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History KI-Mayo Collaboration

For 25 years Karolinska Institutet (KI) has cooperated with the Mayo Clinic (USA).

Mayo Clinic developed gradually from the medical practice of a pioneer doctor, Dr. William Worrall Mayo, who settled in Rochester, Minnesota, in 1863. Through the years, Mayo Clinic has nurtured and developed its founders' style of working together as a team. Shared responsibility and consensus still provide the framework for decision making at Mayo. That teamwork in medicine is carried out by more than 55,000 doctors, nurses, scientists, students and allied health staff at Mayo Clinic locations in the Midwest, Arizona and Florida. Today, Mayo Clinic and its hospitals form the largest integrated medical center in the world, providing comprehensive diagnosis and treatment in virtually all medical and surgical specialties.

"The Mayo Clinic has a unique structure, in which healthcare, education and research all have the same principle," says Professor Martin Schalling, academic coordinator for the partnership between KI and Mayo Clinic.

The Mayo Clinic and Karolinska Institutet collaboration began with a small annual scientific meeting focused on diabetes and metabolism. A formal agreement was celebrated in 2011, and the collaboration has expanded to include many areas of joint scientific, academic, and clinical interest.

An operative Steering Committee, with five academic and administrative representatives from each institution, was formed in September 2012. The Steering Committee's primary focus is to stimulate and deepen new and on-going collaborations.

In 2012, a joint competitive annual travel award program was initiated to promote short-term travel between institutions by 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 collaboration agreement was signed in September 2016 which 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 Mayo Clinic 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.

In 2017 the collaboration has been evaluated. Read the whole report here.