By Prolineserver - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

 

In support of their ranking of the OKC, the panel said, “OKC was already a very strong research environment before the Linnaeus program and is presently one of the leading centres world-wide in the field of fundamental astroparticle physics. The submitted scientific case study on multimessenger astrophysics including the newly-opened gravitational wave window to the universe is very compelling and well-written. Overall, the research of OKC is oriented towards the most challenging questions both in astronomy and elemental particle physics. As the energies of cosmic particles hitting the Earth will not be possible to obtain in terrestrial accelerators, astroparticle physics may become the most important experimental tool in the quest for fundamental understanding of the structure of matter in the universe. Consequently, also the research has a strong flavour of high risk – high gain. During the Linnaeus funding period the already very high scientific productivity of the centre has increased by a factor of 2 to 3. The bibliometry is excellent, being 2.1 times the average for top 10 percent publications. The centre is well-known internationally and has a very wide and strong international network." -- The Final Evaluation of the Linnaeus Grant: A ten year program for establishing Centres of Excellence

The OKC was one of twenty Linnaeus Centres which were funded for ten years each. The Centres themselves cited the focus on fundamental research, flexibility, and the long duration of the Linnaeus programme as the crucial factors that enabled successful research environments to be built. At OKC, among other benefits, the Linnaeus grant enabled key strategic faculty recruitments and provided seed money to join major international collaborations. This helped to shape an excellent research environment and provided the necessary synergy that allowed the OKC to gain leadership in breakthrough research areas.

Following the end of the Linnaeus programme, the research performance of the centres, their connection to the host institutions, and the societal relevance enabled by the programme has now been evaluated by the international panel. The panel finds that the centres have achieved breakthrough research, trained a highly-skilled new generation of researchers and developed sustainable research environments that have strengthened the position of Sweden as one of the leading research nations in Europe. The panel strongly recommends a new programme of Excellence Centres with the proven format of a long-term flexible funding arrangement. The full report from the evaluation is available here.