
and fetal tissues and the need for informed consent from patients. Plans are in place to properly address these issues and
their concerns.
b) + c) Strategies, plans, capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research areas.

The benefits of research can be transferred to the start-up biotech sector engaging the Universities’ well run and tested
review process as mentioned above (LU Innovations and LUAB). There is, however, no further information in the application
how IP will be shared between the partners. Moreover, it is not clear whether venture capital is harnessed in the proposed
structures and, if so, at which point of project support it will be brought in. Because the translational and preclinical
components of research are costly and subject to high failure rates, experience will be necessary to manage these particular
aspects of the proposal. In this context it is also very important that well established and excellent structures at the interface
between basic science and the clinics are in place to secure translation. However, the application provides too little
information regarding the clinical research units operating at Uppsala and Lund University and how they might collaborate.
The panel believes adherence to milestones and “go/no-go” decisions are very important in the execution of the proposed
research and need to be well defined early on. It will also be very critical to early involve the Regulatory Bodies in the design
and execution of translational research.
d) Engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community organizations.

The quality of the science, the commitment of the Universities for the Initiative and the breadth of the fields covered by the 8
participating industrial partners associated with StemTherapy are substantial and convincing that this programme will have a
significant impact. Given this setting, it is anticipated that the identified biomedical challenges are efficiently met and will likely
lead to the successful implementation of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. The proposed partnerships will be
beneficial when expertise in regulatory issues, GMP activities and large clinical trials is required. In contrast, aspects
concerning business and venture capital are clearly less well defined in the application. A possibility here could be that
Business Schools are co-opted into the business-related activities of StemTherapy and strong connections with big
pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are fostered.


3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The application requests support for several platform technologies. Some of these will support basic research (Vector
Platform and Stem Cell Electrophysiology Platform: both important and appropriate) and others will be critical for developing
technologies for cell therapies (Cell Separation Platform, Bioimaging Platform, Small Animal Platform: all important and
appropriate). The human ESC and iPSC platform will be of fundamental importance but Cellartis already provides an
excellent ESC platform and hence duplications should be avoided. As for the generation of iPSC, StemTherapy ought to
develop this platform with help and expertise from Cellartis. Finally, it is unclear if the high through-put screening platform is
essential for the success of this project.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                                  4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
StemTherapy is a strong, interdisciplinary, focussed research programme that is firmly built on the strength in Stem Cell
Biology and Regenerative Medicine already established and present at the Universities of Lund and Uppsala. A particular
strength of the program lies in the convincing attempt to address several principles in stem cell biology common to the
chosen clinical areas. Hence, there is a unifying concept that underpins the application and its specific aims. The proposed
translation is also supported by several national and international collaborations with academic institutions and the
commercial sector. The realization of StemTherapy should improve Sweden’s competitiveness and provide clear benefit to
both society (knowledge gain, higher education, improved patient care, international competitiveness in important areas of
biomedicine) and the business sector (start-up companies, strengthening of academic-industry links, increased business
competitiveness, etc.) in several strategically important areas.




                                                                   Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Sta, 2009-1035 Eriksson, Per Filip Billy
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1053         Fredman, Pam                                   Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Göteborgs universitet



                   Projekttitel
                   REGENSIGN: Regenerativ medicin och stamcells nichers signalering vid regeneration, sjukdom och åldrande.


                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Stamceller och regenerativ medicin (VR-St-Sta)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This is an ambitious application from selected research teams from the University of Gothenburg together with individual
research groups from the Uppsala, Lund and Chalmers Universities augmented by the inclusion of the BIOMATCELL VINN
Centre of Biomaterials and Cell Therapy. The Centre will focus on five key therapeutic areas: cartilage and bone repair, the
use of fat tissue for anti-obesity applications and inflammation, replacement of lost neurons through neurogenesis or the
creation of a neural stem cell niche, cardiovascular cell replacement, and haematopoietic stem cell biology.

1) Scientific Quality: The proposal draws a focus on the “niche” for stem cell research and development of tissue engineering
for application in a wide spectrum of applications, in particular bone and cartilage regeneration. Whilst the PIs are generally
recognized as significant researchers in their own areas of interest, the panel felt that the PIs needed to have demonstrated a
stronger track record in stem cells. The stated primary interest of the REGENSIGN program is to make a significant
contribution to musculoskeletal applications of stem cell biology. They identify an allogenic donor cell therapy approach but
have insufficient demonstrated expertise in stem cell biology and immunobiology.

The utilization of bioactive materials for musculoskeletal repair is a laudable objective, and one in which the applicants have
made substantial contributions, but there will be competitive challenges. The artificial constructs will have to perform better
than alternatives for any significant market penetration. Recapitulation of the niche for a variety of stem cell types is no trivial
matter. There is limited knowledge of the components of the niche, even the bone marrow hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)
niche is not complete. The neural stem cell niche is not well understood and adult cardiac stem cells are still in the process of
being identified. The identity of skeletal stem cells is also still under investigation and debate, and nothing really much is
known about the cancer stem cell niche. Hence there is a massive amount of work needed to have a complete idea of the
matrix, molecular and cellular components of the niche. REGENSIGN has some capacity but would be lagging behind others
in this area conceptually and practically. The pharmaceutical approach appears to lack integration with the niche and tissue
engineering components. They should have provided better evidence for innovation – it is given that AstraZeneca would be
interested in any candidate molecules that evolve but there is no guarantee they will take any candidates through the entire
pipeline to the clinic. Cell markers for disease progression are laudable but really is more of an open-ended toolbox. It is not
clear what the targets are of this component part of the program. The Application suffers from a lack of specific information
as to how these disparate therapeutic and technology areas will be developed. The work packages are primarily descriptive in
nature and are lacking detailed information. There is similarly not enough information within the application as to how the
work will be coordinated across the different research areas and research teams. It is also unclear how the requested funding
will enhance the work that is already ongoing in each of these labs, and stimulate new endeavors.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The potential scientific environment is sound but lacks the degree of innovation that could be engendered. The strategy
section on creation of business and importance to society is underdeveloped. Although the applicants state that new business
sectors should be opened by this research in the area of small molecules, bioactive materials and diagnostic tools, there is no
clear strategy outlined as to how this will implemented or sustained. Further attention could have been given as to how this
research centre will benefit Swedish society in general. There were not enough details provided on how new IP would be
generated from the project. The route to commercial translation and in particular translation to the clinic was not well enough
defined. Under the collaboration section many potential industrial partners were listed but it was not clear throughout the
proposal how the linkage with the industrial partners would proceed.
3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The panel was unable to discern from the research plan how the requested funding will be used to enhance existing or
creating new infrastructure.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              2
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This represents a very ambitious proposal but one that lacks integration, significant experimental methodology and
commercial engagement.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Sta, 2009-1053 Fredman, Pam
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1034         Millnert, Mille                                Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Linköpings universitet
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   Stamceller och regenerativ medicin: Klinik, cellbiologi, biomaterial och klinik igen.

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Stamceller och regenerativ medicin (VR-St-Sta)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This application describes the initiation of the Cells for Regeneration and Tissue or Organ Replacement (CREATOR)
program. This program is focused on leveraging the existing strengths of the Linkoping team to develop novel therapies. The
applicants propose developing and expanding therapies for Vision Restoration, Reconstructive Surgery and Orthopedics. The
proposal describes an R&D continuum that begins with a discovery module focused on cells and biomaterials followed by
preclinical testing and manufacturing and ultimately clinical trials. The proposal aims to make inroads into the clinical areas
with focussed short term and longterm targets. The applicants have strategically aligned the technology with a low risk
assessment and have chosen clinical targets in which they will have a high probability of success – their low risk approach will
probably succeed. The proposal includes a number of research projects and clinical projects. However, it is unclear how
these projects will be prioritized and what the key milestones are.
The investigators are a very good group of established researchers as well as young scientists and physician-scientists.
Some of these Principal Investigators have a proven track record in the context of Regenerative Medicine to translate basic
science insight into clinical use.
Integral to this research programme are discovery platforms in cell therapeutics, biomaterials and non-invasive imaging.

Regards “cell therapeutics” discovery platform, the program is limited to adult cells – primarily autologous cell therapeutics.
There is mention of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and connections with the Cellartis ESC biotechnology company but there is
no description of the use of ESCs and the application emphasizes the use of adult autologous cell therapeutics. The panel
regarded this as a significant weakness of the grant. We would have liked to see this work extended to the use of allogeneic
cells as to strengthen this capacity. This would also facilitate linkages to high performance pluripotential (particularly iPS cell)
expertise. The bone marrow cell work could also be supplemented with umbilical cord and placental cells (MSCs and HSCs).

Regardless of the deficiences, the ”biomaterials” discovery platform is a strong feature of the program with international
expertise, particularly Mary Griffith (CREATOR Program Leader), whose work in eye research and repair of sight is excellent
and Bo Liedberg who has a very impressive group studying fundamental and applied aspects of soft matter materials and
bioinspired nanoscience. They are certainly capable of making a very productive program of bioscaffolding for functional
applications that would be well matched with expertise in fundamental cell biology. The applicants propose a Phase II clinical
trial to assess efficacy of a biointeractive corneal substitute that has recently passed a first-in-human clinical trials. In
addition, the investigators plan to initiate preclinical and clinical research on nanoparticles that provide sustained release of
Avastin. To decrease the probability of infections in corneal transplants the applicants plan to explore the use of photocaged
ACV. The aspect of combining engineered cell product with pathogen protection is attractive and clinically very relevant.
Success in any or all of these projects would have a significant positive impact on corneal transplantation and vision
restoration. The use of artificial biomaterials that can recapitulate full depth dermal regeneration is an important aspiration
and the proposed approach is sensible and feasible although the probable costs associated with it may be a barrier to
commercialisation because of alternative products.The orthopedic applications are more challenging, particularly for any
weight bearing applications, and cartilage remains a difficult tissue to repair despite considerable efforts in laboratories
around the world. The proposal mentions a number of research and clinical projects in orthopaedics and it is unclear how
these will be prioritized. More details could have been provided for example on how endogenous cells would be mobilised,
how differentiation and mechanical effects would be performed/combined and challenges in autologous cell therapies
overcome (eg. challenges in achieving reproducibility between patients and manufacturing). Preclinical testing is apparently
well organized and further national and international networking would be advantageous. Orthopedic indications are already
networked in Europe.
Regarding noninvasive ”imaging” discovery platform - this is a very important area for regenerative medicine. The
development of in vivo confocal microscopy and Raman spectroscopy is particularly relevant for corneal and possibly dermal
tissue. The use of detectable particles and nano reporters are rapidly improving lineage tracing and the other applications of
imaging that may evolve from the program are very important to the entire field.
In order to allow clinical application of the technologies developed in this proposal, the investigators will build a cGTP / cGMP
level laboratory for clinical manufacturing. This will require the recruitment of specialized staff to set up and operate the
facility. The investigators have considerable experience developing and managing clinical trials. Importantly, they have
experience translating novel technologies into clinical applications. The investigators plan to set up a Regenerative Medicine
program and recruit new students for this program. They also plan to recruit young scientists and have planned for start-up
packages to support them. The Linköping University has made a commitment to translational regenerative medicine and is
prepared to back their vision to make this a major feature of their research excellence. They may not have the financial
resources of some of the leading Swedish tertiary institutions but they are clear in their mission to succeed as a premier
research environment in regenerative medicine. Several new investigators (including the appointment of Dr Griffith and her
team) have already been recruited and will soon be joining the team. In addition, the GMP facility and animal facilities are
currently being expanded to support the Regenerative Medicine effort.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The CREATOR program is a rich basic-translational environment with scientists who are primarily interested in the “bench to
bedside:bedside to bench” paradigm that is very effective in accelerating research in clinical applications. There are several
“world firsts” indicative of a healthy and innovative environment for research to flourish. The reviewers had a concern that the
absence of any pluripotential research may lead to lost opportunities in the potential benefits of potentially more effective cell
types. This proposal describes a number of clinical projects. The success of one or more of these projects will have a
favourable impact on patients and health care. The investigators have targeted clinical applications where there is clear
unmet needs. For instance, the prevention of infection in corneal grafting or the improvement of fracture repair or wound
healing will be quite important. The creation of improved therapies will likely be accompanied by intellectual property that may
be of commercial value. This may translate to the generation of start-up companies that will increase the international impact
of Swedish Regenerative Medicine industry. LiU has established a number of organizations to facilitate the translation of new
technologies including the Innovation Office, VenturZone, and Growlink. This network of organizations in focused on
supporting investigators with new technologies and facilitating the launch of spin-out companies, licensing opportunities, and
industrial collaborations. The research projects described in this proposal may also have significant impact. The applicants
are experienced in translating novel research into clinical applications. Therefore these research projects can be viewed as
the pipeline, providing new technologies that will benefit patients and provide opportunities for the development of start-up
companies or industrial collaborations. Toward this end, the applicants have secured letters of support from a number of
industrial collaborators to support this proposal. Nonetheless it was felt that the connection with industry is more tenuous in
the program. It is noted that there are “collaboration with several Swedish biotech companies (Karocell tissue engineering AB,
Celtrix AB, Mölnlycke Health Care AB, AddBIO AB) and several international companies (ranging from Cellular
Bioengineering Inc., USA to Procter & Gamble, Eli Lilly Corp and Amgen, all multinational companies)”. However the role of
the companies is not described further with few exceptions. As a consequence it is a little confusing, e.g. the role of Cellartis
is not clear - they are an embryonic stem cell (ESC) company and this is not a feature of the CREATOR program. There is
no mention of commercial linkages to the imaging research program which is surprising. It is acknowledged that Northern
Therapeutics, Eyegenix, AddBio AB would be appropriate and useful partners. It is also recognized that strong hospital
support exists. Overall, the linkages with commercial biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies were not clearly enough
described.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
In order to allow clinical application of the technologies developed in this proposal, the investigators will build a cGTP / cGMP
level laboratory for clinical manufacturing. This is important to achieve their end goals.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
CREATOR brings together a group of talented PIs who aim to take basic science advances to the clinic in the areas of vision
restoration, orthopaedics and reconstructive surgery. The research is underpinned by discovery platforms in cell therapies,
biomaterials and imaging. The strengths of the proposal were viewed as the strong expertise in biomaterials and translation
to the clinic in particular for cornea and orthopaedic applications. The panel would have liked to see more consideration of
other allogeneic cell populations rather than exclusive focus on autologous and felt their omission was a significant weakness
in the proposal.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Sta, 2009-1034 Millnert, Mille
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1058         Wallberg-Henriksson, Harriet                   Strategiska forskningsområden




                   Projekttitel
                   Center för Regenerativ Medicin

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Stamceller och regenerativ medicin (VR-St-Sta)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This project proposes to develop a program with 5 major axes of development.
1. The molecular basis of cellular differentiation. This program is aimed at understanding the molecular rules that determine
cell differentiation. The strongest axis of the proposal is neural development where the groups involved excel. The proposal
seeks to extend knowledge of ES cell differentiation in this area to the biology of pluripotent cells, including iPS cells, an
important goal as iPS cells might become a source of transplantable cells. The understanding of the stability of iPS cells, how
to produce them under GMP conditions and how to convert them into differentiated cells are major goals. This research will
contribute to understanding the factors involved in the stability of the stem cell lines that have previously been created. This
will allow the understanding of the maintenance of the pluripotent state combined with the regulatory molecules and
microenvironments that drive differentiation. The panel would have liked to see more comprehensive suggestions of how the
generated results would be used for in silico modeling of differentiation. Most PIs are senior and have a proven track record.
2. Steering stem cell differentiation to fates of medical interest. This program aims at developing protocols of cell
differentiation that will eventually be useful in medical practice. There is already work that has been done by these groups on
neural development as they have identified cells that could be used in Parkinson’s Disease. The neural differentiation team is
very strong not only in the development of strategies to obtain cell populations that can be used in cell therapy but also in
identifying the mechanisms promoting the regeneration of tissues after injury. The case for the mesenchymal stem cells
(MSC) research component of the project is less convincingly made. The clinical use of MSCs to improve GVH is well
documented but the mechanism for MSC benefits in regenerative medicine are not at all well understood.
3. Transplantation biology.
The Karolinska Institutet has a long track record on pioneering transplantation and it is impressive that they are involved in
more than 50% of all ASCT in Sweden. They have access to samples from transplanted patients and to the evaluation of the
protocols. The major immediate goal will be to control the side effects of transplantation by administration of functional T cell
populations. None of these strategies are particularly novel and they might have other side effects e.g. to decrease GV tumor
activity. Nevertheless they are certainly worth evaluating in clinical trials.

The ES cell program aims at expanding the GMP culture conditions to prevent pathogen transmission of the derived cell
populations. These are essential steps to enable the utilization of these cell populations in clinics.
4. Decoding cell lineage at the organism level. This is certainly the most original component part of the proposal and from the
fundamental point of view the most interesting new program being developed in the program. The Frisén group developed a
strategy to follow cell division by a non-invasive method of following C14 content of cells years ago in an intact organism.
This procedure, although potentially very interesting, requires large numbers of cells, which is a limitation for its application.
Now a group of PIs at the Institute proposes to follow the lineage relationship in intact organisms by following the evolution of
polyguanine repeats. This procedure can be done at the single cell level and will be useful not only in tracing the progeny of
cell, deducing tissue regeneration, and tracing progenitor cell compartments, but also in anticipating tumor relapse. A future
challenge will be to combine this method with advanced imaging. An alternative technique is based on transposons
integration patterns. This is an outstanding and innovative program whose PIs have an impressive track record.
5. Biomaterials for stem cells differentiation and transplantation. This program aims at creating new scaffolds for
transplantation and cell therapy. The panel would have liked to see more details included in this section.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The area is becoming significantly important to the business community and society. The cost of the major diseases relevant
to this application are substantial and any contribution to treatment and cures for any of the neurodegenerative and
inflammatory disorders and diseases will have a major impact on the community and be a significant cost reduction for the
Swedish health system. There are already strong links to companies, including NeuroNova AB who is developing products for
neurodegenerative disorders and clinical trials for products in the area. However there are limited relationships with
biotechnology and BigPharma companies at the present time and further agreements to work together in public-private
partnerships should be encouraged. The costs of delivery of translational, preclinical and clinical trials need to be considered
as a priority. KI´s involvement in the stem cell sector would be encouraging for venture capital.
b)The iterative research processes will adequately capture benefits internally and by the organizations such as KI Innovation.
The latter is an impressive system of evaluation, and distribution of alliances that appears to be very effective in bringing
discoveries to the commercial marketplace. The model established by KI Innovation is mature and proven as an alliance
between academia and commercial entrepreneurship. The CRM program can take advantage of this system.

c)The need for financial and infrastructure support, the activities which can accrue benefit for research, is in place through the
KI developments around Ki Innovation. But there is a need to also include inputs from the world-wide international and
venture capital sectors. Regenerative medicine is a global business and the CRM will be more effective if linked to world
financial, pharma and biotechnology interests. Some consideration of the global marketplace is deserved.

d)One assumes that there are ways built into the programs for review and go no-go decisions for various research projects,
but this is not clear from the application. Project management is critical in areas where first to clinic and business competition
prevails. Likewise consideration of the IP landscape and freedom to operate are critical components that need to be
considered and evaluated. It is not clear how this is done in the CRM. It would also have been informative to have more
detailed explanation on the actual operation and management of the CRM and how implementation is achieved in the virtual
center.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The mentoring program of the Karolinska Institute and the mouse transgenic and KO core facilities are outstanding. There is
no adequate scientific justification for the Zebra Fish and for a reprogramming facility, independent from the already existing
GMP ES facility.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This is an extremely strong group of PIs with an outstanding track record. There are few institutions with such a combination
of experts in regenerative research that combine a very strong basic research interest with an immediate application to the
patient. A very strong aspect of the proposal is the lineage tracing programs which are innovative and will be extremely useful
to understand the physiological role of different cell types in tissue repair and also in the follow up of tumors. The
neurobiology team is certainly one of the best in the world with a long track record of achievements and is certainly a
guarantee of strong future progress in the field. It would be useful to recruit strong group leaders that would fill in the gap in
regenerative strategies for tissues such as the cardiac and skeletal muscle, pancreas, and liver.
The record on transplantation is outstanding but the MSC project was considered by the panel to be a weaker point in this
application. Although MSCs have been useful to improve GVHD, the mechanisms by which they do so have not been
elucidated and need to be addressed, a point that the panel would have liked to see better detailed in the proposal.




                                                                         Beredningsgruppens yttrande VR-St-Sta, 2009-1058 Wallberg-Henriksson, Harriet
 
         Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Säkerhet och
         krisberedskap
                                                                        Strategic Research Areas
                                                                        Security and Emergency Management
                                                                        Final evaluations, May 2009




Final evaluations from the expert panel for Security and
Emergency Management
Strategic Research Area: Security and Emergency Management

Registration number: 2009-00965

Title: SCREAM (Research program for security, crisis, risk, emergency and management)

Submitting university: Lund University




Overall grade: 3

Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality
The description of existing capabilities and expertise, highlighting a multidisciplinary approach, is
solid. The proposal leverages ongoing efforts related to LUCRAM and has strong research faculty
participation. The differentiation between descriptive and normative/ prescriptive research was
appreciated. However, it is difficult to differentiate between current ongoing research and work that
would be supported through this program. Several proposal areas, including scientific methods,
research plan and timetable lack sufficient detail to fully assess scientific quality. More detailed
methodology is required.

There is a very good potential for development given the participating institutions and research
personnel. A high degree of expertise is clearly present within clusters including important state-of-
the-art work. Specific scientific problems to be addressed are not adequately discussed. Integration
of research to serve the proposal’s multidisciplinary aim is less evident.

The project would integrate and strengthen existing projects at the principle institutions. The existing
LUCRAM framework would leverage its network to more effectively use invested funds. Very few
details are provided regarding the prioritization within the identified core areas. Having adopted a
multidisciplinary approach, the framework described does not address important competency areas
such as the clinical/ public health aspects of emergency management.

Researchers have excellent track records. The concept of a truly multidisciplinary center augmented
by active international collaboration was considered as very positive. Unable to identify a clear plan
for integration of multidisciplinary research clusters across the spectrum of emergency management
and security research. Depth of resultant international collaboration was challenging to assess.

There are numerous areas within this proposal that demonstrate considerable research potential and
strength. An excellent group of researchers has been assembled. The holistic multidisciplinary
approach to emergency management and security research is appealing. The primary weakness
noted was that the project plan description did not include sufficient details. For example, the
proposal would have been strengthened by specifying several projects within each core area and
then discussed in detail. In addition to the research methods to be applied, the proposal should have



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discussed the outcomes and the intrinsic and extrinsic contributions of the research. There is no
compelling integration of proposed research that would identify this “center” as more than loosely
knit disparate research clusters within the broader realm of security and emergency management.
Additional partners representing clinical/public health and military perspectives would have
strengthened the case for the program’s multidisciplinary approach.

Strategic importance to the business sector and society
This section is very general in its description of an all-hazards approach and does not direct relate
proposed research to strategic importance. The description of competence development, provision
of services, and product development is general. No distinct strategies beyond description of ongoing
activities or clear prioritization of problems to be tackled. Insufficient detail and direct linkage to
research proposed.

The existing LUCRAM network has successfully fostered collaboration and dissemination. Well
described internal and external communication plans. Significant collaborative activities are planned.
Board of LUCRAM includes private industry – very positive. Good participation in NESST, representing
cooperation among academia, industry and public organizations; otherwise, limited business sector
partnerships.

There is an excellent existing research consortium and the quality of existing programs was
convincing. Proposal does not strongly highlight direct contributions of LUCRAM or tie its research to
strategic business sector and societal priorities. A better case should be made that research
knowledge and outcomes can be coupled to innovation/ industry along with commercialization
opportunities.

Concluding evaluation of the application

While there can be no disagreement to the principle that multidisciplinary approaches to critical
issues in security and emergency management are required, the key questions that may be raised
regarding this proposal are how such a center would actually accomplish this at a level that would
bring it to the forefront of international research. Additional detail regarding specifics aspects of the
research plan and methodologies to be applied would significantly strengthen the proposal.

Integration of these efforts present formidable challenges- the research clusters individually
described clearly possess outstanding capabilities, but it is difficult to appreciate how such disparate
research areas would be brought together to foster meaningful interdiscplinary dialogue and
sustainable impact. A more convincing argument with greater supporting details on how this work
would directly contribute to the business and societal priorities was felt to be needed.

Recommendations and rank

The proposal was ranked #5 (out of 7). While the applicants should be commended for their
multidiscplinary approach, the panel recommended that the proposal was outside of the range that
should be considered for funding.




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Strategic Research Area: Security and Emergency Management

Registration number: 2009-00966

Title: Security Link

Submitting university: Linköping University




Overall grade: 4

Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality
This proposal seeks funding for Security Link, a national center focused on secure, robust wireless
communications. The primary research areas are: sensors, information fusion, decision support and
coordination of emergency/crisis response, and risk analysis and the ethics of crisis management.
The proposal has several strengths that make the overall project competitive at the national level.

1. The proposal has assembled a large, multidisciplinary research team. The team members have
strong research credentials. The range of current projects and funding levels are very impressive.
The team members have a track record of working together on research projects.

2. The research focus areas are extremely important. The research is interesting and relatively
innovative. The decision to study the ethics of crisis management strengthens the proposal.

However, the proposal has certain shortcomings and areas for improvement. These issues should be
considered carefully if the proposal is funded.

1. The proposal is well-written with a strong scientific component, but the research problems to be
addressed, while important, are not transformational in nature. In particular, the overall research is
low risk and is expected to have a moderate impact at the international level.

2. The technical aspects of the proposal are not described in sufficient detail. The proposal does not
cite related research in the field nor does it clarify the gaps in the body of knowledge that it will
address.

3. The proposed research attempts to address a very large number of problems. The size and scope
of the planned effort raises some concerns related to project management. It is not clear how the
various efforts will be coordinated to maximize interactions and synergy across the various project
sub-teams.

4. It is not clear how the new funding received under this program will transform the current
research efforts to world-class initiatives. A plan for such a transformation is missing.

Security Link has broad coverage and a very strong research and development component. It will
leverage existing facilities, ongoing research thrusts and collaborative relationships. The plan for
developing the scientific environment is somewhat sparse, but considerable impact potential exists.




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The research is prioritized (at a high level of abstraction) towards societal needs, including decision
support on risks and threats, critical infrastructure protection and disaster response. Efforts in each
of the six individual research areas are structured in terms of smaller problems and sub-problems.
The coverage and prioritization of topics are excellent. The impact potential is high.

Security Link has an outstanding research team, excellent resources and a strong project plan. The
proposal also incorporates several activities that will ensure that the research results will have real-
world applications. The interactions with industry and government are excellent. However,
collaborative activities with major international research centers in the field are not incorporated in
the project plan. Security Link will almost certainly increase Sweden’s competitiveness in the
discipline. However, more thought has to be given on strategies for making Security Link truly world-
class.

Security Link plans to leverage the existing human resources and infrastructure to become a
strategic, cross-disciplinary research center in the areas of emergency and crisis management,
security and critical infrastructure protection. The research plan is solid; the scientific component is
excellent; moreover, significant collaboration is planned with industry and government agencies.
However, the size and scope of the project activities are a concern, along with the challenges
involved in project coordination. If funded, strong consideration should be given on how Security
Link can become a world-class center as opposed to merely Sweden’s top research center in the field.

Strategic importance to the business sector and society
The project focuses on several important problems, but the impact on global society is expected to
be limited. Greater emphasis on ethical issues related to crisis management is warranted.

However, the strong technical component of the proposal and the fact that the proposed solutions
mainly involve the application of science and engineering techniques increase the industry and
business sector impact. Research and development and commercialization activities are very
substantial. Indeed, the panel expects several patents to be produced each year if the research
efforts proceed as expected.

Significant collaboration is planned with business and industry. This will ensure that the research
results will have real-world applications. However, the societal component of the “triple helix”
model is not well established. The panel recommends that this weakness be addressed if the project
is funded.

Several capacitive and supportive activities are described throughout the proposal. Considerable
impact potential exists. However, the impact will be somewhat limited unless the third strand of the
triple helix model is implemented.

The project has assembled a strong team of researchers from several institutions. Significant
collaboration is planned with industry and government entities. This is one of the strengths of the
proposal – it will certainly advance both problem formulation and implementation.

This area of research has clear strategic significance. The research team is excellent. The plan of
attack is sound. The collaborative activities with business and industry, and with government
agencies are excellent. This greatly increases the potential that the research results would have
significant real-world applications and commercialization potential.



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The principal shortcoming of this proposal is its failure to consider the societal aspects – the third
strand of the triple helix. If funded, it is important that the project plan be adjusted to incorporate
the societal component early in the project in order to ensure that the research results will have
broad impact.

Concluding evaluation of the application

The proposed Security Link Center concentrates on secure, robust wireless communications in the
broad area of security and emergency management. The primary research areas are: sensors,
information fusion, decision support and coordination of emergency/crisis response, and risk analysis
and the ethics of crisis management. The research plan is solid, albeit large in scope. The scientific
component is excellent and significant collaboration is planned with industry and government
agencies. If funded, Security Link would be poised to become Sweden’s top research center in the
field. The challenge to the project team would be to leverage the funding to make Security Link a
world-class center.

Security Link’s connections with business and industry, and with government agencies are excellent
indeed. This greatly increases the potential that the research results would have significant real-
world applications and commercialization potential. However, unless the societal aspects – the third
strand of the triple helix – are integrated into the project plan, the project impact would be neither
substantial nor lasting.

Recommendations and rank

This is an excellent proposal. The panel ranked this proposal #2 (out of 7) in the Security and
Emergency Management Research Area.

The primary shortcomings of the proposal are the size and scope of the project activities, along with
the challenges involved in project coordination. If this research proposal is funded, the panel
recommends that the budget be reduced from 80 MSEK to 32 MSEK. In order to satisfy these
budgetary constraints, the panel recommends focusing on the Emergency Response, Risk Analysis
and Crisis Management Tasks and less on the Wireless and Sensor Technologies Task. In particular,
the panel recommends eliminating Tasks 2.A.1 and 2.A.2, and reducing Task 2.A.3 by eliminating
Project 3 (Management of Pandemics).




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                                                                       Final evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area: Security and Emergency Management

Registration number: 2009-00990

Title: REDUCE – Research and Expertise for Designs of Utility in Crisis and Emergencies

Submitting university: University of Gothenburg




Overall grade: 3

Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality
Project seeks to address risks, threats and insecurities in an increasing interconnected world. The end
goal is to produce knowledge that facilitates a robust response to a broad range of risks and thereby
achieve a more resilient security for society. To accomplish this aim a wide variety of approaches are
mentioned that hope to bridge such disciplines as engineering and the social sciences. Because the
authors rightly point to resilient response as key to future risks, threats and vulnerabilities they
involve multiple disciplines and emphasize the need to take an interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary
systems approach to these challenges. They further stress that resilience depends on long-term
sustainable development of vital societal institutions. Hence, the project focuses on three strategic
areas: Reduction of threat levels (e.g. identification of vulnerabilities, improved organizational
learning, analysis of societal nodes of interaction between individuals and organizations); Protection
against risks and threats (e.g. protection of physical and informational infrastructure, balance
between security and potential societal distrust); Management of emergencies (e.g. facilitate the
ability of society to bounce back, partner with media as a key public information source to facilitate
security). The authors hope with this project to “connect islands of knowledge” and integrate
expertise across a number of relevant disciplines. The panel felt that the scientific objectives were
good but there was insufficient detail about the methods and activities to be undertaken.

An increased understanding of how societies can develop resilience with respect to future threats is
important and thus holds scientific promise. Breakthroughs in this area must be of necessity
interdisciplinary. REDUCE (operated by both University of Gothenburg and Chalmers) seeks to be an
internationally competitive center and has partnered with industry, government and NGOs. Two
established platforms for research are already in place: Security Arena and the Forum for Research
on Urban Safety and Security. Both universities appear committed to this project (Chalmers has
already invested 200M SEK in related research; Gothenburg has allocated 100M SEK to facilitate
cross-disciplinary research). Many important and relevant departments are involved (e.g. Psychology,
Science and Technology, Sociology, Journalism, SOM Institute, Cultural Sciences, Global Studies,
Computer Science and Engineering, Technology Management and Economics, Mathematical
Sciences). Panel felt that the experience and expertise of researchers and institutions involved was
very high and so the potential for scientific development was very good.

REDUCE is a center which desires to become internationally competitive in terms of security and
emergency management and whose purpose is to promote a safe, open and democratic society. The




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panel felt that the principal investigators and universities appeared committed to cross-disciplinary
collaboration.

There is a clear intent to increase Sweden’s international competitiveness in the area of security and
emergency management. This is evidenced by the commitments of both universities in terms of
funds and faculty as well as partnering arrangements. The University of Gothenburg has outlined four
major strategies to achieve this aim: Substantial resources (100M SEK for cross-disciplinary research);
Commitment to high quality academic environments promoting strategic competences; Commitment
to further strengthen collaboration with other universities, industries and public sectors;
Commitment to use its global network to address issues of poverty, global security and development.
The panel felt that because of the outlined strategies and the internationally recognized researchers
this project would contribute to internationally competitive scientific research.

The panel felt that there were a number of important scientific objectives (e.g. bridging technology,
engineering and the social sciences). Researchers and institutions appear highly committed to the
project and cross-disciplinary collaboration. However, it was also felt that scientific methods and
approaches should have been specified more carefully and concretely.

Strategic importance to the business sector and society
Producing scientific insights that would lead to a substantially resilient response to future threats is
very important. The proposal lists several examples of potential contributions to the business sector
(e.g. engineering solutions, decision support, organizational learning models). They also cite potential
benefits in the public sector (e.g. social trust, conflict resolution, public understanding of political
agenda and influence of media). Specific products or capacities are also mentioned (e.g. sensors,
software, educational consulting services, new organizational forms in private enterprise or public
agencies). Panel felt that this research had substantial chance of leading to benefits for both business
and society.

The project uses a Triple Helix approach as it seeks to achieve collaboration among its university
departments, business affiliates, government agencies and NGOs. The proposal recognizes that
translating scientific findings into public benefit requires thinking of who is in the market for such
results. The project has plans to achieve such translation through a number of venues (e.g. mobile
offices, living labs, workshops, conferences, e-Networks and integrated educational facilities). The
University of Gothenburg has also developed a Commercialization System for innovations. Business
ideas within the system are identified and commercialized through a range of structures. The panel
felt there were a number of potential avenues by which benefits might be generated though they
would have preferred to see more concrete details.

REDUCE will integrate research teams working on a wide assortment of problems of potential benefit
(e.g. governance, democratic institutions, decision-making, crisis management, IT-based
management for organizational flexibility and the modeling of extreme events). They also emphasize
that Chalmers University of Technology has been recognized by the national Agency of Higher
Education as a leading contributor to economic growth through it research and education-it also
delivers high societal utility. This educational agency also praises the University of Gothenburg for
communicating with society. The panel felt that because of the level of support systems and caliber of
the researchers the capacity to generate benefits was very high.




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Project is well networked across academic, business and public sectors. This is evidenced by its
description of Security Arena (platform within Lindholmen Science Park) and the Forum for Research
on Urban Safety and Security. Security Arena is jointly operated by Chalmers, Gothenburg and
private businesses. It provides a platform for the interchange among academia, industry and
government. The Forum for Research and Urban Safety and Security functions as a network of
contacts bringing together researchers and professionals working to prevent crime and improve
safety (e.g. social workers, teachers, police officers). Partnerships formed with Saab, Volvo and
Ericsson. The panel felt that researchers are highly likely to collaborate with industry, government
and NGOs.

The panel felt that this research could be highly beneficial to the business sector and society (e.g.
focus on resilience). It noted the particularly strong connections between the research team,
industry, government and NGOs.

Concluding evaluation of the application

This project is focused on many worthwhile goals scientifically and practically. It represents an
interesting approach to bridge technology, engineering and the social sciences. Academic expertise
is available, substantial resources have been committed, and strategic partnerships have been
formed.

The panel felt that this proposal overall was very good and had assembled an excellent group of
researchers and leading universities with strong collaborative partners in academia, business and
government. The feeling was that it would be more likely to have a positive impact on business and
society than to contribute to scientific breakthroughs. They indicated that methodological details
could have been more detailed and concrete. The budget requested appeared appropriate.

Recommendations and rank

The panel ranked this proposal #4 (out of 7) in the Security and Emergency Management Research
Area. The panel felt that there were several worthwhile scientific objectives. Likewise, benefits to
business and society were compelling. However, the panel also felt that three other proposals were
much stronger and should be given consideration instead.




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Strategic Research Area: Security and Emergency Management

Registration number: 2009-01010

Title: Natural-Disaster Science

Submitting university: Uppsala University




Overall grade: 4

Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality
This proposal requests funding for the novel, multidisciplinary Center for Natural Disaster Science
(CNDS). It seeks to develop strategies to address the challenges of predicting, mitigating and
preventing natural disasters. The proposal has several strengths that make the overall project highly
competitive at the national level.

1. The proposal has assembled a multidisciplinary research team with experts in three “strength
areas:” social sciences, earth sciences and engineering sciences. The research team has excellent
credentials; several members have a history of working together on research projects.

2. The six work packages described in the proposal bridge the three strength areas: (i)
communication of threats and risks of natural hazards; (ii) collaboration with regard to natural
disasters; (iii) information gathering and control to mitigate disasters; (iv) protection of critical
infrastructures; (v) training of new researchers; and (vi) information dissemination.

3. The proposal has excellent infrastructure and collaborative components. One of the most
outstanding aspects of the proposal is the SIDA-funded Central American Natural Disaster Mitigation
Center (CANDMC), which will serve as an in situ laboratory for studying the scientific aspects.

However, the proposal has certain shortcomings that should be addressed to enhance the overall
scientific quality of the research effort.

1. The proposal has strong strategic aspects, but relatively weak tactical components. In particular,
details of the specific activities to be conducted as part of the project are not described adequately.
These details should be incorporated in a revised project plan if the project is funded.

2. The proposal does not review existing research in the areas of focus. Surprisingly, the narrative
does not cite the vast body of literature in the field or evaluate efforts underway at similar centers
outside Sweden. Nor does it explain how the proposed research compares with existing work or
addresses gaps in the body of knowledge.

3. The panel felt that the proposed research related to floods and droughts, quality and timing of
water, and water resource modeling as described in the body of the proposal is basic material, not
innovative, cutting-edge research. These aspects should be addressed if the project is funded.




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4. The proposed research does not examine the increased hazards posed by global warming in
sufficient detail. This omission should be rectified if the project is funded.

Excellent potential exists for the development of the scientific environment. The project
incorporates researchers from several disciplines. Excellent collaborative relationships exist between
entities in Sweden and elsewhere in the world. The interaction with CANDMC is an outstanding
component of the proposal and greatly increases the impact potential. The project has strong
human research development and knowledge dissemination plans. If the shortcomings in the
scientific component of the project are addressed, the proposed research can have significant
potential for the development of the scientific environment.

The research activities cover three strength areas. The six work packages leverage the expertise of
the team members and the infrastructure available at the participating institutions. The coverage
and prioritization of areas are excellent. This project has a high impact potential.

CNDS has assembled an excellent, multi-disciplinary research team to focus on pressing problems in
the area of natural disaster science. However, the omission of research issues related to hazards
caused by global warming is a shortcoming of the proposal. The participation of CANDMC is an
outstanding aspect of the proposal. If the shortcomings related to the scientific component and
topic coverage are addressed, it is clear that CNDS has the potential to become a world-class center
in the area on natural disaster science.

The project has a strong, diverse research team, excellent infrastructure and collaborative
relationships. The proposed application of wireless technology can significantly advance the
understanding and analysis of hydrologic processes. The human resource development and
knowledge dissemination plans are excellent. A major strength of the proposal is the promotion of
gender equality and multicultural aspects in the research per se – the research team should be
commended for their consideration of these important issues.

The scientific component of the proposal has certain areas of improvement that should be
addressed. Also, it is important that the research team members attempt to interact with
international entities such as the research centers in Colorado (USA), Wallingford (UK) and Delft (The
Netherlands).

The Center for Natural Disaster Science will definitely increase Sweden’s competitiveness in the area
of security and emergency management. Indeed, it has the potential to become a world-class
center.

Strategic importance to the business sector and society
The project focuses on problems of great significance to the global society. The proposed solutions
will draw on expertise in social sciences and humanities, earth sciences and engineering sciences.
The proposal describes a variety of activities ranging from human resource development and
knowledge dissemination to innovation, commercialization and start-up company creation.

One area of improvement is the interaction with business and industry. It is important that the
research team members work closely with the private sector throughout the various phases of the
project to ensure that the research results have real-world applications, which will benefit society as
a whole.



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As described above, several activities are planned to generate benefits from the research findings.
However, although generally discussed in the application, the proposed activities do not completely
conform to the “triple helix” model, which involves the integration of research, business and societal
activities. The panel recommends that deficiency should be addressed if the project is funded.

Several activities are planned. Considerable impact potential exists. However, the impact will not be
realized unless the triple helix model is adopted.

The project has assembled an excellent team of researchers from a variety of disciplines.
Collaborative activities with business and industry and with international entities (such as research
centers in the US and in Europe) should be incorporated to enhance problem formulation and
implementation.

This project focuses on problems of great significance to global society. The proposed solutions will
draw on expertise in the areas of social sciences and the humanities, earth sciences and engineering
sciences. The project incorporates an impressive array of activities ranging from human resource
development and knowledge dissemination to innovation, commercialization and start-up company
creation. These are some of the strengths of the project as far as its strategic importance to society
is concerned.

Increased interactions with business and industry are important for the project to maximize its
impact potential. The research team should work closely with the private sector and should fully
establish a “triple helix” model in order to ensure that the research results have real-world
applications, which will benefit society as a whole.

Concluding evaluation of the application

The proposed Center for Natural Disaster Science will engage in cross-disciplinary research in the
social sciences and humanities, earth sciences and engineering sciences. Specific tasks include the
communication of threats and risks of natural hazards, collaboration with regard to natural disasters,
information gathering and control to mitigate disasters, protection of critical infrastructure, training
of new researchers, and information dissemination.

This is a strong proposal in an area of great importance. The research team has excellent credentials.
The infrastructure and collaborative aspects are very strong, especially the interactions the Central
American Natural Disaster Mitigation Center, which will serve as an in situ laboratory for the project.
The human resource development and knowledge dissemination plans are excellent.

However, the scientific component of the proposal has certain deficiencies (e.g., reduced focus on
global warming issues and lack of innovative research related to floods and droughts, quality and
timing of water, and water resource modeling) that should be addressed. Also, it is important that
the research team members attempt to interact with international entities such as the research
centers in Colorado (USA), Wallingford (UK) and Delft (The Netherlands).

The proposed project clearly focuses on problems of great significance to global society. It
incorporates an impressive array of activities ranging from human resource development and
knowledge dissemination to innovation, commercialization and start-up company creation. These
are some of the strengths of the project as far as its strategic importance to society is concerned.



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                                                                          Strategic Research Areas
                                                                          Security and Emergency Management
                                                                          Final evaluations, May 2009




However, it is important that the project activities and project plan be redesigned to incorporate
significant private sector participation and to fully establish a “triple helix” model in order to ensure
that the research results have real-world applications, which will benefit society as a whole.

Recommendations and rank

The panel ranked this proposal #1 (out of 7) in the Security and Emergency Management Research
Area. This is a very strong proposal in practically every aspect. The Center for Natural Disaster
Science will definitely increase Sweden’s competitiveness in the area of security and emergency
management. Indeed, it has the potential to become a world-class center.




                                                    12
                                                                         Strategic Research Areas
                                                                         Security and Emergency Management
                                                                         Final evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area: Security and Emergency Management

Registration number: 2009-01014

Title: Umeå CBRNE Research Program

Submitting university: Umeå University




Overall grade: 2

Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality
Umeå University plans to leverage existing CBRNE research centre in the proposed initiative. The
research project has four thrusts: identification of risks and the capability to detect threats;
communication of threats and risks; protection of the critical infrastructure; and efficient
collaboration in a crisis or disaster. A large and diverse research team has been assembled.

The proposal has extensive discussion of principles but the actual proposed activities are not clearly
articulated in the Project Summary or and Research Program. An ambitious research agenda is
outlined, but insufficient details are provided regarding the proposed research focus and scope to be
able to fully assess scientific quality of work proposed. There is clear depth of technical expertise in
CBR fields.

The summary budget data and budget description sections contain ambiguous information regarding
the distribution of the funds requested under the proposal (51 vs 70 MSEK).

Very few details are provided about specific research activities and their prioritization. The potential
certainly exists, but details about how the specific scientific problems will be addressed are not
discussed adequately. This makes it very difficult to assess the potential for development of the
scientific environment.

Very few details are provided about specific research activities and their prioritization.

The research area is important, and Umea University and collaborators have strengths in the area.
Unfortunately, the proposal only provides a list of general topics but does not articulate specific
research agendas, or how the specific objectives identified in proposal will be accomplished. The
potential certainly exists, but a strong case is not made. Internationalization strategies are both
explicitly and implicit integrated in the proposal.

There are extensive amounts of redacted text (pages 36-39) in proposal that cannot be included in
reviewer evaluation due to failure to adhere to required proposal format

There are clear gaps in the overall approach and a dominance of CBR medical research. Potential
research areas are touched upon without adequate elaboration to comment on scientific merit, no
information provided on the specific types of biological and chemical agents to be studied.




                                                   13
                                                                         Strategic Research Areas
                                                                         Security and Emergency Management
                                                                         Final evaluations, May 2009




Strategic importance to the business sector and society
The proposal specifically addresses issues related industry and end-user involvement, innovation and
commercialization. The trouble is that the specific problems to be solved and the scientific methods
to be used are not described in adequate detail – so it is difficult to make an assessment. Appropriate
range and scope of academic/research and national and local public sector participants and
stakeholders, but no non-governmental organization participants identified.

The proposal mentions the dissemination of the research results, innovation and commercialization
and the participation of the various stakeholder groups. The potential certainly exists, but details are
not provided.

A flow structure for interplay between business, education and research is presented. In addition a
number of ongoing and planned collaborations with the private sphere are suggested. Only two
industrial sector participants are identified in proposal, and there are no non-governmental
community organization participants identified in proposal.

Good plans to support innovations, but limited track record of engagement of relevant business
sector and industrial research. However, there are no non-governmental community organization
participants identified in this proposal.

Excellent range of public sector participants at the national and local levels, but insufficient
information provided regarding how public sector stakeholders would be leveraged to support the
design and implementation of proposed program.

Concluding evaluation of the application

The proposal devoted most of its effort to the qualifications of the team and its achievements, and
insufficient detail provided on what specific research activities would be, and how they would be
performed. Potential interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary aspects of the work are not fully
explored and articulated.

Markedly more public sector involvement than industry participation, but an ability to leverage
existing structures, channels and models for commercialization of research products is cited.
Although a good range of public sector stakeholders at the national and local levels are included,
there are no non-governmental community organization participants identified in this proposal.

Recommendations and rank

The panel ranked this proposal #6 (out of 7) in the Security and Emergency Management Research
Area. Not recommended for funding.

    1. failure to adhere to proposal format requirements,

    2. insufficient detail regarding the specific focus and scope of proposed research activities,

    3. ambiguities in summary budget amounts (#4), and budget description narrative and Budget
       Tables.

The funding levels identified in the budget narrative are difficult to reconcile with the requested
funding levels included in summary Budget and Budget Table.



                                                   14
                                                                         Strategic Research Areas
                                                                         Security and Emergency Management
                                                                         Final evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area: Security and Emergency Management

Registration number: 2009-01018

Title: Research on Societal Safety and Security

Submitting university: National Defence College, Försvarshögskolan




Overall grade: 2

Evaluation of the application (approx. 2 pages)
Scientific quality
The proposal presents 5 themes spanning the field of risk and societal security. The themes are well
developed, insightful and interesting. Yet they present no scientific research plan in any form. Five
“work packages” are proposed: prevention, warning and risk assessment; response and leadership;
political symbolism of crisis management; trans-boundary crisis management; and building IT
technology for trans-boundary management. The project has an excellent research team. The
proposed draws scholars from several universities. There is a lack interconnection between the work
packages. The research is mainly in the area of social/political science; however, it includes one IT-
related project. Consequently, the IT project appears to be almost an “add on,” but is, nevertheless,
interesting and important. The topics to be addressed are highly relevant on the national scale. It is,
however, difficult to assess quality in relation to research in Europe or internationally. Very little
technology and natural sciences included. The individual workpackages are clearly structured. WP1,
WP 4 and WP5 indicate previous research as a basis for the proposal, but team members said to have
such research experience. WP5 indicate relationship to the other workpackages but in those no
connection with any other workpackages. The proposal does not focus on the physical (does look at
wireless networking) or biological sciences that normally might be thought to be a strict requirement
for addressing security threats. Instead it outlines an insightful and balanced research program in the
social sciences, covering issues such as public risk perception and communication, leadership, and
the challenges of implementing security measures in a democracy. Primarily will examine case
studies. The team itself is strong, but difficult to understand ways of communication and added
value.

There is solid potential in the richness of the ideas presented in the proposal. However, there is only
slight concrete indication of how the research proposed would develop the scientific environment.
Strong potential exists given the participating institutions and the research personnel. The proposal
addresses perhaps the most pivotal challenge surrounding large-scale security threats of the future.
That is, how do communities, nations and the international community respond to crises in a resilient
way and how do they avoid making serious and damaging policy mistakes (e.g. Iraq War, current
financial crisis). There is no technological solution to this challenge and that is what makes this
stream of research have such high upside potential.

The area as formulated is prioritized, and likely to create conditions for excellence, although this is
not explicitly set out. It is clearly defined in terms of work areas. The researchers have a history of
collaboration and very strong records in the focus areas. In addition to scholarship, the project will



                                                   15
                                                                          Strategic Research Areas
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                                                                          Final evaluations, May 2009




help create excellent academic programs in a discipline of considerable significance to Europe as well
as other countries in the world. The project is, with the exception of the IT workpackage, balanced
across five work areas (risk assessment, leadership, political aspects of crisis management, trans-
boundary crisis management, and IT technology). All in all, the area fits well with the ongoing work of
the lead institution and the other participants

Strategies for increasing Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness are not explicitly set out
but one can surmise that the project would in general increase the competitiveness, and would be
one of a few centres (in the world) in the proposed research area. The proposal recognizes the
transnational nature of future crises and seeks to develop new knowledge (largely managerial insight
and public resilience) and tools (IT) to address these challenges. These objectives will likely be
achieved through the five work areas mentioned.

This is an ambitious proposal in the sense that it potential breaks new ground in research on crisis
management and emergency. Unlike research that seeks to develop advanced detection technology
or discover new medicines, this stream of research must look at case studies, build theories and then
wait for circumstances that allow for validation. Additionally, social systems are very complex.
Understanding them requires a special kind of competence. Such competence is only now emerging
in the Swedish setting.

For this reason it is quite disappointing that the proposal describes the projects goals and objectives
in generic terms. There are no details provided as to what exactly the budget expenditures will
provide in terms of added value (specific activities, numbers of personnel faculty, students, and
administrative staff, etc.) It is thus difficult to evaluate the relative merit of this program to others
without being able to gauge what the proposed budget expenditures will actually provide over and
above generic support to existing programs and faculty/students/staff. The proposal states many
important research questions, but it is not consistently clear how one should understand
methodologies and strategies to answer them.

The proposal is in some areas unspecific or vague as to what models, methods, analysis or
procedures they are going to use. This problem is exemplified already on page 1 of the Executive
Summary, where we read that “We propose a research program that will develop new knowledge
and technology....” There are a lot of “studies” of various topics proposed, but few specifics on
models or methods and nothing on expected results. The ‘models study’ indicated by the proposal is
not borne out in the specific details. The proposal is characterized by an overall lack of specificity.
What is the value-added? No specifics, only generic program support. Ideally the proposal’s portfolio
approach could make Sweden a leader, and there is potential for visionary work internationally in
developing and understanding of resilience and leadership for community response. Thus the project
would be important if it were feasible.

Strategic importance to the business sector and society
The proposal describes to some degree, but not adequately, how the proposed research can become
strategically important. It shows awareness for such processes, but makes few concrete proposals
about how this particular project would become strategically important.

The research is primarily in the area of social/ political science. It will develop knowledge, insights
and policy related to various trans-boundary issues, resulting in ‘enhanced practices and effective



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                                                                          Strategic Research Areas
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                                                                          Final evaluations, May 2009




solutions to new and frightening challenges.’ The proposed research holds potential strategic
importance for the business sector and society – in Sweden, Europe and the world as a whole. But
the committee is in considerable doubt about its ability to fulfill these.

To its merit the proposal contains much discussion of the notion of the ‘triple helix’ theoretical
foundation, but does not clarify how this can be realized through business engagement.

One need only consider US response to September 11, Katrina and the current financial crisis to see
the importance of this stream of research to business sectors and societies. In short, there proposal
contains interesting ideas presented, but not clear how they link to proposed work.

While there seems to be a good understanding of how strategic benefits might be generated the
strategies and plans for achieving such benefits are not described in sufficient detail. By the same
token there is much discussion of “triple helix” theoretical foundation, but not for application
through business sector engagement

The proposal is, to its merit, organized around collaboration, but the concrete shape this will take
also remains unspecified. Besides the five work areas mentioned above the authors provide table
diagrams depicting their plans to interact with industry and public sectors. Plans to train new
scientists.

The committee feels that the potential capacity for generating research benefits is considerable and
yet these activities are not described in sufficient detail. Much discussion of “triple helix” theoretical
foundation, but not for application through actual business sector engagement or participation

The project proposal assembles a strong team of researchers from several institutions. However, the
application hardly discusses specifics of its planned collaborations with industry, government
agencies and NGOs. Such collaborations, even in the field of social/political science, could
significantly advance the research and contribute to the dissemination and application of the
research results. The participation of the business sector is not prioritized, though a variety of other
collaborators are documented.

The proposal reads like a well-studied and well-informed essay. Yet as a research proposal it is very
thin in terms of substance and specific plans and measures. The proposal impresses by the overall
competence of the research team involved and by the insight it would bring to such a project.
However the project itself is hardly described or otherwise documented.
The area of research has clear strategic significance to the business sector and society – in Sweden,
Europe and the world as a whole. However, strategies, plans and supportive activities are not
described in enough detail. Also, hardly any collaboration is planned with industry, government
agencies and NGOs; such collaboration could significantly advance the research and contribute to the
dissemination and application of the research results. No business sector or industrial inputs or
partnerships are identified or proposed, and no outreach components explicitly stated in the
proposal. While the “strategic importance for the business sector....” is discussed at length on pages
14 to 16, there is virtually no specific or substantive contribution to this issue or plans for the
realizing it.
For this reason the committee does not see the project as being likely to produce breakthrough
technologies or tools that will yield large commercial success. Instead, the potential economic and



                                                    17
                                                                         Strategic Research Areas
                                                                         Security and Emergency Management
                                                                         Final evaluations, May 2009




societal benefits are subtle and probably would be best recognized during or after a major disaster.
For this reason, its benefits might be easy to overlook or at least underestimate. However, to see the
potential benefits one might consider the impact of President Obama’s transformational leadership
on the national and international stage. I think this proposal seeks to understand and promote this
kind of leadership with regards to future threats. Moreover, there is almost nothing proposed in the
area of industrialization and innovation.

Concluding evaluation of the application

The proposed science is highly relevant and has the potential to be of good international quality.
Although not explicitly stated, the research addresses all of the five vital areas. It is in addition
unclear how society (public sector) and private sector will participate in formulating research and
taking research results into their respective sectors. The budget is detailed, but a proper evaluation is
difficult since it remains unclear what concrete tasks should be carried through the course of the
project. There is little meaningful collaboration planned with industry, government agencies and
NGOs; such collaboration could significantly advance the research and contribute to the
dissemination and application of the research results.

Recommendations and rank

The panel ranked this proposal #7 (out of 7) in the Security and Emergency Management Research
Area. The potential innovation of the proposal is significant; however there is lack of specificity and a
concrete research plan. This project should not be funded.




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                                                                          Strategic Research Areas
                                                                          Security and Emergency Management
                                                                          Final evaluations, May 2009




Strategic Research Area: Security and Emergency Management

Registration number: 2009-01021

Title: Initiative for Microbiological Preparedness

Submitting university: Karolinska Institutet




Overall grade: 4

Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality
The proposal consists of two research programs directed to the discovery and study of novel viruses
and to the investigation of virulence factors for developing new anti-microbiologicals. The panel feels
that this is cutting-edge research strategies involving advanced technologies (including sensor
technology and nanotechnology). Excellent entities, excellent qualifications, very good exposition of
their knowledge, specific tasks identified. Unique resources, e.g. the BSL-3/4 laboratory.

A significant weakness of the proposal is that it does not completely fit with the security and
emergency management scope formulated in the call, and better fits with the aims and directions of
the call in section “Epidemiology”.

Development of education programs for post-docs and young investigators, recruitment of leading
senior scientists, guest researchers, augmenting core facilities. Will leverage existing facilities,
research thrusts and collaborative relationships. Focus on international collaborations.

Priority is indicated to be high priority by the Karolinska Institutet, e.g. investment in the BSL-3/4
laboratory.

The proposal has the potential to become world leading in the field, and the aims for international
collaboration are listed, but the how and with whom are not discussed.

New developments are envisaged and very likely through long term expertise. Clear focused proposal
leveraging existing capabilities with potential for world-class research. Excellent balance between
funding allocations for personnel, equipment, infrastructure and specific project activities.

Weaknesses:

Some key areas are not documented in a satisfying way (e.g., p. 6, “combining state-of-the-art
techniques” – what techniques, or p. 8, “stimulate interdisciplinary collaborative research” - how or
among who)

The research can mainly impact on preparedness and mitigation of a disease outbreak, and to some
extent on prevention of it, i.e. a rather limited scope of security and crisis management.




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                                                                          Strategic Research Areas
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                                                                          Final evaluations, May 2009




Coordination and Policy section does not elaborate on how the Initiative will be a driving force in
policy-making and uninformed view of coordination principles in the Swedish emergency
management system.

The Initiative is stated to be multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary (Summary in English, p.8, p.18)
although Programs A and B are placed solely within the medical discipline.

Strategic importance to the business sector and society
Focuses on problems of considerable societal significance including naturally occurring diseases and
antagonistic threats. Key approach steps identified in the proposal. Novel developments in analysis,
identification of bio-threats, antimicrobial compounds.

Facilitate translation of basic research to clinical application and implementation in health care, as
well as commercial production and marketing through industrial sector partners. Collection of
epidemiological data. Generation of high quality scientific publications and patentable products.
Clear plans in communication with stakeholders. Strategies and plans seem plausible and
straightforward.

Extensive support and existing roadmap for bringing new research discoveries. Being in the pipeline
will make this task achievable. Close cooperation with academia, health care system, national and
international authorities, as well as industrial partners, e.g. the unique innovation system through KI
Innovation. Considerable impact potential.

Excellent participation of all the major stakeholders. Demonstrated network of experts, a few
successes in moving studies through phases, existing interactions with national and international
authorities, healthcare industry and business sector groups, collaboration with Vironova AB. Well-
tested business plans.

The success potential is high in moving this research to an industrial/business and societal benefit. A
strategically targeted and balanced proposal.

The potential benefits in security and emergency management-related industries or businesses is not
well represented, nor the specific relationships with the national authorities.

Concluding evaluation of the application

The 20% allocation for infrastructure appears appropriate. To stay at the fore-front of research the
Initiative needs large storage capacity and advanced computing capacities, and to upgrade and
renew equipment facilities and education platforms.

It appears that much of the needed infrastructure is in place at the Karolinska Institutet

This is an excellent proposal with highly qualified personnel conducting research in an area of
concern. However, the bulk of the proposal addresses the microbiological aspects of concern with
very little emphasis on the emergency management aspects.

Though the proposal engages highly qualified personnel, the proposal does not address the
multidisciplinary aspects of security and emergency management. Its connection to coordination
and policy is minimal. Less than ½ a page (p. 9) is devoted to this important aspect.



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                                                                     Final evaluations, May 2009




Recommendations and rank

The panel ranked this proposal #3 (out of 7) in the Security and Emergency Management Research
Area. It is the recommendation of the panel that this proposal not be funded. It ranks highly in




                                                21
           Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Transportforskning
                                                                          Strategic Research Area
                                                                          Transport research
                                                                          Final Evaluation, May 2009

Final evaluation of the applications –Transport research


Strategic Research Area: TRANSPORT

Registration number: 2009-01009

Title: Chalmers Sustainable Transport Initiative

Submitting university: Chalmers University of Technology

Overall grade: 4

Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality
         Scientific quality
         Potential for development of the scientific environment
          How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
         scientific excellence
         Strategies to increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the research area



The proposal rests on a strong scientific and industrial track record at both universities. The
research programme needs further articulation but is promising. Sweden has strong
scientific and industrial positions in the areas of the proposal and this centre will strengthen
those positions. Both parts fit with the strategic priorities of the universities and both
universities will contribute significant resources. The proposers have the potential to
connect transportation to logistics and to the production environment, covering the whole
supply chain.

Education in related areas is strong in Göteborg providing a useful link to practice and
building a base for the recruitment of the needed doctorands. The bottom-up approach to
extending the faculty, based partly on existing doctorands, is a plausible basis for the
intended growth. Management of the project is clearly articulated and it supports the
further development of a transport focus in Gothenburg. The detail of the intended research
and its value added need further articulation.

The two proposed research foci do not comprehensively cover the area of sustainability in
transport. A change of title would be helpful.

Overall the scientific quality of this proposal is ‘Excellent’ (4)


                                                   1
                                                                         Strategic Research Area
                                                                         Transport research
                                                                         Final Evaluation, May 2009




Strategic importance to the business sector and society
        Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
        business sector and society
        Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area
        Capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research
        area
        Engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other
        community organisations in problem formulation and implementation.




The proposal builds upon strong industrial relationships, though other societal relations
should be strengthened. There is strong institutional support at both Chalmers and
Göteborg, good engagement with the Göteborg region,. The proposers are strongly involved
with MIT and other institutions in the USA as well as with ETH and are heavily engaged in the
Framework Programme. The research support structures within the universities and
between the universities and industry have been well thought out. Industrial commitment to
the proposal is strong and clear.

Overall the relevance of this proposal is ‘Excellent’ (4)



Concluding evaluation of the application



Overall this is an ‘Excellent’ (4) proposal with strong institutional commitment and a clear
management structure.

However, it would benefit from

        Further articulation of the synergies between the two main areas proposed

        On the logistics side, there is scope to increase the publication rate, to expand the
        scope of the work beyond the industrial to include other societal issues and to make
        use of industrial inputs as sources of inspiration for more fundamental research

        More quantified targets and the production of results against these targets




                                                  2
                                                                          Strategic Research Area
                                                                          Transport research
                                                                          Final Evaluation, May 2009


Strategic Research Area: TRANSPORT

Registration number: 2009-01020

Title: TRENoP, Transport Research Environment with Novel Perspectives

Submitting university: Royal Institute of Technology, KTH

Overall grade: 4

Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality
         Scientific quality
         Potential for development of the scientific environment
          How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
         scientific excellence
         Strategies to increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the research area



The transportation research of a number of KTH groups is recognized as world class. The
systemic perspective and strong conceptual framework of the proposed research show great
promise. Implementation paths are reasonably clear, focusing on two centres.
Transportation research is being consolidated at KTH to become one of five major foci and
this will be reinforced by the creation of a new tenure track. The links with Linköping, VTI,
MIT and the creation of a policy think tank are important aspects of the proposal.

We miss specificity about activities that would allow understanding of value for money. The
added value of the funding to the existing research needs further articulation as new people
are recruited. The large number of high-quality hires required in a short period of time is
unrealistic.

Overall the quality of this proposal is ‘Excellent’ (4)




Strategic importance to the business sector and society
        Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
        business sector and society
        Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area
        Capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research
        area
                                                   3
                                                                        Strategic Research Area
                                                                        Transport research
                                                                        Final Evaluation, May 2009

       Engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other
       community organisations in problem formulation and implementation.




The proposal addresses a list of national and international transport policy needs, so the
potential contribution is high. KTH offers a wide range of dissemination channels as well as
mechanisms for technology transfer. The project will strengthen the links with industry.
Here, Linköping will be especially useful in rounding out the industrial collaboration with
logistics companies. The policy relevance is more impressive than the industrial linkage,
which could usefully be strengthened further.

Overall the relevance of this proposal is ‘Excellent’ (4)



Concluding evaluation of the application



Overall this is an ‘Excellent’ (4) proposal, which – provided the intended recruitment can
effectively be carried out – has potential to establish a strong international research
platform.

However, the following conditions should be imposed

       The LiU and VTI links are crucial to the performance of the project overall and
       substantial links must be managed and maintained through the life of the project.

       The partners should establish a unified management structure that is accountable for
       the budget, setting quantified targets and the production of results against these
       targets

       All partners including KTH should demonstrate their commitment to the project by
       providing a measure of co-funding. The resulting budget should be ring-fenced for
       TRENoP

       The proposal is strong on technology and implementation but weaker in the areas of
       evaluation, greener transport and systems understanding. We would see these as
       priority areas for recruitment

       The project must develop more specific plans for research education.




                                                 4
                                                                          Strategic Research Area
                                                                          Transport research
                                                                          Final Evaluation, May 2009




Strategic Research Area: TRANSPORT

Registration number: 2009-00967

Title: FLOWERS - Future Logistics and Transport towards Sustainable Urban Regions

Submitting university: Lund University

Overall grade: 3

Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality
         Scientific quality
         Potential for development of the scientific environment
          How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
         scientific excellence
         Strategies to increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the research area



The proposal draws on the existing strengths and international track record of some
researchers at Lund University. Diverse and extremely relevant research topics are included,
but integration and synergies between them are not clear. The proposal lacks ambition and
the topics lack focus. There is insufficient detail on proposed outcomes and measurable
targets. The proposal is vague with regard to the structure and management of the research.

The scientific quality is “very good” (3).




Strategic importance to the business sector and society
        Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
        business sector and society
        Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area
        Capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research
        area
        Engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other
        community organisations in problem formulation and implementation.




                                                   5
                                                                   Strategic Research Area
                                                                   Transport research
                                                                   Final Evaluation, May 2009



The proposal received an impressive number of industrial support letters and addresses a
large number of topics of both private and public interest. There is a clear commitment from
the University to support the proposal. There is a clear link to the international research
community and strong involvement in EU projects. However, the implementation plans are
vague and not well developed.



The relevance of the proposal is “very good” (3)



Concluding evaluation of the application



Given Lund’s academic strengths and the high societal relevance of much of its work, this
was a disappointing proposal. Although it has strengths, the lack of topical and managerial
coherence precluded a higher overall score.

The overall core is ‘Very Good’ (3)




                                              6
                                                                          Strategic Research Area
                                                                          Transport research
                                                                          Final Evaluation, May 2009

Strategic Research Area: TRANSPORT

Registration number: 2009-01005

Title: Centre for Research on Autonomous Vehicles and Intelligent Systems for Ground
Transportation (CRAVIS-GT)

Submitting university: Örebro University

Overall grade: 3

Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality
         Scientific quality
         Potential for development of the scientific environment
          How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
         scientific excellence
         Strategies to increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the research area



This is an interesting research proposal with long-term scientific and technological potential
that communicates a sense of enthusiasm.

This proposal includes some promising researchers on specific transport topics but the team
does not have a comprehensive transport track record in relation to broader transport
systems issues. It needs to take into account the complexities of connecting techniques from
robotics and control into real-life, especially highway, environments.

The scientific quality of this proposal is ‘Very Good’ (3)



Strategic importance to the business sector and society
        Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
        business sector and society
        Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area
        Capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research
        area
        Engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other
        community organisations in problem formulation and implementation.




The proposal addresses scientific and technological problems of great long-term importance
to industry and society. The proposed work is insufficiently embedded in a larger industrial
                                                   7
                                                                    Strategic Research Area
                                                                    Transport research
                                                                    Final Evaluation, May 2009

context – it is overly focused on devices rather than industrial and societal systems. While in
their wider activities the applicants have a good deal of industrial contact, more direct
cooperation with industry would have been useful in this proposal. However, in a context
such as the Framework Programme or in cooperation with groups that work with
transportation systems the proposers could make a substantial contribution.

The relevance of this proposal is ‘Very Good’ (3)



Concluding evaluation of the application



Overall this proposal is ‘Very Good’ (3)

The project is technologically ambitious and involves considerable risk.

This proposal would have done better in a smaller and more focused competition. The
proposers should look for such a context and increase their efforts at cooperating with
larger, established research groups in transport systems.




                                               8
                                                                          Strategic Research Area
                                                                          Transport research
                                                                          Final Evaluation, May 2009

Strategic Research Area: TRANSPORT

Registration number: 2009-01017

Title: Demand-Driven Innovative Logistical and Freight Transport Systems

Submitting university: Jönköping University

Overall grade: 2

Evaluation of the application
Scientific quality
         Scientific quality
         Potential for development of the scientific environment
          How the area is prioritised among the applicant’s activities to generate the conditions for
         scientific excellence
         Strategies to increase Sweden’s international scientific competitiveness in the research area



This proposal comes from a team with limited history of working together and with a modest
track record. The proposal itself is too general, despite the fact that its scope is focused. The
proposed topics were neither well developed nor contextualized. The transport theme is not
central to these universities and the transport relevance of the proposal is not completely
clear. Competitive benefits are likely to be regionally rather than nationally focused, though
the proposal has the virtue of being explicit about regional dissemination. The aim of
starting a graduate school would have benefits and the strategy for out-going as well as in-
coming international mobility was positive.

The scientific quality of this proposal is ‘Good’ (2)



Strategic importance to the business sector and society
        Why, and in what way, the research area is, or can become, strategically important for the
        business sector and society
        Strategies and plans to generate benefits from research findings in the research area
        Capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in the research
        area
        Engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other
        community organisations in problem formulation and implementation.




The project has potential regional relevance, given its focus on knowledge management and
                                                   9
                                                                    Strategic Research Area
                                                                    Transport research
                                                                    Final Evaluation, May 2009

regional SMEs. The intended workshops provide potential dissemination routes to
practitioners, but the lack of substantial cooperation with industry means there is limited
scope for industrial input to the research or its governance.

The relevance of this proposal is ‘Good’ (2)



Concluding evaluation of the application



This proposal is ‘Good’ but not competitive at an international level.

We note that the application did not observe the application guidelines in that it was over-
length. This was not a key factor in reaching the panel’s judgment.




                                               10
 
         Slutgiltiga yttranden

Expertpanelen inom Vårdforskning
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1030         Eriksson, Per Filip Billy                       Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Lunds universitet



                   Projekttitel
                   LUCARE - Lunds Universitets Centrum för innovationer inom hälsa & vård

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                         Vårdforskning (VR-St-Vår), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Interesting and relevant scientific perspective described as a holistic life span approach from several scientific angles. Thus
this is a very broad and ambitious program, covering almost all aspects of health care from neonatal health to palliative care
in old age and covering aspects from prevention, interventions, implementation and innovation. Many of the projects are
relevant and seem to be of good scientic quality.
Due to this broadness it is hard to catch the core of the program.The goal is generally stated and said to be to contribute to
effectiveness of Swedish health care. But no theoretical framework is clearly outlined in the projects or in the various parts of
the program, however, many concepts are briefly mentioned. It is said that several theoretical and methodological
frameworks will be developed, but they give only vague indication (if any) of how they will go ahead with this and in which
directions they will go in their theoretical frameworks.
Three missions, are outlined, probably the first stated - a holistic mission - could have been overriding the two next.

The perspective is so broad that it is hard to catch the program as such. All phases of life are to be studied and several
different projects are included. It is questionable if such a broad program may be fruitful.
Data and designs are presented in a very general way, but with potentials for high quality studies. Other aspects are unclear
like the idea of bringing landscape planning into health projects, which is certainly interesting and an innovative idea, but how
to bridge this with the other projects is not elaborated.
A critic of this program is the lack of focus, even though they claim that the ICF- classification serves as the overarching
conceptual framework.
The application seems more to be a number of projects and researchers at Lund University and one at SLU, have been
gathered in order to form a new center. It will need much work to have all this put together as a program with an overriding
umbrella. However, Lund University has experience in building center, so given that they find a strong leader with broad
perspective, it may work.
As the application consists of so many different projects, which are outlined by so few words, it is hard to evaluate the
scientific value of the program. Some of the projects will certainly be in the international front, and other most likely not. But
as a scientific program in caring science it is too broad and without focus.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
If the outlined research is successfully carried out, the results may certainly be of some benefit to the health care and to the
society. A close collaboration and involvement of practitioners in different sectors of health care add to this potentials - as
well as the involvement of training programmes at different levels for researchers, included PhD-students, and practitioners.

The application describes a well developed communication strategy towards the academic community as well as to the
general public. The collaborating partners include public health authorities as well as institutes and companies of importance
in the field.
But as strategies they are broad and not very innovative. They do not present a distinct strategy as to how the results should
be integrated in to the society, and even less to the business sector.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
This is a huge programme. The total budget for the programme is made up of contribution from many sources. The total
amount in the application to the Research council is 168 mill SEK, covering almost 1/3 of the total cost.
The programme seems to be directly in line with the Lund university’s general strategy and research priorities. There is good
collaboration between the university´s different departments (‘using the complete potential of the university’). The
contribution from SLU is mentioned, but not well integrated in the program. A manager will be appointed and a project office
organized. The team leader and the researchers have a good international reputation.
But given its broad perspective, one wonders what is the connection, i.e., the bond between the different research areas and
how they will work together as a programme.
To build bridges between so different approaches / perspectives will need a very wise manager and a very attractive
infrastructure. It is not clear how they will manage this.
It is not clear to which degree the different researcher will allocate their time to this new programme.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This is a very ambitious program covering almost all aspects of health care, aiming at effectiveness in the health service.
Lund University has a good record in creating research center, and the head of the program has a good scientific reputation.
It is linked both with the community / county council and the industry. The program will promote doctoral and post-docs
students and competences among practitioners.
The weakness of the program is the broadness and a lack of focus and a theoretical frame. It gives the impression of many
researchers and projects having come together to make up this as a program, rather than a focused program in caring
science.




                                                                        Samlade yttrande VR-St-Vår, 2009-1030 Eriksson, Per Filip Billy
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1031         Sandman, Lars                                  Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Högskolan i Borås
                   Institutionen för Vårdvetenskap


                   Projekttitel
                   CIRCLE - Centrum för integrerande forskning kring vårdande, ledarskap och etik

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Hum, Sam och utbildningsvetenskap              Vårdforskning (VR-St-Vår), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This programme aims at the integration of results from caring sciences in the health care organization and systematic
implementation of ethical thinking and the handling thereof. A patient centred approach is advocated. Not only does the
programme seek to implement individual interventions, it also looks at broader organisational impact. This is relevant as often
good interventions from the caring sciences are not implemented. As existential issues are often neglected in the clinical
practice the programme may add to science.
Strong points include the following:
- The programme has chosen a research area that takes the patient perspective and represents an important niche. It may
thus have potential for the future.
- The group has a multidisciplinary character.
- The research is in line with the international research trends
- The group has a record of several good publications.
- Good collaboration exists with the Stockholm Centre for health care ethics.
- There is good involvement in educational wards and collaboration with the local county.
Some weak points include:
-The research proposed is applied rather than contributing to the fundamental basis of ethical thinking.
- In line with this, the question of whether the patient perspective should always be taken, is not addressed.
- This is part of the fact that the elaboration of the theoretical background is limited.
- The descriptions of the five programmes are not always clear. Thus, the direction of the programme is very broad and not
always quite precise. The standard in comparison to the academic standard limited.
- The methods pursued have not been described adequately.
- Some contributors have limited track records.
- No clinicians or patient organisations are included in the programme planning.
- International collaborative networks are missing.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
Strategic importance
Addressing the patient as an autonomous person is nowadays given great weight. Such approach not only leads to ethically
improved behaviour but also to improved health and adherence. Yet, dilemmas exist as patients may also be vulnerable and
the beneficence may ask for supporting vulnerability rather than supporting independence. Such principles as well as the
dilemmas are generally accepted but little impact is seen in clinical practice. The current proposal aims at developing
interventions of systematic implementation of caring sciences and handling of ethical issues in patient care.

Even though the content of the programme is generally judged as being important, the strategic importance is rated more
critically. There are several reasons for this:
- The implementation of the results of the programme is not well described and therefore still quite unsure.
- The business collaboration is not yet well established.
- There is a lack of clarity of how the programme will translate into society, into the business area and into commercial
success.
- There is not much focus on how the community will be engaged.
- It is surprising that it remains unclear how patients or patient organisations are involved in building the programme as this
seems particularly relevant here.
3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The implementation of caring interventions and ethical thinking in clinical practice certainly deserves attention. Yet, a number
of important questions remain. One wonders how implementation of results will be obtained and likely to be succesful. It is
unsure what methods are going to be used. There is a lack of clarity of how connections to the business sector will be
reached and how the community will be engaged.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Vår, 2009-1031 Sandman, Lars
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1086         Höglund, Erik                                Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Luleå Tekniska Universitet
                   Institutionen för Tillämpad fysik, maskin och materialteknik
                   Maskinelement

                   Projekttitel
                   eHälsa för vård och rehabilitering i hemmet

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Vårdforskning (VR-St-Vår), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The goal of this research programme is to radically increase the capability to provide healthcare and rehabilitation at a
distance. Needs for eHealth solutions will be identified, new technologies will be researched and validated, and the impact on
daily life will be evaluated. The key factor of the project is communication between people.
Scientific Quality:
This programme is clearly outlined and seems manageable with a reasonable size group of researchers. The goal of the
project is outlined and coherent, but not expressed in a very detailed format. The expected outcomes of the project are not as
clearly outlined.
The programme fits into the aim of the call. It also takes into consideration the national strategy for ICT in care. The scientific
strength of this programme is in the development of new technology within information technology, development of diagnostic
tools and user friendly eHealth-systems. The research strategy is perhaps still in a developing stage since it lacks detail.

There is little background about international research in the field and even though a comparison to the level of international
research is done it is not clear how this programme falls within the international programmes. Also the application lacks a
critical review of risks of IT for the elderly. The human and ethical perspectives are mentioned in the application, but a more
concrete outline of how they are taken into consideration would have helped.
The research methods within the programme vary and both qualitative and quantitative methods are going to be used. The
methods are not described very clearly.
Potential for development of the scientific environment:
The team is multidisciplinary and even though young (worked together since 2000) it has very good track of outcomes. The
research team lacks knowledge in social sciences. Taken into consideration the group´ s goal, they would benefit from this
kind of knowledge.
The group seems to be still in a development phase since the main emphasis is to recruit more senior researchers into the
programme.
There is a plan for educating young researchers starting in 2010. The programme itself offers only a very limited amount of
PhD-student positions. It is not clear how the programme is planning the post doctoral education and support, other than
offering of some post doctoral research positions.
How is the area prioritized among the applicants´ activities to generate the conditions for scientific excellence?:
This area of research is a priority area of the Luleå University of Technology. It is also the main area of research for the
group. There are good possibilities for the group to generate conditions for scientific excellence. Since the group is young, the
main achievements of the group still lie ahead.
Strategies to increase Sweden’s international competitiveness:
This study area has international potential and also takes into account that Swedish Government has formulated a national
strategy for using ICT in care, and the European Commission and more than 20 States invest heavily in the area of Ambient
Assisted Living. On the other hand international competition is very high and the group has to have excellent results in order
to be able to compete. The application lacks information on the comparison of the group´ s potential among other similar
international groups.
The group has a gender balanced constellation within the health science researchers but a similar balance is not yet within
the computer science and electrical engineering. The group has outlined this and will take it into consideration in recruitment.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The area of research is strategically important for business. The competition in this area is high and the group has to have
excellent infrastructure in order to succeed. This group succeeds to show the benefits for the business and industry, but on
the other hand the application fails to show what type of collaboration is already established with the business partners and
industry.
The benefits for the society are not clearly outlined although it is clear that there is a need for innovations in this area. There
is international potential in this program. It is not clear how the international collaboration is established.

Benefits from the research findings:
The innovations are tested in real settings which is clearly a benefit. The group and the University have already put a lot of
effort on this. Several laboratories are involved in the programme and the group has a long track of innovations.

The dissemination plan is only superficial and the programme would benefit from a more detailed plan.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The infrastructure supports the research program but it is not clear if it is sufficient.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This programme has international and national relevance. The group is young but with a good record of innovations. The
strategic plan is focused but it seems to be still in a developmental stage since it lacks detailed information.

This group succeeds to show the benefits for the business and industry, but fails to show what type of collaboration is
already established with the business partners and industry. The benefits for the society are not clearly outlined. There is
international potential in this program. It is not clear how the international collaboration is established.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Vår, 2009-1086 Höglund, Erik
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1088         Fredman, Pam                                   Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Göteborgs universitet
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   Personcentrerad vård vid långvariga sjukdomstillstånd genom etablering av ett forskningscentrum

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Vårdforskning (VR-St-Vår), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
This is an ambitious research programme. The overall vision is clearly formulated and the programme as such reads as a
comprehensive, well thought through line of research activities. The focus of the research is on patients with long term illness.
The programme´s main interest is in patient centred care (PCC): it addresses the involvement of the patient in the
organisation of health care and in their recovery process. The challenge to meet the needs of costly and complex care in
persons with long term illness has an excellent potential. Central to the approach is that the person rather than the disease is
the focus of research. The three distinct areas mentioned: symptom experience, health care organisation and information
systems. These are well linked to the overall aim of the programme.
Strong points are:
- These are interesting projects that will add to scientific knowledge internationally.
- The symptom perception line is well formulated. The deliverables are clear and well in line with the programme´s mission.
The organisational plan has a clear aim likewise. Central is the use of a collaborative approach to the relation of patient and
health care provider. Clear outcome criteria and deliverables have been defined.
- There is a clear and relevant selection of diseases that will be worked at.
- The research methods have been addressed.
- The researchers have a strong tradition in qualitative methods and now are building expertise in quantitative ones. Also, the
programme entails a system for the support as well as the development of the methodological questions raised in the
programme.
- The group has an interdisciplinary character.
- The group has built good national and international collaboration.
- Good experience has been built in the area of performing large studies.
- The university has put priority into this area of research and already invested in the field.
- The collaboration between Gothenburg university, the hospital, primary health care as well as the county council and the
business sector seems well developed.
Some points that could be taken into acount are:
- The theoretical background could be elaborated and co-morbidity, being important in this patient population, might be
addressed.
- Fields such as organisational analysis, health economics and public health might be represented more clearly in the
programme.
- There is collaboration with Lund University. Yet, having one´s own graduate programme would be stimulating.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
Person centred care represents the shift form disease oriented care to care that is directed at the person. Given the ageing
population and the increase of persons with long term illnesses this area of research is of great importance in health care and
the society at large. The programme has excellent potentials for benefiting health care and society.

Strong points are:
- The programme is directly linked to obstacles as defined in the Swedish society and health care system.
- The development of the patient information research centre is promising.
- Integration in the region is strived for and supported by the university organisation in terms of utilisation, commercialisation
and contracting.
- Also, there are links with regional hospitals.
- The importance to business and industrial sector are well outlined.
3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              5
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This programme is very important and has an excellent potential for developing caring science. It addresses a subject that is
of increasing significance for Swedish society as well as for the international community. The clear focus on the patient
perspective is promising. Also, the proposal is written very clearly in terms of the content as well as the management
structure. The cv´s of the programme leaders are very good and they represent a nice breadth of expertise. Yet, the panel
suggests that collaboration with experts from the fields of organisation, health economics and public health could be further
developed.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Vår, 2009-1088 Fredman, Pam
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1089         Wallberg-Henriksson, Harriet                   Strategiska forskningsområden




                   Projekttitel
                   Vårdforskningscentrum: - vetenskap för god hälsa

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Vårdforskning (VR-St-Vår), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The vision of the program is to ensure that provision of health care services is based upon high quality care research. A
center is being formed as a collaboration between Umeå University and Karolinska Institutet (KI) I in order to obtain this.
Focus will be on translation research, which is a world wide research effort to bridge the gap between basic research, applied
research and practice. Five areas are outlined, covering relevant topics: 1) women and child health, 2) people living with
long-term disability, 3) older adults living with activity limitations and participation restrictions, 4) cancer nursing and palliative
care, and 5) health systems, policy, management, informatics and economics.

The 5 core areas are of crucial importance for care sciences and for the application of research into clinical practice. The five
focus areas are already well developed within the two universities involved by a variety of programmes and projects and
involving a large number of qualified researchers. The size and scientific quality of the research environment and research
team is very high. Over 2,000 researchers are active at KI, approximately 400 of who are engaged in care sciences. Umeå
University has approximately 300 full professors and 50 researchers in care sciences. The current quality of the care
sciences is described using recent bibliometric analyses, figures that show the competiveness of the research in acquiring
external research funding, and lists of significant achievements. Again, this shows research of a high international quality in
both institutions. To ensure future research in the care sciences, researchers will be actively recruited internationally. This is
very important and will help researchers to initiate, for example, cross-cultural projects as well as internationally funded
research programmes. Positions for senior researchers will also retain successful scholars, for the experience they bring to
the science and mentorship they offer to younger colleagues.
This is an ambitious research programme. The overall vision is highly relevant, but could be even more clearly formulated.
The vision is described in terms of the organisation and personnel rather than the research questions that are to be
addressed. A crucial point in the application is the transfer from knowledge to practice. The health system research line
seems to have a central role and a clear international perspective. There are interesting elements regarding management of
clinical services, which will have to be a central part of the practice applications of the evidence resulting from projects in the
other areas of the centre. The potential synergy between the broad range of projects is very attractive, but could have been
elaborated more.
The scientific qualifications of the participants are generally very good. An extensive list of national and international
collaboration is given. The application demonstrates a high degree of international quality (publications, funding etc) and a
strong commitment by the universities to support these areas of research. Both KI and University of Umeå have a sustained
track record of international networks and this has been beneficial in research collaborations in the past. The potential for
further development in order to strengthen Sweden´s international scientific competiveness is furthermore promoted by plans
for expanding the international networks, by the establishment of a comprehensive care science centre and by the ongoing
activities related to the national post graduate school in health care sciences hosted by KI. Also the launching of an
international postdoctoral programme will support these developments.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The application demonstrates ambitious plans for generating benefits for health care, business companies and society
including shared positions, service and product development plans and collaboration with health care providers. Networks of
experts and organisations are facilitating these developments for both universities involved. The program will without doubt
generate knew knowledge. The links with the clinical settings and county councils will assist in the implementation of research
into practice. The centre will also involve students and educational programmes on all levels that will be exposed to new
knowledge. It is stated that the centre’s collaboration with industry will be facilitated through Karolinska Institutet’s and Umeå
University’s established innovation systems, which support the commercialization of scientific discoveries. The second step
of translation calls for research on implementation, an area in which Karolinska Institutet and Umeå University care sciences
have a documented track record. These innovations will be assessed and, in specific cases, tested by Karolinska Institutet
Health Management AB (KIHMAB), a part of the regional innovation system. It is asserted that KIHMAB will support
researchers in concept formulation and design, and assess the potential for commercialisation of the innovations. Karolinska
Institutet promotes collaboration with industry through its innovation system, known as KI Innovation - a network of experts,
organisations and services that discover and cultivate ideas to a fully developed product. The proposers maintain that in the
life of the proposed programme they will achieve the following outcomes: 1) Collaboration with healthcare providers in the
county councils for knowledge diffusion and uptake and strengthened scientific and professional skills of health workers. 2)
Research funding from national and international sources. 3) Creation of 6-10 advanced-level courses at masters and
doctoral levels related to this programme 4) Doubling of senior researchers and full professors and at least five international
researchers in care sciences 5) Creation of twenty new postdoctoral positions and a new international postdoctoral
programme launched. The proposal indicates that research into the use of technology as a support for elderly people in their
homes has raised interest among companies selling home healthcare devices and supplies, and commercial agreements are
on the horizon.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The applying universities seem to have excellent infrastructure for research. Existing information systems and laboratories
are essential for the plans. However, the application states that technologies and technical staff needs upgrading - but there
is no specific indication of the way funding will be secured for this besides the 5 million SEK which according to the budget
will be set aside for infrastructure over the life of the programme. It is therefore assumed that these costs will be covered
through other financial sources.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                                     5
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The Karolinska Institutet and Umeå University aim to create a centre for world-leading research and research training in care
sciences - A Comprehensive Care Sciences Centre. This Centre will contribute to the improvement of healthcare services by
integrating research and practice. Five very important research and practice areas are outlined, covering relevant and
potentially rewarding topics within care sciences. These areas are quite broad and the overall vision and the synergy
between the different elements is highly relevant, but could have been elaborated even more. The scientific quality of the
research environment and research team is very high. The plans involve important external agents and have a potential for
further strengthening the practical applications of the research results. The close links between research and educational
programs on all levels are also supporting the transfer of research into competencies and health care practices whereas the
potentials for transferability to commercial activities are still less elaborated.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Vår, 2009-1089 Wallberg-Henriksson, Harriet
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1090         Bladh, Agneta                                  Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Högskolan i Kalmar



                   Projekttitel
                   eHälso-, medicinskt och farmakoinformatiskt forskningsinstitut (EMPIRI)

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Vårdforskning (VR-St-Vår), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
IT as a tool to improve quality of medication and utilisation of drugs is an interesting and valuable research area of relevance
nationally as well as internationally. The plans include important themes like patterns of medication, review tools, antibiotics
resistance, personalized medicine, web-based support for professionals and patients and other actors, and medicine
utilization in relation to alternative interventions, families and migration. These are all important and mutually interrelated
aspects of pharmacoinformatics which are included in the program in the framework of caring sciences, computer sciences
and natural sciences - this based on a multidisciplinary collaboration. Thus, it may be said to be narrow (concentrating only
on drugs), but within that it covers several highly relevant aspects. The research does also take migration and cultural issues
directly into account - and relates to a few specific international/English language educational master programs
It is stated in the application that the proposed consortium has a high standing in their respective fields. This is supported by
the attached CVs. In particular the partners that make up EMPIRI have a fine pedigree over many years leading to scientific
and technical expertise in the field of Health Informatics.
The proposed programme is divided into 10 work packages, each headed by a coordinator who is also a member of the
senior steering committee of EMPIRI. The programme has been approved by the regional ethical board. Importantly, the
researchers have access to the national drug register, for all dispensed medications in Sweden. Considering the importance
of the work packages there is not much information on each of them. It is therefore difficult to judge the quality of what is
proposed with only a brief overview of each WP.
The focus on Personalised Medicine is an important component for this proposal and more details in the application on that
particular WP could strengthen the proposal. There is a hesitancy in many of the phrases used in the proposal. For example,
the application states: “If possible, a multi-setting randomized control study on 2-3 patient groups will be performed”.

The institutions involved are still quite young in the field. Also, HiK is in the process of being merged with University of Växjö
(VxU) to form the Linneaus University (LnU) on January 1, 2010. Furthermore, the application states that in 2009 a new
organisation for statistical analysis is being created. In addition, in September 2009, an international master’s programme in
caring science and social work will start at the School for Health Sciences. From these statements it would seem that much of
the support and infrastructure underpinning this proposed programme appears to be in a developing mode. Interdisciplinary
work is stimulated and the cross-fertilization between research areas such as caring sciences, computer science and natural
sciences through EMPIRI shows potential for development of the scientific environment. However, only limited medical
expertise is presently directly involved.
It is laudable that service users will be involved in some of the WPs such as the ACTION project and funding has been
secured from the VINNVÅRD initiative for ACTION. For the larger programme the applicants aim to recruit a number of
PhD-students from the involved disciplines as well as provide opportunities for early career researchers. They also plan to
offer several post-doc positions. The proposed programme of research appears to be well prioritised for HiK, and EMPIRI will
be headed by the current director of the eHealth Institute, who will be accountable to the Faculty Board and the
Vice-Chancellor. It is stated that the HiK/LnU will provide substantial support to the EMPIRI platform with financial support for
the senior researchers involved in EMPIRI. There also appears to be collaboration with other universities and the surrounding
community. There is participation in some European grants
The area is obviously given priority by the institutions, however, this does not yet involve strong managerial and financial
support, nor effective organisational relations to important external agencies in the field (nationally and internationally). The
strategies for achieving international scientific competitiveness are promising but still not very developed.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The research themes have strong potential importance for health care, professionals, patients and society as well as for
business agencies within the IT and pharmaceutical field. This could imply better use of drugs, less side-effects and
overconsumption and new innovations in the development of IT solutions for information and communication. The approach
also looks at the interaction of medicines and the overuse of antibiotics. These have high costs to society as well as a
negative impact on individual users.
Because of its potential links to IT and pharmaceutical industries EMPIRI should provide great opportunities for
university-business collaborations. It is stated that it will be advantageous for the pharmaceutical industry in planning for
development and utilization of new medicines, as well as for the medtech industry in developing new and improved
IT-systems/solutions, and for e-service companies in providing new and innovative services. The ACTION project in
particular could create new opportunities for business in the health and social care sector for older people. The eHealth
Institute’s organisation of eHealth days, where researchers meet with politicians, managers, and industry representatives
demonstrates good practice and a potential tried and tested route for dissemination. There is also collaboration with the
municipality and region and HiK is a member of Sydsam – a network for development in South Sweden. It is proposed that
EMPIRI will generate connection to several national and international networks in universities in the UK, Australia, USA,
Greece, Portugal, Denmark and Norway. In addition, the applicants expect the collaboration to result in new research for
EMPIRI and further interdisciplinary growth. Considering this proposed programme’s potential for proof of concept, incubator
units and spin out companies, a stronger case could have been made for the links with business and industry. There are
descriptions of a number of informal collaborative activities and general networking and partnerships in the form of research
collaborations, seminars and courses for staff within primary care, home-based care etc. But specific plans are still not very
elaborated for new formal structures involving stakeholders like health authorities, business companies, NGO´s etc. which
could serve as a joint, common framework for disseminating results and support the creation of benefits for society.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The infrastructure is satisfactory according to the applicants, but some investments in diagnostic tools are required and
included in the application. The application states that there will be investment in sixteen PhD students and ten post docs.
Also, WP4 requires investments in a microarray platform (Affymetrix) which will be built up in collaboration between the
Diagnostic Centre at the Hospital in Kalmar and HiK. The estimated cost for this investment is approximately 1500 kSEK.
This sum is included in the budget. However, the merging of the two universities creates some uncertainty as to the general
available infrastructure.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                                   3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The themes of the application are important scientific areas in care sciences with high relevance for health policy and health
care in Sweden and internationally. The availability of register data regarding prescribed drugs in Sweden creates interesting
and rather unique possibilities for research. The applicants and partners involved have relevant scientific and technical
expertise in the field of Health Informatics and aim at a broader multidisciplinary collaboration. However, not all disciplines
required are similarly developed and internal infrastructure in the newly merged institutions is developing, but still not very
strong in supporting a very large, internationally competitive, multidisciplinary initiative. Formalised frameworks with health
authorities, health care institutions, other research institutions and commercial industry for distributing results and creating
benefits for society are available, but need to be more developed. Links to educational programmes are also under
development, but not yet very strong.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Vår, 2009-1090 Bladh, Agneta
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1091         Millnert, Mille                                Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Linköpings universitet
                   Rektor


                   Projekttitel
                   LIFE-CARE: lärande, innovation och styrning för excellens i vården

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Vårdforskning (VR-St-Vår), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The goal of LIFE CARE is to undertake excellent research on four platforms: patient and family centered care, multicultural
encounters in health care, health care actors and virtual health care. Each of these platforms has cross cutting themes of
management, learning and innovation. The research projects will focus specifically on cardio-vascular diseases, pain and
muscular-skeletal disorders and the aging population. For Platform 1, ten possible studies are identified, eight for Platform 2,
twelve for Platform 3 and fourteen for Platform 4.
Some of these are simply identified as suggested studies and so there is a little uncertainty as to what will actually be done
under each platform. Many of these studies would represent a major undertaking and can they be undertaken within the
confines of this five year initiative. In the multicultural platform some interesting projects and research questions are outlined
but it is impossible to evaluate the scientific quality as only key words are presented. While the CV’s of the investigators
appear strong, it is difficult to judge the quality and rigour of these studies by simply being provided with possible titles for
projects. It is proposed that LIFE-CARE will initiate, plan, support and coordinate research around the four platforms. Yet,
information about the methodological support to enhance the quality of the research is missing and no quality control
mechanism is described. There is also a lack of clarity on how the cross-cutting “Learning, Innovation and Management” will
work.
LIFE-CARE will recruit new researchers nationally and internationally emphasising young and promising investigators as well
as doctoral students. This will focus on three levels: doctoral students, post docs, and junior-senior researchers with different
disciplinary backgrounds. Combining epidemiological tools and data with qualitative approaches, intervention studies and
technological innovations has the potential to reach scientific excellence. Nonetheless, the proposal would have benefitted
from being more focused and a clearer presentation of what is the essence of the research programme.

There appears to be good general support within LiU for LIFE-CARE. All faculty researchers will have contracts with
LIFE-CARE stipulating their commitments in terms of engagement and production.
While the different researchers have some international linkages, little was made of strategies to increase Sweden’s
international profile in the research area. A virtual advisory board will be established for LIFE-CARE consisting of experts
from LiU’s existing international research network who will be continually available for support. Nevertheless, it seems that
the actors have not worked much together to create a common platform for a high profile international body of research. It is
surprising that the application does include any overarching theoretical framework. This gives the impression that this
programme does not have the potential to be at the international frontier of research. An extensive teaching programme is
planned. However, as a package, it appears to be too diverse and broad.


2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
These areas are all of great importance in a period in which the prevalence of chronic illnesses is increasing and the quality
of life becomes as important as length of life. The plans concerning remote diagnostic development are particularly
interesting. Since the program covers very large area of research it is evident that some of the areas have excellent strategic
importance. But it is slightly hard to distinguish those areas. While the results of the various projects within the proposed
research programme have the potential to benefit clinical practice, the proposal did not elaborate too well on how the
research will benefit society at large. Most of the section on strategic importance for the business sector and society was
spent highlighting the different institutes and research groups within the University. There was much information about the
LiU’s Innovation Office and system for knowledge transfer and how these will be used to disseminate the results of the
research within LIFE-CARE. Furthermore, the proposal stated that the County Council is strongly involved in and committed
to the LIFE-CARE initiative. It is proposed that LIFE-CARE will contribute to the development of more effective health
services enabling better health outcomes in terms of illness, health and quality of life. Much is made of The Innovation Forum
which exists to promote a productive interplay between the development of new ideas, research and testing, diffusion and
implementation of research results. Part of this is “joint learning events” between researchers from different disciplines and
research areas, between health care professionals and practitioners, as well as students and patients. The main purpose of
the collaboration is to speed up the implementation of new knowledge. There is an emphasis on what LiU offers regarding
innovation and tech transfer. More detail could have been made of the opportunities for particular aspects of LIFE-CARE


3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The proposal states that the multidisciplinary nature of health care research makes a full description of the strategically
important intellectual and instrumental infrastructure difficult. However, at LiU there appears to be good quality existing
infrastructure in the form of research divisions, graduate schools, centers and larger research programs. There is also good
cooperation with the county council. In the budget, the 2.5M SEK costs for building infrastructure and international
collaborations includes buildings, web-based interaction, and a virtual board as well as offering guest positions and arranging
national and international meetings. This makes it difficult to separate infrastructure costs from international collaborations.
An interesting career development programme is described. The budget is based on personal costs for 50 % director, 4
senior researchers who will be platform leaders, new recruitment of 2- 3 professors, 6 researchers in a post doctoral
program. PhD students will be recruited the second year and a doctoral program will be built. This suggests that a doctoral
programme in this area does not exist currently. It is stated that the costs for part of the administration and rental costs for
offices are expected to be funded by the university and are therefore not included in the budget. This does not appear to be
definitive.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The proposed programme covers very large areas of research and it is evident that many of these are of strategic importance
in a period in which the prevalence of chronic illnesses is increasing and the quality of life becomes as important as the
quantity of life. This relatively small team of investigators has a strong scientific profile with a good history of collaboration in
the health care sector and research institutes but also with business and industry. At LiU, there appears to be good quality
existing infrastructure in the form of research divisions, graduate schools, centers and larger research programs.

There are however some apparent weaknesses and the main one relates to the ambitious and broad nature of the proposed
work. There are 44 different projects across the four platforms and these are simply identified as ´suggested studies´, so
there is a little uncertainty as to what will actually be done under each platform. It is not evident how many of these studies
are currently ongoing. Some could represent a major undertaking and it is not clear whether or not they are to be undertaken
or completed within the confines of this five year initiative. There also appears to be no linkage between the four platforms
such as a common theoretical framework, rather they seem to be more a collection of on-going activities. If there were to be
a multitude of theoretical perspectives, a sample of some would have been helpful as would information on how this
theoretical pluralism would be handled. While the different researchers have some international linkages, little was made of
strategies to increase Sweden’s international profile in the research area. It seems that the actors have not worked much
together to create a common platform for a high profile international body of research. More could have been made of the
commercial opportunities that could be exploited within LIFE-CARE, especially regarding Platform 4 - virtual care. There are
also lack of a coherent dissemination package. In the budget, it is difficult to separate infrastructure costs from international
collaborations.
In conclusion, this proposal describes a very large unfocused programme of work and it is doubtful if all the goals can be
achieved by such a small research group in five years. In other words the proposal seems too diverse to have a coherent
impact. It would have benefitted from being more focused and a clearer presentation of what is the essence of the research
programme.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Vår, 2009-1091 Millnert, Mille
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1092         Andersson, Thomas                              Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Högskolan i Jönköping



                   Projekttitel
                   Kvalitetsförbättringar inom vård och omsorg av äldre

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Vårdforskning (VR-St-Vår), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The proposal addresses theories and methods of quality improvements across all elements of care for older people with a
multi-level perspective that focuses on the health system level, service provider level and also on health care professionals.
It will cover health promotion, rehabilitation and care and involves systematic evaluation of interventions, design principles for
interventions, creation and analysis of data.
The strengths of the proposal include:
1.An ambitious plan in terms of the issues to be covered but within a well-defined client group.
2.An excellent track record in health sciences and gerontology at the institution from where most collaborators are drawn and
involvement of a wide range of relevant disciplinary perspectives.
3.A strong reputation in quality improvement and good publication records of collaborators.
4.A conceptual framework of health care improvement (originated in Dartmouth, USA) that has been applied for 15 years at
the County Council that will guide the research.
5.An understanding of the need for translation of theories and methods into practice.
6.A track record in applying mixed methods which are appropriate to the research outlined
7. A range of relevant research questions identified at different levels.
8.Good international links already in place and plans to extend these links.
9.The programme of research is linked clearly to the educational programme.
10.Commitment from the institution appears strong (eg the president of the University will take an active role)
The weaknesses of the proposal include:
1.It is not a highly original area of research, although the proposal suggests some improvements on the existent body of
knowledge.
2.Although the theoretical framework is invoked there is little detail given of how it will actually be used in the projects.

3.The proposed research questions are articulated at a very general level and it is not clear in some cases what interventions
are planned and how they will be evaluated.
4.The proposal to some degree suggests the aim is to replicate or extend work already undertaken (by the collaborators and
also by others e.g. the US Lifestyle Redesign trial) rather than adding innovative work. There needs to be a careful balance
between these two elements if the proposal is to add value.
5.There is little explicit reference to the carer perspective. Internationally there is much research on this issue and it has both
cost and outcome implications.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
In addressing the needs of older people, the research will potentially affect a large group in society. The proposal focuses on
the potential of the research to improve efficiency, inform health policy and impact on the lives of elderly people.


The strengths include:
1.Potential to inform and lead policy direction (e.g. choice policy) and therefore to make a real difference to the lives of the
elderly.
2.The advantage of raising the profile of research into the needs of older people.
3.There are good links to practice through the association with the County Council and examples of existing programmes for
transferring results of research.
4.The enhancement of the existing masters education programme which has scope to influence future academics and health
professionals.
The weaknesses include:
1.Less emphasis on links to business and industry. Those that are mentioned (e.g. the krAft initiative and the Science Park)
do not appear to have a central role in linking specifically with the proposed research and dealing with the likely outcomes
from that research.
2.There is a plan to discuss with local companies the results of an investigation into what commercial businesses already
do/can do for older people. But this seems like a fairly local initiative rather than one with a national or international focus.

3.Existing projects such as Bridging the Gap are described in terms of potential for implementation of research but their role
and development in terms of this specific initiative is not well described.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
Much of the required resources already exist amongst the collaborators and funding comes from the University and the
County Councils and municipalities. The extra resources requested for the project will be used mainly for 4 extra positions to
create a sustainable infrastructure. The local County Council will also make a financial contribution to the project.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              2
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The proposal has many strengths scientifically including the good track record of the collaborators in relevant areas and an
attempt to ground the research in a conceptual framework. It has good international focus.
There are some doubts about what the proposal will deliver beyond work that would be undertaken anyway. Supporting
existing endeavours is indeed important, but innovation is also required.
Links with the community and practice are good, those with business and industry are more general and do not always
appear to address the outcomes of this specific research programme.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Vår, 2009-1092 Andersson, Thomas
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1093         Hallberg, Anders                               Strategiska forskningsområden




                   Projekttitel
                   U-CARE: Bättre psykosocial vård till lägre kostnad? Evidensbaserad bedömning och psykosocial vård via
                   Internet, ett svenskt exempel

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Vårdforskning (VR-St-Vår), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Through four work packages (WPs) the main aim of this proposed research programme (U-CARE) is to evaluate the clinical
efficacy and cost-effectiveness of Internet-based self-managed programmes to patients and significant others with
‘Targeted and Clinical levels of distress’ in connection to somatic disease such as paediatric cancer, breast cancer, and AMI.
A secondary aim is to investigate the potential occurrence of posttraumatic growth and to explore mechanisms that predict
such growth. This proposed programme of research is mainly going to be undertaken in UU with input from a health
economic group in Lund University.
The teams are scientifically strong in their respective fields and have sound records of collaboration. The cv’s are generally
good and some are excellent (Prof L. Wallentin). The group is well embedded in the field of clinical research and has
extensive experience with randomised clinical trials. Their intention is to use RCTs “whenever possible” suggests a
tentativeness in the methodological approach. There is also no mention as to what the control group will get in terms of
support. Hypotheses on the importance of psychosocial care, emotional distress, and social support for posttraumatic growth
will be tested using explorative, longitudinal studies employing comparison groups. There is little information supplied on how
this will be done. Empirically, the Demand for Health model has been successfully evaluated and tested both for populations
and for individuals with specific health conditions. It is proposed that Internet psychosocial support will foster competence and
empowerment and address common disease and treatment-related aspects of distress. It is interesting that Video, lectures
and CBT may be employed to help patients manage distress. They also state that alternative designs for investigating the
effects of programmes of psychosocial care will be considered, whenever it is needed. Again, this suggests a lack of certainty
on how they will approach parts of this research. Testing clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness of Internet-based
self-managed programmes has been done before and is not very innovative from a scientific perspective. Little regard is
taken of previous or ongoing international research on this topic. There is also an absence of a discussion on the ethical
implication of providing psychosocial help over the internet to vulnerable people. Most of collaborators seem focussed on
oncology, only one on AMI. The programme regarding post traumatic growth is potentially more novel but is less well
developed in the proposal. Furthermore, this proposal seems more like a project rather than a programmatic strategic
development.
The proposal emphasises that the U-CARE Programme will generate leading edge research by bringing together scientific
excellence from clinicians and researchers, and by using the internet. It is suggested that this will lead to the development of
a new field of knowledge and that the research will promote long-lasting interdisciplinary encounters and networking across
the care, medical, and social sciences, leading to new theory and methodology for psychosocial care. There are plans to
attract PhD students and post doc researchers so that early career researchers will be supported. Educational Programmes
will be introduced as will a U-CARE Graduate School in 2011. This should lead to new questions and hypotheses that can be
posed and tested.
The U-CARE Programme is in accord with UU’s strategic research priorities and has been giving the support of the
Vice-Chancellor. There would also seem to be support from across the relevant Schools and institutes. The Strategies for
Research and Education identified caring research in the field of cancer as a high profile field of research at UU. Also, in the
University Activity Plan for 2009, a resource allocation of 5.6 MSEK was specifically targeted for caring research in this area.

The focus of the study is well in line with the developments in psychosocial care internationally. However, while most of the
researchers have international collaborations, there is very little specific information and details about international
collaboration for the proposed programme and how it will enhance Sweden’s international profile in this field. This is strange
considering Sweden’s obvious strengths in IT and UU’s strengths in psychosocial care. In addition, the dissemination plan
could be more ambitious.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.
Assessment note:
There is quite a good overview in the proposal of how the results of this proposed research programme will benefit patients
and their significant others and society. However, there is limited scope in terms of the breadth of its influence in society and
there is almost no mention made of commercial opportunities through links with business and industry. This is curious
considering Sweden’s obvious strengths in Health Care technology and the opportunities for new Internet tools or platforms
for supporting people and families. The diseases selected where the approach is supposed to be applied are well chosen.
Yet, details are missing for the fact that children (with cancer) are likely to need another approach than adults.

Work package 4 focuses on building educational programmes from the research. This should lead to close collaboration
between researchers and teachers at undergraduate, advanced, and postgraduate levels. It is envisioned that the courses
will cover a new academic field in the borderland between Care, Medical, Social, and Economic sciences, i.e. psychosocial
health care. It is quite likely that it will be possible to generalise the results and later translate them to other diseases.

There is some stated links with clinical services but these are not convincingly strong. The direct benefits for the business
sector is not clear and the involvement of external agents and actors in the programme is somewhat limited - both regarding
problem formulation and implementation.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
The programme is being designed in the context of one of Europe’s leading universities and managed in the U CARE
network. It follows the structure as suggested by Uppsala University which is very clear and likely to be successful. In section
2 F and 2 G they indicate that the infrastructural and equipment needs are not applicable for this proposal. In addition, for the
U-CARE Programme UU is prepared to make strategic investments in the facilities, shared resources, technologies, and
tools that will enable success. For WP 1-2 (2010-2014) there is a request for four PhD students and three Postdoc
researchers, 150% salary/funding to the Health-Economics research group at Lund University and eight nurses (10% of
salary each) at the respective clinical sites to inform patients and significant others about the studies. For WP4 (2011-2014)
there is a request for eight half-time PhD students with external funding for a minimum of 50 percent of the study period.

4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              4
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The panel agreed that this was an interesting proposal and that it fits well with Swedish Government´s priorities for
psychosocial care. In particular the cost effectiveness analysis will be of benefit. The teams are scientifically strong in their
respective fields and have sound records of collaboration. The group also appears to be well embedded in the field of clinical
research, it has extensive experience with randomised clinical trials. The U-CARE Programme is also in accord with UU’s
strategic research priorities and has the focus of the study is important and well in line with the developments in psychosocial
care internationally.
There are however a few weaknesses in the proposal. For instance, the programme regarding post traumatic growth is more
novel but unfortunately less well developed and less integrated in the proposal. More could have been be included in the
proposal regarding the breadth of its influence in society and the potential commercial opportunities through partnerships with
business and industry.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Vår, 2009-1093 Hallberg, Anders
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                              Bidragsform
 2009-1094         Gudmundson, Peter                               Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Kungl Tekniska Högskolan
                   Skolan för teknikvetenskap, SCI


                   Projekttitel
                   Framtidens beslutsstöd i hälso- och sjukvård: en forksningsmiljö (DeMaRE)

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                           Beredningsgrupp
                   Teknikvetenskap                                 Vårdforskning (VR-St-Vår), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
Scientific quality
This programme is innovative and relevant for both the society and business. It is focused and has stated the goals clearly.
On the other hand it is mainly focusing on basic research carrying a lot of risk. The main pillars are well outlined. Even though
it has the five pillars in which it is concentrating it is a fairly large programme.
The programme is well structured as a whole but on the other hand it is missing detailed information about how the different
areas of research are advanced in the five years.
It is very technology oriented. There is no discussion about patient/client involvement in the development of decision making
technology. Also the involvement of other than medical staff is not clearly outlined.
The programme is concentrating on basic research and there is a great risk in this kind of research. Yet there is not much
discussion of risk assessment and management in the application.
Potential for development of scientific environment
The group consists of very experienced researchers. A post graduate school will be established within the programme and
over 50 % of the budget is aimed at young researchers. The group is technologically and medically oriented but links to other
caring sciences is less evident. The health care perspective is not well integrated in the programme. The group has well
established international collaboration. The application has no plan for risk assessment which is crucial in basic research with
high risk.
While the group is strong in information technology there was a lack of evidence in the proposal to show that there was
sufficient expertise in care sciences. The project has clear management structure.
There is gender imbalance within the leading group of researchers. There is no plan in the application about how this
imbalance will be solved. Also the applicants do not take gender into account in the research that is outlined.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
Sweden has a strategy for eHealth. This is not at all mentioned in the research plan, so it remains unclear how this plan is
linked with the Sweden’s strategic plan. This area of research is relevant.

This application has a programme that is internationally relevant for business. The group has good collaboration with
business and industrial sector. It has also strong links with Karolinska Institute. The programme has good support from the
county council. On the other hand the benefits for patients and people in the society are not as well discussed.


3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
Infrastructure for this kind of research is excellent.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              3
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
This area of research is innovative and relevant. It is quite wide and ambitious, maybe too ambitious. There is no clear
progression plan for the five years. This would be important since the area of research is innovative and mainly basic
research that might take long to get concrete results. The research group is experienced. There is a plan to establish a post
graduate school and support post doctoral research career. The group would benefit if it would include other than technology
and medical health professionals. The programme group has a gender imbalance.
The group has well outlined their collaboration with both business and society. The research certainly is in the interest of
international scientific and industrial field also. This programme could be beneficial for Sweden in international competition for
developing visual decision-making aids for health care, but it is wide in technological development and narrow in the area of
health care. Patient perspective is missing.




                                                                     Samlade yttrande VR-St-Vår, 2009-1094 Gudmundson, Peter
 Dnr               Efternamn, Förnamn                             Bidragsform
 2009-1095         Schollin, Jens                                 Strategiska forskningsområden
                   Örebro universitet
                   Hälsoakademin


                   Projekttitel
                   Delaktighet i vården med IT som stöd - möjlighet eller utopi?

                   Ämnesområde/målområde                          Beredningsgrupp
                   Medicin                                        Vårdforskning (VR-St-Vår), normal (med ansvar)



Evaluation form Strategic research areas 2009 - panel evaluation

1. Evaluate scientific quality by international comparison (scale:1-5) based on: ------- A) - scientific quality. B) - potential
development of the scientific environment. C) - how the area is prioritised among the applicant´s activities to generate the
conditions for scientific excellence. D) - strategies to increase Sweden´s international scientific competitiveness in the research
area.

Assessment note:
The proposal addresses the role of IT in facilitating patient participation in health and healthcare and health research and
development. It is a collaboration between Örebro University (ÖU) and the University of Skövde (HS) with the former mainly
contributing on the care sciences and partly on health economics and informatics, and the latter mainly on informatics (and
economics).
The strengths of the proposal include:
1.The applicants take a comprehensive approach to evaluation of IT services from both the care and IT perspective
2.It is a multidisciplinary proposal which supports the comprehensive approach taken.
3.The collaborators have a good track record in key relevant areas – patient participation generally, nursing informatics and
e-participation and can demonstrate a coherent approach to person-centred research.
4.There is reference made to expertise in qualitative and quantitative methods at the institutions
5.The institutions involved have IT and care science as priority areas and have made substantial investments already which
provide a good basis for further research that bring these together.
The weaknesses of the proposal include:
1.A limited international profile in terms of collaborations – The University of Maryland link is very recent (Feb 2009).
Publication records show lack of international collaboration.
2.The details of the underlying theory are sketchy – there are concepts mentioned (such as “sense of coherence” and “health
literacy”) but it is not clear how they form a coherent whole.
3.The methods of investigation to be used in the specific research projects are not elaborated (aside from mention of the
“experimental” context).
4.Although the involvement of health economics is key, there is little detail given on how it will be integrated.
5.Given the fact that the proposal is very focussed on a specific area, more detail and depth might have been apparent for the
specific projects.
6.There appears to be an assumption that in many parts of the proposal it has already been demonstrated that IT can
enhance patient participation – a more critical approach to the role of IT would have been appropriate in such a research
strategy.
7.Plans for the training and education element are sketchy apart from the mention of plans for a national clinical
post-graduate school within care sciences.

2. Evaluate strategic importance to the business sector and society (scale: 1-5) based on: A) - why, and in what way, the research
area is, or can become, strategically important for the business sector and society. B) - strategies and plans to generate benefits
from research findings in the research area. C) - capacity and supportive activities to generate benefits from research findings in
the research area. D) - engagement and participation of the business sector, industrial research institutes, and other community
organisations in problem formulation and implementation.



Assessment note:
The strengths include:
1.The proposed research potentially covers all patient groups and may therefore have wide implications for society.

2.The topic is aligned with Swedish and international trends towards involvement of patients in healthcare and Swedish
strategy for IT.
3.Good potential fit with industry and business because of the IT element.
4.There is a philosophy within OU for implementing research into practice. This will be assisted by the Steering Committee for
PartIT consisting of representatives from the health care sector.
The weaknesses include:
1.Less detail is given about how the particular outcomes of this research agenda will be taken forward within the existing
business and industry links. The statements made are fairly broad and vague.
2.Whilst there is no doubt that there is a philosophy within the institutions of implementation of research into practice, there is
less detail about how this will be taken forward for this specific research proposal.
3.The case for how the outcomes will have an impact nationally and internationally is not clear cut.

3. Evaluate the need for infrastructure - The need for infrastructure is not a criterion for assessing the application´s quality, but the
comments highlight the infrastructure that currently exists and that which needs to be financed to enable implementation of the
proposed research programme.

Comments:
Some infrastructure exists but resources sought are still fairly substantial.
4. Overall grade (scale:1-5)                              2
(1=Insufficient, 2=Good, 3=Very good, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding)

The panel´s summary of the application´s quality in relation to the criteria listed above.
The proposal is interesting and addresses an important topic. It has strengths in terms of drawing on scientific expertise in
relevant areas and the link between care science and IT is strong.
It has potential but at present it is not clear exactly how the strengths identified will produce a research programme that will
be at the forefront of international endeavour within a reasonable timescale.




                                                                         Samlade yttrande VR-St-Vår, 2009-1095 Schollin, Jens

				
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