Published: 27-02-2019 13:03 | Updated: 04-03-2019 18:15

NEAR - a unique research project


NEAR is a unique research project that was founded in 2017 with the overall aim to build and run a National E-infrastructure for Aging Research.

It is a collaboration between six universities including Karolinska Institutet, University of Gothenburg, Lund University, Umeå University, Jönköping University, and Blekinge Institute of Technology. NEAR comprises 15 major longitudinal population-based studies on aging and health in Sweden and is financially supported by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet, VR). It is a multidisciplinary resource including 180.000 individuals aged 50 years or over who have been assessed by direct interview and clinical examination and followed up a minimum of 7 years up to a maximum of 40 years.

The overall aims of NEAR are to:

  1. Create a national infrastructure for aging research
  2. Promote and facilitate aging research in Sweden
  3. Increase national and international exchange and collaboration
  4. Enhance research quality and generalizability of research findings.

    The ultimate goal is to identify sustainable intervention strategies for better health and to develop more effective care of the older population

Who can use the NEAR infrastructure?

• Everyone has the right to apply for NEAR data, which is estimated to be accessible beginning of 2020.

What can NEAR data be used for?

  • Scientific purposes/academia. NEAR can be used by national and international researchers to investigate various health-related issues in the older population, and by students for their master’s or PhD projects.
  • Public health purposes and the development of policies and organizations. National data are critically important for assessing and monitoring health of the older population. NEAR data can be used by government agencies and authorities to guide resource allocation, develop public health policies and guidelines, and to plan the organization of health care.
  • Treatment and care. NEAR data can also be used to explore the care needs of the older population, and thus help to guide proper medication use and how to optimize health care and social services.
  • Social innovation. The information available in NEAR can help various actors in the private sector (both profit and non-profit) to develop new services and health care devices, which can help older individuals to achieve healthier lives.

NEAR will be organzing its first internal workshop with the aim of discussing potential future research projects. The workshop takes place on 7-8 March for invited guests only.

Contact: Linnea Sjöberg, ARC