Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program

The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) is a major national initiative for strategically motivated basic research, education and faculty recruitment. It is by far the largest individual research program in Sweden.

The ambition of WASP is to advance Sweden into an internationally recognized and leading position in the areas of artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and software.

WASP has five partner universities: Chalmers University of Technology, Linköping University, Lund University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and Umeå University. In addition, research groups at Örebro University and Uppsala University that are members of WASP AI are also included in WASP.

Collaboration with Swedish industry is crucial, and it runs throughout several parts of WASP.

Research in WASP

A majority of the research in WASP is conducted through PhD student projects spanning the full range of WASP topics. Exciting projects are also conducted by the newly recruited faculty and already established senior researchers on our partner universities. On top of that, several projects are executed by postdocs. The research program has so far demonstrated both a depth and breadth. Key for all our funded projects is to strive for excellence.

The research area of artificial intelligence is organized in two tracks – one focusing on Machine Learning and Explainable AI (MLX) and the other on mathematical foundations of AI. Autonomous systems and software constitute the two other research tracks in the program.

Read more in our Research pages.

Strategic Instruments

To achieve the ambition of WASP, the program focuses on six strategic instruments. Each instrument is in turn executed by different initiatives to uphold a dynamic organization answering to the development of the program and the ever-changing world around it.

WASP strengthens, expands, and renews the national competence through:

Read more about the strategic instruments in the page Vision and Strategy.

Facts and Figures

  • Launched in 2015
  • Will continue at least until 2030
  • Funding in total 5,5 billion SEK
    Where of 4,2 billion SEK is donated by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the rest is co-funding from partner universities and Swedish industry.
  • 38 successful international recruitments of senior faculty made by January 2021
  • 40 companies engaged in the program
  • Aiming to accept 600 PhD students, where of 150 in industry
  • Aiming to establish at least 80 research groups


The organization structure of WASP reflects the strategic instruments and the scope of the research program. Below is a chart of the management groups, click on the picture for full screen view. Please visit the Management page  to see the current members.

Illustration of WASP governance structure