Published: 10-01-2023 09:37 | Updated: 21-03-2023 13:36

Major EU funding for development of AI in healthcare

Group image of the steering group.
Sandra Falck, Pävi Östling, Daniel Lundqvist, Alireza Salehi, of the management team for the Swedish node of the TEF-Health consortium. Photo: Niklas Norberg Wirtén/SciLifeLab

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, the Centre for Imaging Research (CIR), SciLifeLab, and RISE have together received a grant of over SEK 100 million from the European Commission's Digital Europe programme. The project, called TEF-Health, will, among other things, promote the rapid introduction of new artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics solutions in healthcare.

”The European Commission wants to increase the efficiency, resilience and sustainability of the EU's healthcare systems and thereby reduce inequalities in healthcare within the EU. AI and robotics are considered critical areas that need to be developed to achieve this goal,” says Daniel Lundqvist, Director at CIR, and researcher at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, who is leading the Swedish node of the TEF-Health consortium.

In addition to Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, and Slovakia are part of the newly formed EU consortium, which has a total budget of 60 million euro (equivalent to about SEK 650 million). The consortium is led by Petra Ritter of the German Charité Universitaetsmedizin. In addition to Daniel Lundqvist, the management team for the Swedish node includes Päivi Östling from Karolinska Institutet and SciLifeLab, Sandra Falck from SciLifeLab and Alireza Salehi from RISE.

The idea is for TEF-Health to support small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups that want to launch innovations in AI and robotics for healthcare. This could include providing state-of-the-art facilities for testing and validation, making data available, offering clinical expertise, or helping with ethics approval and certification. The Swedish node has the expertise and partners to help European companies enter the Swedish healthcare market quickly.

”For Sweden, TEF Health represents a great opportunity to build unique and long-term value for the benefit of precision health and precision medicine and creates synergies with other European initiatives in which our organisations are involved. SciLifeLab and CIR will also be able to offer new, standardised, uniquely comprehensive services in multimodal in vivo and ex vivo imaging and molecular profiling to academia, clinicians, and industry alike,” says Päivi Östling, researcher at the Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, and SciLifeLab.