Funding for research collaborations with external parties

Uppsala University

A WHO report on immigration detention and a study of communication in the time of the pandemic. These are the topics in focus in two of the four new collaboration projects that have received funding through the university’s Verification for collaboration (VFS) programme.

Uppsala University continues to facilitate collaboration with external parties through dedicated funds. One such initiative is the Verification for collaboration programme, (VFS in Swedish), which gives researchers the opportunity to apply for up to SEK 300,000 to initiate a collaboration with an external party where there is a common interest and mutual benefit from the collaboration. External parties can be companies, public organisations or non-profit organisations.

VFS has two application periods per year. Now, four new collaborative projects have started after being granted funding in February this year. They were chosen from a total of 14 applications. The financial support is paid to the project’s academic part. The four projects are:

1. Development of a new WHO evidence overview report to mitigate the harmful effects of immigration detention in Europe

Research shows that immigration detention (ID) causes or exacerbates negative health outcomes for immigrants. The fact that governments continue to use, and even increase the use of, ID requires an evidence-based guidance promoted by an inter-governmental agency, such as WHO, in a way that is easy for policy makers to implement. Therefore, the goal with this project is to develop an evidence overview and guidance. Uppsala University is able to lead the development of such a report through the unique expertise that the university possesses. Such a report will highlight the negative health impacts of ID and guidance to mitigate those impacts. This project also supports the strong interest that WHO and Uppsala University have to develop the University’s Department of Women’s and Children’s Health into a WHO collaborating centre for migration and health.

The Department of Women’s and Children’s Health in collaboration with The World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, WHO/Europe. Responsible academic representative: Soorej Jose Puthoopparambil.

2. Case study of Region Uppsala’s communication during the pandemic

This project focuses on the role of communication in crisis situations. Reaching all citizens with the necessary government information is a challenge that came to a head during the corona pandemic. The need for targeted communication efforts has become evident, and has also been identified in connection with the CRUSH Covid collaborative project. The aim of the case study is to improve targeted communication efforts linked to health-related challenges, with a particular focus on the pandemic. Reviewing and learning from Region Uppsala’s past and current communication efforts during the pandemic can not only contribute to reducing the spread of infection here and now, but also provide important knowledge for future health communication challenges.

Department of Informatics and Media in collaboration with Region Uppsala. Responsible academic researchers: Therese Monstad and Ylva Ekström.

3. Luminescent thin film materials for effective killing of bacteria and viruses

Further development of methods to create materials with large variations in composition, and thereby optimise material properties, is important for many different research fields and industries. Advances in thin film technology can also play an important role in preventing future pandemics. This project will study new methods for creating materials for the next generation of UV light source. Ultraviolet light is a strong killer of bacteria and viruses in a limited wavelength range. The project aims to serve as a first verification of the feasibility of using thin film technology to create luminescent materials that can be optimised for bacteria and virus killing. The goal is to create light sources with greater energy efficiency, longer durability and adaptable properties, such as adapted wavelength ranges for killing different types of microbes.

Department of Electrical Engineering in collaboration with LightLab Sweden AB. Responsible academic researcher: Tomas Kubart.

4. Formal verification of modular software using domain theories

The development of software for safety-critical systems, such as railway signalling systems, is costly as it requires extensive quality assurance measures. Use of formal methods is a technique that reduces costs and increases the reliability of quality assurance. It is a technique that is already in use today and, if further developed, can contribute to increased safety and reduced costs in infrastructure projects. The project aims to develop new methods for formal verification of modular software and checking configuration data using domain theories and mathematical models of the reality in which the software works.

Department of Information Technology in collaboration with Prover Technology AB. Responsible academic researcher: Lars-Henrik Eriksson.

Sara Gredemark

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