Achieving KI's vision through strategic focus areas

Broad collaboration and constructive dialogue between the university management and students, staff and KI’s operational managers have resulted in nine strategic focus areas, each of which will focus on a different aspect of what KI will need to do in order to develop and fulfil our vision. Work is now underway to concretise each focus area.

On 15 April 2019, Karolinska Institutet's University Board adopted Strategy 2030, a plan and strategy for how KI is to achieve its vision of “advancing knowledge about life and strive towards better health for all”. Strategy 2030 made it possible for KI to face the outside world and the future in a more effective and robust way, and since then, work has been ongoing to put the strategy into practice, in parallel with follow-up and revision. 

The election of a new university management in the spring of 2023, a changing society and operational expectations created additional momentum towards KI's overall objectives. In the autumn of 2023, a broad dialogue within KI resulted in nine strategic focus areas.

Icons for the strategic focus areas.
Icons for the strategic focus areas, created 2023. Photo: N/A

Clear direction towards the vision

The strategic focus areas support Strategy 2030 in its entirety, including the prerequisites for achieving the overarching objectives and vision. The work within the strategic focus areas will deliver a strong and attractive KI with sustainable structures, increased collaboration, clarity and transparency. 

The strategic focus areas already lie within many existing assignments and projects, but defining the focus areas will in itself serve to clarify and confirm the way forward. Not everything will happen at once, but a lot is already well underway, and several activities have been initiated. We have a clear direction forward with clear ambitions and priorities.

Now as KI takes the next step, we do so from a strong starting position with a solid reputation, strong finances and fantastic employees. We are now consolidating dialogue, collaboration and the practical conditions, and further strengthening KI’s image - both externally and internally. 

Each focus area will be concretised

The tasks assigned to each focus area are currently being concretised and formulated. The framework of each assignment specifies when, where and how the tasks will be carried out, who will be responsible for running them and who else will be involved. The work carried out by the focus areas will affect the whole of KI and ultimately be about achieving the university’s overarching objectives and vision. 

On this page you can follow the progress of the work with KI’s strategic focus areas.

A. Greater dialogue and transparency

Responsible: Johanna Bäckström, HR Director

Contact person: Ulrika Ekblad

Representative from KI's core operations: Anders Gustafsson

About the assignment: The assignment aims to strengthen the management culture at KI by implementing a dialogue-based approach at all levels of the organisation. The goal is to improve management skills, promote a trust-based work culture and increase cohesion. Improved internal communication will be achieved by for example training and supporting managers and management teams. The plan includes several actions in 2024, including development components for management teams, starting with the university management and the management of the Professional Services. The implementation of this approach will be rolled out across the organisation and will be evaluated, among others, via the 2025 staff survey.

Responsible: Peter Andréasson, Communications Director

Contact person: Anna Broberg

Representative from KI's core operations: Anders Gustafsson

About the assignment: The assignment focuses on improving internal communication at KI by increasing the clarity, coordination and prioritization of the communication work.

The work is divided into three main phases:

  • Phase 1 involves ongoing work to improve management's strategic internal communication, including clarifying communication channels and strengthening employee and manager communication.
  • Phase 2 aims to further deepen the work by improving the coordination and efficiency of internal communication channels and strengthening collaboration within the organization.
  • Phase 3 focuses on the long-term management and development of strategic communication, with the aim of maintaining and continuously improving a communicative culture within KI.

B. Clearer responsibilities and roles within the organisation and management

Responsible: Veronika Sundström, University Director

Contact person: Björn Forslöw

Representative from KI's core operations: Anders Gustafsson

Summary: The assignment aims to clarify the division of responsibilities between line and collegial bodies within the management organization. The work involves a broad process within the management organization to define issues for collegial decision-making and line decisions, analysis of the current and desired situation.The timetable extends over 2024, starting with a feasibility study, development of proposals, anchoring and dialog, referral and ending with a rector's decision.

Responsible: Marie-Louice Isacson, Head of Faculty Office and International Relations

Contact person: Gustaf Cars, coordinator

Representative from KI's core operations: to be announced

About the assignment: The assignment involves a review of KI's councils and committees to increase clarity and transparency.The goal is to create a more appropriate and transparent structure with clear mandates and reporting paths. The timetable extends over 2024 and the process includes mapping, dialogues and anchoring. The assignment does not include the organization of program boards in first- and second-cycle education, the election organization, steering groups/advisory groups for university-wide functions, or groupings at department level.

The assignment is dependent on work underway in other areas and will be updated with names of responsible and contact persons in 2025.

C. Strategic and needs-driven skills supply

Responsible and contact person: Johanna Bäckström, HR Director

Representatives from KI's core operations: Ewa Ehrenborg and Sten Linnarsson

About the assignment: The aim of the assignment is to improve KI's strategic skills supply by creating a long-term and systematic model for recruiting and sizing staff. The aim is to ensure that KI has the right skills to meet future needs in both research and education, while also managing challenges such as retirements and continuing to be an attractive employer for teachers and researchers. 

In 2024, a comprehensive strategy for the supply of expertise for teaching and research staff will be developed. It will be based on the needs of both education and research and will be adapted to the university's resources and resource allocation, as well as the target image for the desired dimensioning. 

The assignment also includes developing rules for employment after reaching LAS age, to both enable senior employees to remain if necessary and clarify the work on skills supply and transfer. 

Responsible: Johanna Bäckström, HR Director

Contact person: Marie Sandström Akram

Representatives from KI's core operations: Jesper Lagergren and Carl Johan Sundberg

About the assignment: The assignment aims to streamline and quality-assure the process for recruiting professors and senior lecturers. The goal is to shorten the processing time while maintaining quality and legal certainty. In common with the objectives of the assignment for strategic skills supply (C1), the assignment here is to use a strategic recruitment group or an extended mandate for the Recruitment Board to align calls and appointments with the university's overall needs, dimensioning and plan for strategic skills supply. In connection with this, proposals for a clarified assignment to the Recruitment Board will also be developed.

A streamlined process will be mapped and proposals for improvements developed during 2024, with implementation planned for the end of the year. This work is closely linked to and has dependencies on the overall project for strategic skills supply (C1). These two missions will co-deliver parts of the missions.

D. Sustainable and future-proofed finances

Responsible and contact persons: Gunnar Gustafsson Wiss, Director of Planning and Eva Tegelberg, Director of Finance.

Representatives from KI's core operations: Deans at KI

About the assignment: The assignment aims to develop a resource allocation model for the research grant that is well anchored in the organization. The model should help ensure that allocated government grants are used on an ongoing basis and do not accumulate as agency capital. It should be possible to apply the model from 2025 onwards. The timetable extends beyond 2024 with the development of various possible basic models that are discussed within KI's various management bodies and then result in a main model that is anchored in the management organization.

E. Optimised use of premises, infrastructure and facilities

Responsible and contact person: Rikard Becker

Representatives from KI's core operations: Sten Linnarsson and Rune Brautaset

About the assignment: The aim of the assignment is to reduce KI's leased space and thereby reduce premises costs by rationalising and restructuring existing premises. The aim is for KI to have the right, cost-effective and flexible premises with a high utilisation rate and to increase knowledge of how operations can influence premises costs.

Two major projects have been initiated: vacating the ANA10 building and modernising the working methods and workplace for employees of the Professional Services (PS). The process also includes a continuous evaluation of rental agreements to ensure reasonable costs and flexibility. In addition, KI will increase transparency regarding the utilisation of premises by other principals, and investigate premises issues within the SciLifeLab collaboration.

The timetable for leaving ANA10 and modernising working methods and workplaces of PS extends until 2026. A premises supply plan is updated and decided on annually, describing KI's premises needs three to five years ahead.
Separate projects to formalise the use of premises by other principals and to investigate SciLifeLab premises issues are ongoing.

Responsible: Karin Dahlman-Wright, Professor; Martin Bergö, Vice President and Gunnar Gustafsson Wiss, Director of Planning

Contact person: Karin Dahlman-Wright

Representative from KI's core operations: Matti Sällberg

About the assignment: The assignment aims to consolidate and optimize the research infrastructure at KI to increase quality and efficiency.It involves an inventory and review of existing research infrastructures, with the aim of creating an attractive and competent organization that optimally supports KI's research. This includes ensuring operational and information security and efficient use of resources.The process includes preparation of discussion documents, broad anchoring within the organization, and development of concrete proposals with associated resource requirements for implementation, with a timetable extending to spring 2025.

Note: The focus area originally included the separate task E3: Coordinate sustainable animal activities with the region. It is now integrated with E2.

F. Coordinated and optimised administration

Responsible: Veronika Sundström, Univerisity Director

Contact person: Marie-Louice Isacson

Representative from KI's core operations: Deans at KI

About the assignment: The assignment runs as a project over 2024-2025. The project page contains more information on the objectives and purpose, organisation and timeline of the project.

Responsible: Helén Törnqvist, Head of the Legal Office and Björn Kull, Head of the Research Support Office (RSO)

Contact person: Richard Cowburn

Representative from KI's core operations: a working group with broad representation from the departments.

About the assignment: The assignment aims to streamline KI's contract process. The initiative includes strengthened competence and support for contract preparation, negotiations, and risk assessments. The goal is to establish a clear division of responsibilities, improve competence transfer to the institutions, and implement a new case management system to facilitate contract management. Proposed measures include the creation of a contract coordinator function in the institutions and the reinforcement of central support functions. The introduction of a common case management system is an important step in this process.

G. Strengthened and coordinated security

Responsible and contact person: Tomas Högberg

About the assignment: The assignment aims to increase coordination on security issues at KI by creating a more integrated and efficient security organisation. The aim is to improve analysis, scenario planning and proactive security work, as well as to strengthen cooperation between security functions and other departments, such as HR and the International Office. 

The work will include interviews with managers of current security functions, identification of management needs, and a review of the institutions' internal security organisations. An analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of different organisational solutions will be carried out.

The timetable is for the preparatory work to take place before summer 2024, for a decision to be taken in early autumn 2024, and for the implementation of a more coordinated security function to take place at the end of 2024/beginning of 2025.

Responsible: Helén Törnqvist, Head of the Legal Office

Contact persons: Stefan Larsson

Representative from KI's core operations: a working group with broad representation from the departments.

About the assignment: The assignment aims to strengthen KI's information security work. This work is part of KI's commitment to comply with national security regulations and support KI's strategic goals. By developing and following a three-year goal and strategy document and annual business plans, the work aims to involve all institutions in an improved and coherent information security work, where regular dialogues, training and risk analysis play key roles. The goal is to achieve a high level of awareness and competence in information security at KI, and to ensure a coherent situational picture for management. The work is ongoing and aims to be fully implemented by the end of 2026, with continuous follow-up and reporting to KI's management and consistory.

Responsible and contact person: Mattias Nordström, Head of Information Technology Office

Representative from KI's core operations: continuous dialog with core operations and other stakeholders in ongoing work. 

About the assignment: The assignment aims to improve the secure and correct handling of data at KI by increasing users' awareness and knowledge of the Information Technology Office's solutions for storing and sharing data, which include different types of central storage, OneDrive, Teams and various server solutions. The work emphasizes the importance of adapting data storage to different needs and security requirements. The work includes regular follow-up, dialog with users and updating information on the employee portal to counteract risks such as incorrect data storage and the use of non-secure solutions.

H. Strengthened environment for collaboration with healthcare sector

Responsible: Veronika Sundström, University Director

About the assignment: The assignment will be handled as a subproject within the framework of F1. Review of administrative organisation and procedures.

The aim of the assignment is to improve and streamline cooperation with the health service. This is done by creating a more resourced and coordinated operational support where responsibilities and mandates in different parts of the organisation are clarified. The project is divided into two parts:

  • The first focuses on reviewing the management, staffing and organisation of support to KI's management and the decision-making forum of the collaboration organisation.
  • The second part aims to identify and address needs in all areas of operational support in order to identify development needs and create a coherent structure for development work.

I. Enhanced societal attractiveness and relevance

Responsible: Peter Andréasson, Director of Communications and Marie-Louice Isacson, Head of Faculty Office and International Relations

Contact person: Peter Andréasson

Representative from KI's core operations: Carl Johan Sundberg

About the assignment: The assignment focuses on developing a process for assessing and prioritizing areas for collaboration with and impact on the surrounding society. The goal is to create a long-term and strategic direction for KI's management regarding relevant external issues and actors, but also to create a readiness for the management to be able to act quickly on urgent issues. The process aims to provide support for collaboration with society, identify priority areas and actors for increased activity and systematically update these priorities. The work process includes drafts, proposals for priorities, workshops with management, and final delivery of process proposals and priorities.

Responsible: Ulrika Widegren, Head of Unit, Sustainable development and equal opportunities office at FIR

Contact person: Anna Zorzet

Representative from KI's core operations: Centre for Health Crises

About the assignment: The assignment is aimed at strengthening KI's preparations and collaboration with other universities and authorities for future health crises. The work process includes exploring interest, conducting dialog meetings to explore expectations on the role of universities during health crises, and planning for next steps based on these discussions. The project also includes establishing clear lines of contact and collaboration with authorities and establishing a national health crisis network to promote collaboration and effective communication. KI's Centre for Health Crises plays a central role as coordinator of the network, which builds on previous dialogues and mapping of competencies at Swedish universities.

Note: The assignment is already ongoing within the framework of the work already carried out by KI's Centre for Health Crises. It is thus completed within the framework of strategic focus areas. 

Updates to the assignment cards

This is a record of updates and changes to the published assignment cards.
30 May 2024 Assignment cards updated with representatives from KI's core operations
22 May 2024 Assignment cards for: A1, C1, C2, E1 and G1 published on this page.
22 May 2024 Assignment H is updated as part of the project in assignment F1.
21 May 2024 Assignment B3 updated with new timetable.
19 April 2024 Assignment F1 is updated with a link to the project page.
18 April 2024 Assignment E2 renamed to "An integrated organisation for KI:s research infrastructure for improved quality and efficacy" (Previously: Remodelling of internal infrastructure organisation)
15 March 2024 Assignment E3 is integrated with E2.
15 March 2024 Assignment I2 is updated as part of the work already carried out by KI's Centre for Health Crises, and thus completed within the framework of strategic focus areas.
15 March 2024 Information about 11 of 18 assignments published in English on this page.