Over half of KI's personnel is moving during the year
Over the course of 2018, a large part of Karolinska Institutet's organisation will be gathered in a few buildings. It is the largest move since the 1940s when KI left Kungsholmen for Solna.
On this occasion over half of KI’s personnel will be moving. In addition, 80% of the experimental organisation, with laboratories and animals, will be housed in new facilities.
“This creates opportunities for greater collaboration, increased interaction and joint use of expensive equipment,” says Stefan Eriksson, vice-dean of infrastructure at KI.
The move means that a number of departments will be able to enjoy closer collaboration, as they will be sharing premises.
“We know that geographic proximity increases human interaction, with a variety of competences and methodological knowledge exchanged as a result,” continues Stefan Eriksson.
According to Stefan Eriksson, the fact that such a large proportion of the organisation will be moving in this particular year is mostly due to the condition of the old premises, as well as the need for premises better suited to their purpose. “The time was ripe for modernisation. This need has arisen almost simultaneously across the organisation.”
This coincided with the construction of New Karolinska Solna, leading to a need to relocate KI’s research operations on the hospital side. The BioClinicum research facility is now completed.
“Bioclinicum left its old premises in conjunction with the construction of the new hospital. At the same time, the opportunity arose to gather all of its research competence under one roof. Proximity to Biomedicum will lead to collaboration between different clinics and experts.”
Relocation to Neo complete
The move to the new research building Neo on KI’s Campus Flemingsberg is already complete. The move to BioClinicum should have commenced in January but due to problems with the hospital’s network the move was postponed. It will now begin in March instead.
“Stockholm County Council’s IT technicians couldn’t take the chance of allowing further users into the system, as there was a risk of disruption to the healthcare organisation,” explains Stefan Eriksson.
Biomedicum will begin to be filled in April. A large part of the experimental research at KI’s Campus Solna will move in together.
The building will have an open-plan solution for both workstations and laboratories.
“One may have opinions on openness, among other things with regard to lab safety. At the same time, the common laboratory offers opportunities for using expensive equipment that many individual research groups could not afford.”
Greater demands on animal facilities
With regard to laboratory animal activities, the changes are largely a result of legislative requirements.
“Requirements for animal activities have become more stringent, with higher standards than previously. This applies to both Swedish legislation and EU regulations,” says Stefan Eriksson.
The departments that are moving to Biomedicum will be leaving their current animal facilities and will share premises at Comparative Medicine Biomedicum (KMB), which will be a resource for all of KI. The Astrid Fagræus Laboratory and Comparative Medicine Wallenberg (KMW) will also remain.
Stefan Eriksson confirms that the large number of relocations also sets challenges for research groups. Rent costs are expected to rise from 11-12% of total turnover to 13-14%, before falling once again to the previous level.
“This presupposes that turnover increases successively over these years,” he says.
Another challenge is that staff will be working in a more open environment in the new premises.
“One must show consideration for one another in an entirely different way and depend on a high level of cooperation.”
Disturbance during relocation
It will also be necessary to be prepared to work as normal during the relocation process itself.
“This will be a challenge but, with good planning, it will go more smoothly than one might think. The hope is that these new premises will overcome any difficulties that may be experienced in the relocation process,” says Stefan Eriksson.
KI must also be prepared for the possibility of unforeseen events.
“Experience shows that anything can happen. But we have planned carefully and consulted with everyone involved.”
Text: Ann Patmalnieks
|Buildings||Departments moving (or parts of)||Occupancy||Inauguration|
|Neo|| ||Completed||24 May, 2018|
|ANA 8|| ||Has begun||February 2019|
|Biomedicum|| ||April-May 2018||September 2018|
|Bioclinicum|| ||March, May 2018||Not decided|