History KI-Mayo Collaboration

Mayo Clinic (MC) and Karolinska Institutet (KI) have collaborated for more than a quarter of a century and in 2019, it was 25-year anniversary of the ongoing joint activities.

The collaboration started with a small annual scientific meeting focused on diabetes and metabolism. Since then, an annual joint conference alternates between Stockholm, Sweden and Rochester, USA, with increasing numbers of participants each year. In 2020, the annual meeting was held completely digital.  

A formal agreement was signed in 2011. Since then the collaboration has expanded into many areas of shared scientific, academic, and clinical interest. 

In 2012, an operative steering committee was formed, with five academic and administrative representatives from each organization. The steering committee's primary focus is to stimulate and deepen new and on-going collaborations. As an initial step, the steering committee initiated  a joint competitive annual travel award program  to promote short-term travel between the two organizations for faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows and students to plan or conduct collaborative interactions during 2013. The following year, competitive project grants were added as a mechanism to build collaborative strength toward national or international project funding. In 2015, the Awards program expanded to include funds for administrative projects.  

 A Master Research Collaboration Agreement was signed in September 2016. This ensures continued collaboration and describes joint processes for legal, financial and innovation aspects of the collaboration. This Master agreement means that there is now a joint system between KI and MC for intellectual property sharing and protection in collaborative projects. As a standalone agreement, a template for data and material transfer agreement has been established which outlines the principles of free transfer of materials, data and IP. The process of developing these strategies have involved intensive collaboration between innovation, administration and legal teams at both institutions. This agreement ensures continued collaboration and details joint processes for a more seamless flow between the institutions. 

Also in 2016 a comprehensive independent program evaluation was completed by experts from MC and KI. This evaluation report identified the MC-KI collaboration as a remarkably successful model of international synergy and productivity.