Top ranking for clinical research

Two doctors in blue scrubs in an operating room

The quality of clinical research in Sweden is evaluated regularly by the Swedish Research Council. In 2018, Region Västra Götaland together with the University of Gothenburg, was ranked as the best in the country. The new report was presented on March 31 and shows that Region Västra Götaland maintains its top position, now together with the Region Uppsala.

The Swedish Research Council's evaluation is divided into three main areas: The quality of the scientific production, the clinical significance and societal benefit of the research, and the prerequisites for the research. The review is comprehensive and also involves international experts, with the aim of highlighting and rewarding good examples in all regions.

Region Västra Götaland receives the highest marks on the first and third points, which means that the scientific production is judged to be of very high quality.

- The Swedish Research Council points out that our region has both breadth and depth. We are internationally competitive in a number of areas and have a robust use of various sources in clinical research. It is well in line with our previous results and we want to work to further strengthen the good relations between the Region Västra Götaland and the University of Gothenburg, says Jan Kilhamn, head of research and development at Region Västra Götaland.

The second point that receives the highest rating in Region Västra Götaland is the conditions for research. The Swedish Research Council points to a strategic and well-organized activity to support clinical research, as well as an excellent access to research infrastructure.

- The result from the Swedish Research Council’s evaluation is a statement of strength for the life science cluster, which includes both the University of Gothenburg and the region. The development within that cluster is largely driven forward by clinical research, says Eva Wiberg, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gothenburg.

Major investment in quality registry research

One of the areas that Region Västra Götaland has chosen to invest extra in since the last evaluation is registry research. Among other things, this has led to the establishment of new professorships and greater opportunities in the use of register data. Strategic work around enabling employees to combine clinical work with research has also led to a steady increase in the number of employees with docentships at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

- Sahlgrenska University Hospital conducts leading research in many areas. Now a national evaluation with international panels shows that we maintain our nationally leading position and that the investments we make produce results. When we work closely together in academia and healthcare, we elevate each other and also contribute to lifting clinical research throughout the country, says Ann-Marie Wennberg, hospital director at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and professor at the University of Gothenburg.

Agneta Holmäng, professor and dean at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, also highlights the good collaboration as a success factor for clinical research:

It is of course positive that we perform so well in an external evaluation with international experts. It is a testament to the strong efforts of our successful researchers. An important factor is also the good cooperation between the academy, the region, the university hospital and the industry. The Swedish Research Council highlights that we have developed the collaboration with Chalmers and the industry, which is very positive. Sweden is a small country, we must constantly broaden and strengthen our collaborations, she says.

The article was originally published in Swedish in Sahlgrenskaliv, Sahlgrenska University Hospital's digital magazine.