Sweden - Global health R&D

Sweden - Global health R&D

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

According to the G-FINDER survey, Sweden provided US$4 million for research and development (R&D) on poverty-related and neglected diseases (PRNDs) in 2017, referred to as ‘global health R&D’ in this profile. This makes it the 13th-largest donor. Funding returned to previous low levels, after a peak in 2015. However, it is important to note that actual funding levels are higher as not all funding institutions completed the G-FINDER survey in 2017 (see below). In 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) reported investing SEK254 million (US$30 million) for health-related R&D. 

Sweden's Global health R&D

For further details on methodology, see our Donor Tracker Codebook.


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

Funding is channeled through two institutions: Sida and the Swedish Research Council. These figures may differ from the trend numbers presented in the chart due to changes in the scope of the G-FINDER survey from year to year.

  • Sida has traditionally been the main funder of global health R&D. It sources its funding from its ‘research cooperation’ budget line, which amounted to SEK920 million (US$108 million) in 2019.  In 2017, all funding from Sida for global health R&D (US$4 million) was 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 PRNDs in sub-Saharan Africa. Funding for the INDEPTH Network, global network working on health and demographic surveillance systems currently based in Ghana, came to an end in 2017.
  • The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) has provided a stable US$5 to US$7 million to global health R&D between 2010 and 2016, but did not participate in the G-FINDER survey regarding its 2017 funding. It traditionally mainly finances Sweden’s own Karolinska Institutet, by far the largest implementer of Swedish global health R&D funding. The Swedish Research Council funding for global health R&D traditionally focuses on tuberculosis, malaria, diarrheal diseases, and HIV/AIDS.

Strategic orientations are defined by the MFA; Sida channels 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.