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The importance of a good research infrastructure

Published: 11 January 2022

Research infrastructure is crucial to be able to conduct relevant, high-quality research.

This is the reason why Luleå University of Technology allocates funds to our lab fund and that in 2018 we carried out an overall survey of our various environments in order to make our equipment visible, increase the utilization rate and create better and more cohesive infrastructure environments for our researchers and collaboration partners.
We have also been involved in the investigation that Tobias Krantz was responsible for - Strengthened focus on the research infrastructure of the future - and yesterday I decided on our opinion to the inquiry.

The opinion can be summarized in the following points:

1. Luleå University of Technology believes that long-term work is positive, but that politicization of research should be avoided.

2. Strong and long-term funding is, as the inquiry emphasizes, a prerequisite for a well-functioning research infrastructure. The task of the inquiry was to propose one or more forms of financing. Here, Luleå University of Technology thinks that the investigation has not reached the goal and that this issue could have been investigated more deeply as it affects all other parts of the investigation.

3. The inquiry proposes two different authorities - Luleå University of Technology supports the proposal for one of them; to establish a new authority for digital research infrastructure, but is hesitant about the inquiry's proposal to also establish a new authority for research infrastructure of special national interest. We also believe that the definition of research infrastructure of particular national interest needs to be clarified.

4. Luleå University of Technology supports the inquiry's proposal that collaboration should not be specifically regulated at higher education institutions.

5. Luleå University of Technology supports the inquiry's proposal for a broader perspective that extends beyond basic research in the work with research infrastructure issues.

6. Luleå University of Technology supports the inquiry's proposal that Vinnova is given a stronger role in the research infrastructure landscape and actively contribute to the business community's participation in the construction and use of research infrastructures.

7. Luleå University of Technology is positive about the inquiry's proposal to ensure continued access to polar research tools by considering a new design of polar research vessels.

Together with eleven other Vice-Chancellors, I have signed a debate article in Ny Teknik that focuses on the need for an authority for digital research infrastructure.

Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn


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