Published: 2020-10-01 13:19 | Updated: 2020-10-01 13:20

KI establishes resource team to identify knowledge gaps and strengthen societal preparedness

KI is now taking the next step and establishing a new team – KI’s interdisciplinary resource team post COVID-19 (KIRP) – to handle future challenges and to help improve and strengthen preparedness for future crises, such as new pandemics. 

At the end of February 2020 Karolinska Institutet’s president Ole Petter Ottersen appointed a special team of experts at KI for matters related to COVID-19 and the pandemic. It was soon followed by six more resource teams, each with its own specialisation.

KI is now taking the next step and establishing a new team – KI’s interdisciplinary resource team post COVID-19 (KIRP) – to handle future challenges and to help improve and strengthen preparedness for future crises, such as new pandemics. 

“Although we are still in the middle of the pandemic, we need to see beyond it, too.” says KI president Ole Petter Ottersen. “One of the remits of the new resource team is to identify and fill knowledge gaps ahead of the next pandemic, for there will be one. There are many lessons to be learned from the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19, and there are probably many opportunities to finance multidisciplinary research projects focused on bolstering preparedness, such as the EU’s Horizon Europe framework programme.”

The KIRP resource team comprises KI researchers with a range of backgrounds and skills – including the convening members of the other seven teams. The team’s formal assignment as decided by the President is to:

  • serve as a resource and support for the KI management
  • link together and use existing networks and channels established by the previously appointed resource teams during the initial phase of the pandemic, and to collaborate with Region Stockholm and the national community
  • help to coordinate the broad competence that exists at KI in order to strengthen research post-COVID-19 and in doing so create sustainability and develop and build resilience to future crises at local, national and global level
  • promote and facilitate the establishment of relevant multidisciplinary, researcher-initiated projects internally at KI and in collaboration with the health sector and other higher education institutions
  • identify, based on our experiences with COVID-19, the most important knowledge and collaboration gaps that must be filled ahead of future pandemics.

The members of KIRP are Lars I Eriksson (convenor), Jan Albert, Soo Aleman, Johan Askling, Kristian Borg, Bo Burström. Anders Ekbom, Anna Mia Ekström, Lars Engstrand, Maria Eriksdotter, Niklas Juth, Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren, Mats J Olsson, Rickard Sandberg and Johan von Schreeb.