Joint efforts and increased resources – input to the Swedish Government’s research bill
The Swedish Research Council has visited the Ministry of Education and Research to present its report Forskning för framtiden (Research for the Future), which forms input to the Government’s upcoming research policy bill.
The report includes a broad-based analysis of the research policy area and a number of recommendations on what is needed to strengthen Sweden as a research nation. For the life science area, the Swedish Research Council has identified a need for a joint effort, and proposes that the Government implement the following measures:
- Strengthen the life science office through increased resources and an organisation that can effectively coordinate measures and initiatives within life science.
- Establish a national agreement between the government and the healthcare principals on long-term initiatives to promote infrastructure and competence provision for clinical research.
- Increase the resources for clinical studies by 50 million SEK per year to create prerequisites for making Sweden internationally competitive and to attract both academic and commercially initiated clinical studies.· Implement necessary legislative measures and decide on a national action plan for the use and storage of health data and biological material from humans, and make additional resources available to implement the plan.
- Mandate the Swedish Ethical Review Authority and the Swedish Medical Products Agency to contribute to national statistics by making available data from their areas of activity.
- Implement necessary legislative measures and decide on a national action plan for the use and storage of health data and biological material from humans, and make additional resources available to implement the plan.
Jan-Ingvar Jönsson, Secretary General of the Scientific Council for Medicine and Health comments:
− We need an increase of the current budget, in order to work with the healthcare regions to improve the prerequisites for conducting clinical studies.” To enable us to implement and manage the result from the collaboration Clinical Studies Sweden, we need more money. At the same time, the proposed agreement impacts on a greater challenge – how can we ensure that there is both time and financial incentives to take part in research, in parallel with continuing everyday clinical work?
− There is also a clear need for better statistics for clinical studies, but we are today lacking long-term prerequisites for producing documented data when we produce reports in this area. An important part of the puzzle would be if the public agencies that clinical researchers apply to for permits could contribute basic information on approved research projects. This could for example consist of information on where research is carried out, or how many research subjects are involved in the studies.