KI comments on the Swedish Research Council's examination of BBMRI.se
Commentary: The Swedish Research Council has commissioned an audit of the large-scale biobank initiative BBMRI.se, in which Karolinska Institutet (KI) comes under fire on several counts as the host university. KI comments on the report.
We take full note of the criticism and have passed the report on to KI’s internal audit office for an examination of the financial issues. Karolinska Institutet has not handled the matter satisfactorily; for example, it took too long to establish a board and a strategic plan, and the project has not been managed clearly. There have also been internal collaborative problems that KI has not managed to sort out. There was, however, support for setting up the biobank at KI, as the SRC’s audit confirms. Granted, there was some formal obscurity surrounding how the decision was taken, but it was correct in substance. We were also criticised for supposedly having distributed resources in our favour. The report did, however, contain errors regarding investments in equipment: the amount for KI also includes staff costs, and the amount for other universities was SEK 4.6 million, not SEK 4.6 thousand, as incorrectly stated at the beginning of the report.
Biobanks are a vital resource for medical research, and KI contends that BBMRI.se has represented an extremely important capacity improvement for Swedish epidemiological research that has contributed to scientific advances.