Published: 05-06-2024 14:20 | Updated: 05-06-2024 14:20

NextGenNK recommended funding for five more years after excellent evaluation


This spring, the Vinnova-founded Competence Center, NextGenNK underwent a comprehensive five-year evaluation. The evaluation report, presented on 30 May, praised the center and recommended five more years of funding for NextGenNK.

The five-year evaluation included detailed reporting and a one-day visit by an international panel of experts. Their findings, presented on 30 May, praised NextGenNK as a well-functioning and successful Competence Center. 

Highlights the Centre's activities

The report highlighted the internationally recognized research foundation, strong Principal Investigators (PIs), and the involvement of young talents. The Center's excellent publications and strategy, incorporating new achievements like CAR-NK and rejection-resistant allogenic NK cell products, were highly valued.

The transition from basic research to patient-beneficial products was particularly commended. Also, partnerships with SMEs, both national and international, were seen as a strength.

Highest among eight national Competence Centers

Portrait of Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren
Hans Gustaf Ljunggren. Photo: Ulf Sirborn.

Vinnova's survey reflected positively on the Center's attractiveness and knowledge sharing and the evaluators emphasized that NextGenNK significantly strengthens Sweden's position in NK cell research and advised continuing excellent research and training activities. Partnering with actors who can leverage innovation potential was also recommended.

NextGenNK was graded as excellent, the highest among eight national Competence Centers, and recommended for future funding for five more years.

“We are very pleased with this outcome and look forward to continuing our work for another five years, advancing Life Science research for the benefit of patients and supporting the development of Swedish and international industry,” said NextGenNK Director Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren, who leads the Center with co-Directors Evren Alici and Karl-Johan Malmberg.

About NextGenNK

  • NextGenNK is a Competence Center founded by Vinnova and located at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge (MedH).
  • The center was launched in 2020 and is conducting research focused on the development of next generation natural killer (NK) cell-based cancer immunotherapies.
  • The long-term vision of NexGenNK is to develop novel, safe, affordable, and curative cancer treatments leading to a better quality of life.