COLUMN. Dean Agneta Holmäng sums up the semester and looks ahead to what awaits the Faculty in the fall.
Let me begin by thanking you all for your excellent work this semester. Time is flying by, and I hope you are getting a chance to enjoy this wonderful build-up to the summer.
Spring has brought a whole host of good news. I would particularly like to highlight the results of the second national ALF evaluation. The clinical research in our region has once again been ranked as the best in Sweden, this time jointly with Uppsala. This outstanding achievement is well worth marking, which is why in early fall Medi-sam Forskning will be inviting all the researchers to lunch meetings where the shared success will be celebrated and discussed.
The opening of GoCo House was another high point of the spring, along with the announcement that the national Center for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) will be based at GoCo. This innovation cluster and infrastructure will enhance opportunities for the development, production and commercialization of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) in the field of gene and cell therapy and tissue engineering. The innovation cluster will be available to everyone with an interest in this field from academia, industry and the healthcare sector, opening up a chance to further ramp up our work in these therapy areas through access to advice and expertise, coupled with options for greater collaboration with other parties.
Our premises costs have risen
Spring has seen a strong focus on the question of our premises more generally this spring, with inflation causing a major spike in our existing rental costs. Having remained at a steady 10 per cent of our direct government funding for many years, our premises costs have now risen to 13 per cent. All our operations are now trying to keep costs down by exploring how their premises could be used more efficiently and possibly even downsized.
When it comes to Sahlgrenska Life, Region Västra Götaland and the University of Gothenburg are working on the question of how to bring the project to fruition. Both parties rejected a leasing proposal submitted by Virtartes in December, but have agreed to drive the project forward in a new form.
A cautious restructuring of EBM
We have also decided to conduct a cautious restructuring of EBM, our GU-wide research infrastructure for Experimental Biomedicine which was established in 1998. The new EBM is a strategic facilities project aimed at creating an ultra-modern research facility with improvements to the working environment and animal welfare. Key objectives also include cutting our climate footprint and investing in new functionalities to drive up competitiveness within research for all those who use the facility (GU, Region Västra Götaland and local businesses). This facilities project has now entered a combined program-system phase that will run for the rest of the year.
Ahead of the planned move of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine’ at the Institute of Medicine to the Earth Science Center, the Faculty Board has decided that these premises will be included in the current facilities model.
Our collaboration with Chalmers is becoming ever closer
Our collaboration with Chalmers is becoming ever closer, and the number of joint projects continues to grow, in both research and education. We have specifically invited Chalmers to attend our start-up meeting for Faculty Management, the Faculty Board and the Heads of Department on September 13. Stefan Bengtsson will be presenting the new vision and we will also be given an insight into many of our joint projects, which I am really looking forward to!
We will also hold a new Academy meeting on October 10, at which we will be discussing the opportunities and conditions for our researchers at the Faculty and how we can stimulate continued regrowth.
This fall will see several changes to the leadership of the higher education institutions in Gothenburg. Malin Broberg will become the University of Gothenburg’s new Vice-Chancellor on July 1, and on September 1 Martin Nilsson Jacobi will take up his new position as President of Chalmers University of Technology. The advisory election of a Dean and Pro-Dean for our Faculty will take place as scheduled in October. On this front, I have great faith in the Faculty’s drafting committee, which is doing an incredible job in line with the Faculty’s rules of procedure.
We will also have a new Head of the Faculty Office to succeed Margareta Rorsman, who is retiring. More information will be sent out after the summer, once the appeals period has expired. Margareta has been a wonderful Head of the Faculty Office and we will miss her hugely!
I hope you get to relax and unwind during the vacation, and recharge your batteries ready for the fall semester.
Enjoy the summer!