Interview with Anders Karlén, COMBINE Project Coordinator, Uppsala University

May 2021

ⓒ Combine

What are the challenges of working in large collaborations involving many and diverse partners?

Some processes take time when decisions must be anchored in all partners involved. There may be varying expectations by partners, and it is important to communicate regularly to ensure effective collaboration and engagement. COMBINE has 11 partners located in 6 different countries, and with the COVID-19 pandemic we have unfortunately not been able to meet in person over the last year. With virtual events, it is more difficult to provide networking opportunities, something that is important for new projects.

What are the learnings from your previous experience in the IMI project ENABLE?

Learnings from leadership and administrative procedures in the ENABLE projects are applicable and valuable for the coordination and support role of COMBINE. Having been involved in the AMR field on the European level for more than 7 years have given me a fantastic scientific experience as well as a very valuable network.

How does COMBINE support the work of the other AMR Accelerator projects?

COMBINE coordinates support to the AMR Accelerator projects in data management and communication via the Coordination Committee, the Data Management Group and the Communication Champions Team. In these groups, which include representatives from all participating projects, information is shared, communication strategies aligned, data governance streamlined and potential synergies between the projects are explored. In addition, the Communication Advisory Board and the Ethics Advisory Board, which consist of external advisors, are resources for advice and guidance to the projects.


This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 853967. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA companies’ in kind contribution.

About the AMR Accelerator

The aim of the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Accelerator Programme is to progress the development of new medicines to treat or even prevent resistant bacterial infections in Europe and worldwide. The programme comprises the following three pillars: a Capability Building Network, a Tuberculosis Drug Development Network, and the Portfolio Building Networks.

The scope of the AMR Accelerator is broad; under one structure, it addresses many of the scientific challenges of AMR, and it supports the development of new ways to prevent and treat AMR. More broadly, the AMR Accelerator contributes to the European action plan on AMR.

For more information on the AMR Accelerator, please visit

About the Innovative Health Initiative

The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) is Europe’s largest public-private initiative aiming to speed up the development of better and safer medicines for patients. IHI supports collaborative research projects and builds networks of industrial and academic experts in order to boost pharmaceutical innovation in Europe. IHI is a joint undertaking between the European Union and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, EFPIA.

For more information, please visit


This communication reflects the views of the authors and neither IMI nor the European Union and EFPIA are liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.