Sida and the Swedish Research Council are the main funders of R&D for global health

In 2015, Sweden provided US$8 million for research and development (R&D) on poverty-related and neglected diseases (PRNDs), referred to as ‘global health R&D’ in this profile. This figures are based on G-FINDER date. This makes it the ninth-largest donor in proportion to the size of its economy. Funding has remained at a low level for the past few years.

Strategic orientations of Sweden’s research cooperation were set in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ 2015-2019 ‘Strategy for Research Cooperation and Research in Development Cooperation’. The strategy has both national and global components: It contributes both to high-quality research that is of relevance to poverty reduction and sustainable development within Sweden, and to strengthened research capacities in low-income countries and regions.

Funding is channeled through two institutions: the Swedish development agency, Sida, and the Swedish Research Council.

  • Sida has traditionally been a large funder of global health R&D. It sources its funding from its ‘research cooperation’ budget line, which amounted to SEK765 million in 2017 (US$112 million). In 2015, funding from Sida for global health R&D was entirely disbursed to the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), a European initiative that focuses on R&D for drugs, vaccines, microbicides and diagnostics against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other poverty-related diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) has provided a rather stable US$5 to 7 million to global health R&D since 2010. In 2015, more than half of its contributions to global health R&D – 60% or US$3.1 million – went to Sweden’s own Karolinska Institute, by far the largest implementer of Sweden global health R&D funding. The Swedish Research Council funding for global health R&D focuses primarily on malaria, tuberculosis, diarrheal diseases, and HIV/AIDS.

Strategic orientations are defined by the MFA; Sida and the Research Council channel most of the funding

Within the MFA, the Department for International Development Cooperation establishes the strategies for Sweden’s international research cooperation. With regards to implementation, Sida’s Research Council reviews Sida’s proposals for cooperation. The ‘Unit for Research Cooperation’ at the ‘Department for Partnerships and Cooperation’ within Sida manages the funds. Cooperation through the Swedish Research Council is led by the Committee for Development Research.