the swedish foundation for strategic environmental research
supporting research of strategic importance for a
good living environment and sustainable development

Executive Director

Highlights 2017

Funded research

Mistra meets

Interview: Thomas Rosswall

Mistra in figures

Interview: Mette Morsing


Year 2017 at Mistra


Mistra in figures

Funds disbursed by Mistra: 0 million kronor

Total to Swedish
recipients, SEK m
Total to foreign
recipients, SEK m

Disbursements in SEK m, by recipient

Disbursements in SEK m to the five largest recipients

Five largest recipients
share of total funds

Avsnitt 1Åke IverfeldtMistra’s CEO
Åke Iverfeldt
on the past year For Mistra, one important event in 2017 was our move to new premises. We rest firmly on our history and our Statutes, but we also want to be part of modern society — and have tried to create a setting that reflects this. We have purchased second-hand classic Swedish furniture, used products made from recycled materials and renovated furniture instead of buying new items. Among research initiatives launched during the year was Mistra Geopolitics, which took its place in security policy and geopolitics from the start. Once a platform has been created, the research results generated subsequently will be in demand. Another programme that has been established is Mistra Carbon Exit, which links directly to the new Swedish Climate Act and the net zero emissions target by 2045. The programme will cover sectors such as transport, infrastructure and construction, to see how these can help achieve net zero emissions. Mistra TerraClean, also launched in 2017, builds on Sweden’s existing lead in materials research. Finding more applications in the environmental sector is important for purifying gas or water streams, for example. Finally, Mistra Sustainable Consumption is a new initiative that addresses one of our major challenges for achieving a sustainable society: how our consumption can change so that we reach key climate targets. In our asset management, we have focused on corporate governance. We invest in funds and engage in a close dialogue with their managers. During the year, we developed a structured process for this dialogue, based on an in-house analysis of our investments. The return has been good and exceeded the benchmark index. Today, our assets total SEK 3.1 billion, while we have disbursed SEK 4.1 billion to various initiatives since the start. In 2017, SEK 200 million was spent on research aimed at favourable conditions for life and solving high-priority environmental problems. Åke Iverfeldt,
Mistra’s CEO
Avsnitt 2 Januari: Mistra’s environmental review initiative under scrutiny A panel of experts, including Maria Wetterstrand, identified success factors at Mistra EviEM. European innovation prize for Mistra Urban Futures Mistra Urban Futures started the year as the winner of a European competition on responsible research and innovation. Februari: Research on non-toxic barley cultivation flourishing New results on the inherent capacity of barley to protect itself against pests were based on research in the PlantComMistra programme. Mars: Visiting environmental minister’s emphasis on benefits of research Even more environmental research along the lines of Mistra’s initiatives was the wish expressed by Karolina Skog, Sweden’s Minister for the Environment, on her visit to Mistra. SEK 45 million for programme on sustainable consumption A research programme headed by KTH Royal Institute of Technology began investigating which tools politicians can use to steer society towards sustainable consumption. April: Women active in Mistra among the economy’s most powerful A list of Sweden’s most powerful women in terms of their capacity to transform society included several women connected with Mistra. Youth workshop contributes to Mistra’s global monitoring Digitisation and technological development, as well as more individualisation and health, were the themes addressed when upper secondary students shared their views on sustainability. Maj: Research to combat fact resistance gets Mistra programme heads involved Getting involved in public debate without jeopardising one’s credibility was discussed when Mistra’s programme managers met to create synergies among their research fields. Juni: Extended initiative to bring more refugees into research traineeships The Mistra Refugee Programme was extended by one year. The initiative is intended to give refugees a chance of getting traineeships or trial jobs in Mistra’s research programmes. Åke Iverfeldt elected to general assembly for SNS Mistra’s CEO was elected as a member of the highest decision-making body, the Board of Trustees, of the Centre for Business and Policy Studies (Studieförbundet Näringsliv och Samhälle, SNS). He wanted to use this position to exert influence, not least in the area of sustainability, but also to be influenced by other members of the Board. SEK 49m for new programme on infrastructure maintenance Delayed trains and leaking water mains are examples of shortcomings in Swedish infrastructure, Mistra issued a new funding call for a research programme on maintenance of infrastructure. Juli: High volume of Mistra research aimed at exerting influence at Almedalen A buffet of genetically modified (GM) foods and discussions on improved clothes recycling and Swedes’ outdoor recreation were among the programme items to which Mistra contributed during the 2017 politicians’ week in Visby, Gotland. Future Forests wants to move debate forward Although concluded, the Future Forests programme continues to feature in debate. Five films on the choices ahead for Swedish forests have been produced. Augusti: New initiative to reduce environmental load of drugs The Swedish Government wants to spread knowledge of the environmental impact of drugs, and improve wastewater treatment to remove medicine residues. These measures are both based on research in MistraPharma. September: A quarter-century of Royal talks on environment and development At the Royal Colloquium, celebrating its 25th (silver) anniversary, Mistra’s CEO Åke Iverfeldt joined in discussing climate change and the importance of cooperation. Oktober: Mistra gets new website with more search functions Mistra’s website has undergone a complete makeover. The idea is for it to be both better-looking and easier to use. Workshop on how to create a greener financial market Mistra contributed to the discussion on whether hedge funds that manage large-scale assets can become more sustainable in their investments. November: Mistra joins climate summit in Bonn Two Mistra programmes held side events at the major UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, for example presenting an action plan to reverse upward emission trends and reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases to zero by 2050. Lessons from success in combating acidification Fifty years of European measures to combat acidification were highlighted at an international seminar, where Mistra was one of the organisers. Mistra’s initiative on sustainable development in the Arctic completed Mistra Arctic Sustainable Development presented its conclusions after four years’ research. In its efforts to understand the history of the Arctic, the programme has looked both back and forward in time. December: Mistra moves to new premises Since December, Mistra’s new address has been Sveavägen 25, in a building with the international LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold ecolabel. New centre for research on sustainable investments The Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre is a new knowledge centre for sustainable investment. Mistra is one of the participants that have worked to bring about the Centre. Bioeconomy and the forest: call for research proposals Mistra is to start a programme on bioeconomy, focusing on forest resources. The programme will have a budget of SEK 83 million over four years. Avsnitt 3Mistra möter Behov av kunskapsbroar mellan akademi, kommun och näringslivBetydelsefulla nätverk, viktig kunskap och perspektiv på forskning som leder till tillämpning. Här delar tre tidigare Mistraforskare, som idag verkar inom näringsliv och offentlig sektor, med sig av hur deras forskarbakgrund gör nytta utanför akademin. Rajni Hatti-Kaul om engagemang, medvetenhet och akademinProfessor Rajni Hatti-Kaul tänker ständigt på gapet mellan rika och fattiga länder. På hur hon kan bidra till en ökad miljömedvetenhet. Flytten från Indien till Sverige, miljöengagemanget och livet inom akademin har gett henne erfarenheter som hon tänker använda för att skapa mer praktisk förändring. Gensaxen ger nytta för miljö och människa – lagstiftning hindrarGensaxen har fått stor uppmärksamhet sedan årets Nobelpris i kemi offentliggjordes. Inom Mistra Biotech har forskarna använt metoden för att utveckla potatissorter som kräver mindre kemikalie- och energianvändning samtidigt som de får ökad mögelresistens och optimerad stärkelsekvalitet. Men för att nå marknaden och främja ett mer hållbart jordbruk behöver EU:s lagstiftning förtydligas. Banar väg för ett hållbart svenskt livsmedelssystemNu har startskottet för Mistra Food Futures gått. Forskningsprogrammet kommer att arbeta fram mål för vad det svenska livsmedelssystemet behöver uppnå till år 2045 för att vara ekonomiskt-, socialt- och miljömässigt hållbart. Programchef Helena Hansson, professor vid SLU, berättar om internationell inspiration, känslor och engagemang runt mat samt vad hon ser som programmets största utmaning. “Rika människor behöver utveckla en känsla av tillräcklighet”När vi pratar hållbar konsumtion behöver vi också våga prata om minskad konsumtion. Det anser Åsa Callmer, som skrivit sin doktorsavhandling inom forskningsprogrammet The Seed Box. Hon har studerat begreppet tillräcklighet – att känna sig förnöjsam med vad man har och ta steget mot en rättvist fördelad resursanvändning inom de planetära gränserna. Maria Wetterstrand ska ge svenska företag insyn i EU-politikenHon provoceras av resursslöseri. Engageras av positioner där hon kan göra reell skillnad. Och räds inte att pusha företag mot ett mer ambitiöst hållbarhetsarbete. Möt Maria Wetterstrand som med ny bas i Bryssel ska ge svenskt näringsliv större insyn i EU:s miljö- och klimatpolitik. Avsnitt 4 Mistra’s research initiatives Read more about Mistra's research initiatives from the Foundation's inception to the present day. Programmes marked in blue are in progress, while those marked in green have been completed. For every programme, you can find more information below about its content and what happened during the year under review. Misum miusm.jpg – Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets. The aim of “Responsible Consumption and Production” by the year 2030 is among the most challenging of the global Sustainable Development Goals, not least for Sweden with our high, largely import-based consumption. But our composition, with researchers and a variety of stakeholders, is well judged for the purpose of devising practical means to this end. Their solutions will help to bring about a sharing economy, resource efficiency, use of recycled and recovered materials — and sustainable business models that pave the way for business and entrepreneurship. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/misum-the-mistra-centre-for-sustainable-markets/ 2015–2024 SEK 120 million Stockholm School of Economics · Phase 1 of Misum started, with new platforms. Martina Björkman Nyqvist became the Centre’s new director, Viveka Hirdman-Ryrberg its new Board Chair and Maya Rebermark the new Stakeholder Engagement Director. · Misum’s Annual Forum 2020 on the theme of ‘Are inequalities rising and green investments declining due to Covid-19?’ was held. · Misum’s Emma Sjöström participated in a meeting with the Swedish National Innovation Council, where she discussed such matters as how policy can contribute to long-term sustainable financial markets. Mistra TerraClean smarta-mmaterial_low.jpg This programme will study materials at the molecular and the macroscopic level. The aim is to develop both existing and new materials with the potential to solve environmental problems, and at the same time enhance companies’ competitiveness. The focus is on porous materials capable of removing environmentally harmful substances from air, soil and water. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-terraclean/ 2017–2021 SEK 51 million KTH Royal Institute of Technology · Mistra TerraClean was added to the 100 List of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). This list brings together ‘current research projects with the potential to create benefits through, for example, industrial commercialisation or business and method development, or by impacting society’. · A technology that is giving highly promising results on capture of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from water is being developed. In 2020, the programme tested the equipment, which was developed at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, while various PFAS substances were analysed at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. With in-depth knowledge of efficiency, control parameters and what forms during the capture process, the programme has learnt so much that it has started building a large pilot installation at Hammarby Sjöstadsverk, a municipal wastewater treatment plant, due to be commissioned in February 2021. The Seed Box seed-box.jpg A Mistra–Formas Environmental Humanities Collaboratory In a world where the effects of climate change are increasingly evident, nature can no longer be thought of as separate from culture. We are in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, marked by far-reaching human influence on the earth and its geological development. Humanities research, redefined and based firmly in the real world, is called for. It must be capable of encompassing nature and ecological contexts, social differences and ethics, creative relationships and political identity processes. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/the-seed-box-an-environmental-humanities-collaboratory/ 2015–2022 SEK 32 million Linköpings University · In November, ‘Experimental Zone 1’ was held. This was the first in a series of events organised by a group of researchers and artists at Linköping University, designated the Bureau for Alternative Methodologies (BAM),. The event was broadcast in digital form and held with support from The Seed Box and LiU (Linköping University) Humanities. · Several participants in The Seed Box took part in Konstdygnet, a digital event where artists, researchers and philosophers made a joint effort to reflect on the months that changed the world. The 24-hour art event, arranged by Sörmland County Museum, was based on Åsa Elzén’s exhibition Träda — Fogelstadgruppen och jord. · In September, The Seed Box joined in the seminar Vad, vem och varför? Forskning om forskningskommunikation i Sverige (‘What, Who and Why? Research on science communication in Sweden)’. This seminar was held by the Swedish Research Council jointly with Public & Science (VA) and Linköping University. The panellists included The Seed Box Programme Director Victoria Wibeck and Jesper Olsson, former Programme Director and one of the research leaders. Mistra Sustainable Consumption sust-consumption-shopping-cart-1275480_1920.jpg Sustainable consumption and production patterns are needed for the transition to a more sustainable economy. This is set out in, for example, the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The intention is for the programme to help develop the area and increase knowledge about which ways forward are possible and most effective. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-sustainable-consumption/ 2017–2021 SEK 45 million KTH Royal Institute of Technology · In cooperation with Northeastern University in Boston, Mistra Sustainable Consumption held the 2020 international Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI) research conference, which brought together hundreds of researchers from all over the world. It was an entirely digital event, because of the prevailing COVID-19 situation. · A report published by the programme showed that personal greenhouse-gas emissions can be reduced by 40 per cent with existing measures. This report had a major media impact and was extensively discussed. · Researchers in the programme collaborated with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in writing a report on how policy instruments can make food consumption more sustainable. The report proposes concrete measures that may be directly useful in implementing policy. Mistra STEPS plast_low.jpg – Sustainable Plastics and Transition Pathways This programme aims to develop plastics based on biological feedstocks. In Sweden, forests are a conceivable source of raw materials, while in other parts of the world they could come from agricultural products or algae. The transition to biobased production should be guided by systems thinking, taking account of factors such as energy consumption and the use of various additives. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/steps-sustainable-plastics-and-transition-pathways/ 2016–2024 SEK 95 million Lunds University · On 1 September, Mistra STEPS embarked on Phase 2. · From 10 to 27 September, the outdoor exhibition Materiality & Aggregation, a collaboration between research and design, was displayed at the Form/Design Center in Malmö. With its dreamlike artwork, it set out to arouse curiosity and thereby spread knowledge about plastic. · A sustainable and resource-efficient process to produce a sugar-based plastic building block was developed. It has also been used to produce polyurethane fibres. The option of spinning and chemically recovering the fibres was demonstrated. Mistra SAMS SAMS.jpg – Sustainable Accessibility and Mobility Services This programme will on the one hand generate knowledge in the area of mobility and accessibility, and on the other use that knowledge to work with other stakeholders to develop sustainable mobility and accessibility solutions with the potential to make a difference in society. Programme partners include several cities, other municipalities and companies. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-sams-sustainable-accessibility-and-mobility-services/ 2016–2024 SEK 85 million KTH Royal Institute of Technology · Mistra SAMS continued to receive research funding, which was awarded for a second phase, from 2021 to 2024. · Jointly with party colleagues from Botkyrka Municipality, Sweden’s Minister for Financial Markets and Housing, Per Bolund, visited the Mistra SAMS Living Lab, with its work hub, in Tullinge. · Mistra SAMS appeared on the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences’ 100 List. Mistra REES REES.jpg – Resource-Efficient and Effective Solutions Mistra REES is seeking to develop principles, methods and guidelines that will serve as a basis for resource-efficient products, services and business models. Another aim is to propose policy instruments and packages that will promote the transition to a more circular economy. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-resource-efficient-and-effective-solutions-rees-based-on-circular-economy-thinking/ 2015–2023 SEK 89 million Linköpings University · Despite the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, interest in Mistra REES among companies and the community, and in its sphere of activity, is greater than ever. During the year, we partnered with several of Sweden’s leading companies through our consortium agreement for Phase 2. · Mistra REES actively contributed knowledge to, for example, Sweden’s and the EU’s action plans, as well as international standards for a circular economy. · Mistra REES was placed on IVA’s 100 List of current research projects with the potential to generate benefits. Mistra Geopolitics geopolitiics.jpg This research programme aims to develop a knowledge base that will provide a better understanding of how environmental and natural resource challenges interact with new social, political and economic patterns in the world. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-geopolitics/ 2017–2024 SEK 108 million Stockholm Environment Institute · The geopolitics of COVID-19 and climate change was one of Mistra Geopolitics’ largest webinars ever. The seminar brought together more than 600 participants from around the world to discuss the importance of disruptive events for sustainable development. · Extensive scenario analysis of the pandemic’s geopolitical consequences, with questionnaire surveys and workshops, involved over 300 Swedish participants. Two events on the theme were held during the autumn: Climate, Security and Geopolitics — How do we navigate in corona times? and Global climate implications of the US elections. · The study ‘Humanitarian need drives multilateral disaster aid’, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), is the first calculation of the extent of UN climate-related disaster aid at global level. The study, written in 2020 during Phase 1, was published by PNAS in January 2021. Mistra Financial Systems financial-systems.jpg This programme aims to show how financial markets and operators can contribute to a more sustainable society, in areas ranging from environmental impacts of the economy and financial stability to efficient financial services. The results will support both private and public decision-making, as well as providing a basis for reforms and regulation of the financial sector. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-financial-systems/ 2016–2020 SEK 30 million Stockholm School of Economics · After five intensive years’ research on the role of financial markets in the transition towards a more sustainable society, Mistra Financial Systems (MFS) was completed at the end of 2020. Work at the Stockholm School of Economics, Lochlann Quinn School of Business of University College Dublin, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Resilience Centre and Stockholm Environment Institute, had resulted in 105 academic publications and working papers, more than 100 conference participants and contributions to educational events and more than 300 other outreach events. · Researchers were cited in publications such as the New York Times and Dagens Nyheter, and on the BBC News. · MFS held a three-part series of webinars to convey research highlights: Decarbonisation and sustainable investments; Systems thinking, tipping points and the future of sustainable finance; and Shades of green: sustainable investments, financial literacy and innovation. Mistra Environmental Nanosafety nanosafety2.jpg Nanomaterials are being used in more and more areas, and have many properties that could contribute to sustainable development. At the same time, there are significant gaps in our understanding of their environmental characteristics. This programme offers an interdisciplinary research environment that will generate new knowledge, identify new applications and help ensure safe use of nanotechnology. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-environmental-nanosafety/ 2014–2023 SEK 90 million Lund University · In May, an impact-themed conference was held. It was led by Chalmers University of Technology and implemented in collaboration with SIO Grafen, a national strategic innovation programme supporting industrial graphene development in Sweden. · During the autumn programme meeting, the focus was on junior researchers and students. All the PhD and postdoctoral students gave a presentation and described the methods and analyses they use. The aim was to emphasise the wide-ranging skills available in the programme and to enhance collaboration among the work packages. This was followed up with virtual coffee break — an occasion resembling online speed dating. · Programme participants took part in a national waste conference on research and knowledge about disposal, recovery and destruction of nanomaterials. Several waste companies that will soon be tasked with disposing of nanoparticles in flue gases and leachate participated. Mistra Carbon Exit carbon-exit.jpg The programme sets out to contribute research to back proposals for reshaping Swedish industry, and society at large, to achieve net zero emissions of greenhouse gases and meet Swedish and international climate targets. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-carbon-exit/ 2017–2025 SEK 122 million IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute · Three roadmaps were developed, showing that net-zero emissions are attainable by 2045 with known technology. · The EU’s emissions trading needs to be tightened up, and other policy instruments will be required for the climate transition. · We need to induce purchasers, architects and entrepreneurs along the value chains (for housing and transport infrastructure) to make climate-smart choices. Mistra Arctic Sustainable Development nat72466-Arctic-dev-utlysning.jpg Climate change, growing political interest and new technology for extracting natural resources are intensifying conflicts among various stakeholders regarding future directions in the Arctic. Historical development in the region also affects the decisions made. The programme’s research is intended to boost knowledge of the situation in the region and show ways forward that can contribute to sustainable development. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-arctic-sustainable-development/ 2014–2018 SEK 30 million Umeå University · Avslutad AquaAgri matmc_va10622-Akvakultur.jpg – Efficient, sustainable production systems in aquaculture and agriculture This thematic programme is aimed at learning more about how to achieve higher agricultural yields with reduced environmental impact, and how to develop sustainable fish farming and other aquaculture. Research takes place in several research environments where strategies, technology and ideas for efficient, sustainable cultivation and animal breeding are being developed. The initiative is being implemented jointly with the Swedish Research Council Formas and the Swedish Farmers’ Supply and Crop Marketing Organisation’s research foundation. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/aquaagri-efficient-sustainable-production-systems-in-aquaculture-and-agriculture/ 2014–2018 SEK 32 million Vreta Kluster, a business park for green industry · Avslutad Mistra Innovation innovation.jpg Small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) may have good ideas for environmentally sound products and services, but often lack in-house research resources. The programme gave these companies a chance to develop their innovative ideas in collaboration with higher education institutions and research institutes. Research focused on areas regarded as highly important to the competitiveness of Swedish industry. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-innovation/ 2012–2019 SEK 88 million Mistra · Avslutad Mistra Closing the Loop CLosing-the-loop.jpg Better use of industrial wastes through effective recovery of materials is one way of ‘closing the loop’ in society. This research programme aims to develop more efficient methods of recovering materials such as metals, chemicals and plastics, as well as electronic and other complex products. It is designing ways of both identifying resources and recycling them back into industry. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-closing-the-loop/ 2012–2019 SEK 88 million RISE Research Institutes of Sweden · In March, Mistra Closing the Loop held its final seminar. The message was clear: now is the time; the timing is perfect for taking the next step towards an increased use of recovered and recycled materials. There were some 70 attendees, representing stakeholders from the programme, industry and government agencies. · In November, Investor Brief: Recycled Materials for Sustainable Investments was published. Its purpose is, based on research, to boost investors’ collective knowledge of sustainable investments in recycled raw materials. Mistra Biotech BIotech-3_Anna_Lehrman.jpg Future food production must combine higher yields with reduced environmental impact and use of natural resources. The programme takes a holistic approach to biotechnology in agriculture and food production. It covers reducing the need for fertilisers and boosting resistance to diseases, as well as new innovations meeting high demands on safety and ethics. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-biotech-biotechnology-for-sustainable-and-competitive-agriculture-and-food-systems/ 2012–2019 SEK 94 million Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) · The programme was completed during the year, and results and activities are summarised in Biotechnology for Sustainability, the Final Report from Mistra Biotech 2012‒2020. Mistra EVIEM default.jpg Through systematic reviews of the scientific basis in various areas, the Mistra Council for Evidence-Based Environmental Management (EviEM) improved documentation for decisions in Swedish environmental work. Government agencies or decision-makers and other stakeholders were able to propose topics for the reviews. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/eviem-the-mistra-council-for-evidence-based-environmental-management/ 2012–2017 SEK 66 million Stockholm Environment Institute · Avslutad Mistra Indigo default.jpg Research was combined with policy activities in the programme to support climate policy outside international climate negotiations. The work was divided into four integrated areas focusing on a global trading system for carbon markets, distributional effects of climate policy, interplay between climate policy and incentives for technological development, and companies’ strategic actions based on climate policy. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-indigo-instrument-design-for-global-climate-mitigation/ 2012–2015 SEK 24,5 million IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute · Avslutad Mistra Future Fashion Future-fashion.jpg The lifecycle of our clothing affects the environment, especially the climate and water. The programme gave the Swedish fashion industry tools to become competitive by turning sustainability into a business advantage. The research was about issues ranging from instruments and strategies for system changes to new design tools, textile fibres with lower environmental impact and new ideas for textile recycling. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-future-fashion/ 2011–2019 SEK 80 million RISE Research Institutes of Sweden · Avslutad Mistra Arctic Futures default.jpg Global warming is imposing major changes on the Arctic and its population. This brings both threats to and opportunities for animals and the living natural environment, extraction of natural resources, shipping and tourism. The programme was intended to provide a social-science knowledge base and develop tools for dialogue among all the various parties in the face of the new conditions in the Arctic region. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-arctic-futures/ 2011–2013 SEK 38 million Swedish Polar Research Secretariat · Avslutad Mistra Urban Futures Mistra-Urban-Futures-masma45045.jpg More and more of the world’s inhabitants are living in cities. Urban environments must move towards sustainable development, which requires knowledge of topics ranging from water and energy management to social issues. Within the research centre, researchers and users developed innovative solutions for engineers, architects, community planners and economists in both business and public administration. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-urban-futures/ 2010–2019 SEK 171 million Chalmers University of Technology · Avslutad Mistra Future Forests Bildarkivet_HPZB_FutureForests.jpg Climate change, globalised trade and growing demand for energy and raw materials are putting heavier pressure on forest resources. The programme developed tools for scientifically substantiated decisions about the future of forest management. The goal was to manage trade-offs between extracting more timber, paper and energy while safeguarding biodiversity, ecosystem services and outdoor life. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/future-forests-sustainable-strategies-under-uncertainty-and-risk/ 2009–2016 SEK 110 million Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) · Avslutad Mistra-SWECIA IMA89099_web_swecia.jpg – Mistra Swedish Research Programme on Climate, Impacts and Adaptation. There is a growing need to adapt society to the effects of climate change on infrastructure, forestry and agriculture, as well as environmental management. Preparedness for extreme events also needs to be reviewed. Key elements of the programme were modelling of the climate, the economy and impacts on ecosystems, which were used in scenarios to demonstrate adaptation needs and choices. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistra-swecia-mistra-swedish-research-programme-on-climate-impacts-and-adaptation/ 2008–2016 SEK 85,3 million SMHI · Avslutad Mistra Pharma MATMC_MW00089_medium_Pharma.jpg The programme identified active substances from pharmaceutical products in aquatic environments that pose significant risks to aquatic organisms or contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance. It also demonstrated techniques for improving wastewater treatment and strategies and indicators for early identification of environmentally hazardous drugs. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mistrapharma/ 2008–2015 SEK 94 million Stockholms University · Avslutad The urban mind default.jpg – Cultural and environmental dynamics Urban development is closely linked to climate change and emerging human systems. The Urban Mind, a research project completed in 2010, offered a historical, humanistic perspective with the goal of creating sustainable urban habitats. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/the-urban-mind/ 2008–2010 SEK 5 million Uppsala University, Sweden · Avslutad Stockholm Resilience Centre Stockholm-Resilience-Centreworld-map-1958129.jpg Human impacts have led to many of the Earth’s ecosystems becoming less able to deliver ecosystem services such as food, water purification and climate regulation. Researchers at the Centre develop understanding of ecosystems, provide new tools for controlling and managing them, and advise decision-makers at national and international levels alike. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/stockholm-resilience-centre/ 2007–2018 SEK 191,4 million Stockholms University · Avslutad ENTWINED IMSIS890-087_low_Entwined.jpg Around the world, countries have been made increasingly interdependent by the international exchange of goods and services, and flows of capital and information. The research focused on how globalisation and leading stakeholders affect society at various levels. The aim was, for example, to develop tools for integrating environmental aspects into international trade agreements. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/entwined-environment-and-trade-in-a-world-of-interdependence/ 2007–2013 SEK 52,4 million IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute · Avslutad E4 Mistra default.jpg The goal of the programme was to develop new, energy-efficient aftertreatment systems for internal combustion engines. It provided engines that were more efficient: in addition to emitting small quantities of nitrogen oxides, CO2 and incompletely burned hydrocarbons, the fuel consumption and costs were lower. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/e4-energy-efficient-reduction-of-exhausts-from-vehicles/ 2006–2014 SEK 42,3 million Volvo Technology · Avslutad SIRP default.jpg – Sustainable Investment Research Platform Through their investments, various actors in financial markets can influence companies to focus on more sustainable development. The programme provides research on corporate reporting, analysts’ valuations and managers’ and investors’ behaviours and portfolio choices based on sustainability criteria. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/sirp-sustainable-investment-research-platform/ 2006–2012 SEK 101 million Umeå University · Avslutad PlantComMistra BA10850_PlantCom.jpg Insecticides are often used in plant farms. The research was intended to find ways to make plants more insect-resistant by combining insect ecology and plant physiology in an interdisciplinary way. The programme goals included developing cultivation methods and studying communication with volatile substances that attract natural enemies of aphids. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/plantcommistra/ 2006–2012 SEK 69 million Stockholms University · Avslutad Mistra DADU default.jpg – Deeper Access, Deeper Understanding The question of what humans are guilty of, and what is natural, is key in the environmental debate. The answer is not least important for us to understand what causes changes in our environment — especially from a strategic perspective. Using a heavily miniaturised underwater vehicle, the ‘Deeper Access, Deeper Understanding’ research programme, which ended in 2010, studied untouched places to get closer to the answers to the question. http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:303210/FULLTEXT01.pdf 2006–2010 SEK 4,5 million Uppsala University · Avslutad Transport Mistra default.jpg The Transport Mistra programme, which ended in 2008, boosted understanding of decision-making and traffic planning and developed practical tools that make the transport system more sustainable. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/transport-mistra/ 2006–2008 SEK 30 million Trivector AB · Avslutad Steel Eco-cycle IMSIS099KF1E_low_Stalkretsloppet.jpg The steel industry must change its production to streamline use of metals and utilise less resources. The research provided better production processes and more efficient use of new types of steel, as well as methods for environmentally evaluating processes and products from steel mills, scrap merchants and the engineering industry. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/steel-eco-cycle/ 2004–2012 SEK 97 million Jernkontoret · Avslutad Clipore default.jpg – Climate Policy Research The threat of climate change is one of the most important and complex challenges facing the world. Clipore supported research and stimulated dialogue, to move international climate negotiations forward. For users, the aim was for the results to largely have direct value for domestic policy makers and their colleagues in other countries. Industry’s role in the programme, in both providing a basis for the research and using the results, was also key. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/clipore-mistras-climate-policy-research-programme/ 2004–2011 SEK 106,9 million IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute · Avslutad MASE default.jpg – Microbial Activity for a Sound Environment Large quantities of chemicals in the form of pesticides and fertilisers are used annually in agriculture, forestry and horticulture. The MASE research programme, which was completed in 2010, developed microorganisms that can similarly provide nutrition or protection. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mase-microbial-activity-for-a-sound-environment/ 2004-2010 SEK 58 million MASE Laboratorier AB · Avslutad Black Liquor Gasification default.jpg If the black liquor that forms when wood chips are boiled to make pulp were gasified, a quarter of all petrol and diesel used in Sweden could be replaced. The Black Liquor Gasification research programme, which was completed in 2010, succeeded in both developing technical solutions and testing whether the fuel works. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/black-liquor-gasification/ 2004–2010 SEK 43 million BLG-programmet AB · Avslutad DOM default.jpg – Domestication of Microorganisms Microorganisms have proved to have the potential to replace and degrade chemical pesticides. They can also reduce nutrient leaching by absorbing nutrients. The DOM research programme, which was completed in 2011, provided in-depth knowledge of how the process of culturing microorganisms can be streamlined and scaled up from the laboratory setting to large-scale production and practical application. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/dom-domestication-of-microorganisms/ 2003–2011 SEK 61,3 million Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) · Avslutad Greenchem default.jpg – Specialty Chemicals from Renewable Resources Modern industrial society has been increasingly dependent on fossil raw materials to make plastics, detergents, printing inks, paints, adhesives, pharmaceuticals and various hygiene products. Today’s feedstocks are finite and obtaining them is environmentally harmful, so alternatives are needed. The Greenchem research programme, which ended in 2010, initiated a paradigm shift in the chemical industry to switch the basis of its operations from fossil to renewable raw materials. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/greenchem-speciality-chemicals-from-renewable-resources/ 2003-2010 SEK 70 million Lunds University · Avslutad Marine Paint default.jpg – Measures against Fouling on Boats Today, metal compounds and organic biocides are often used to reduce fouling, but with the side effect of damaging many marine organisms. Before its completion in 2010, the Marine Paint research programme developed an ecologically sound alternative that effectively prevents organisms from starting to grow on ships and boats. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/marine-paint/ 2003-2010 SEK 82,4 million University of Gothenburg · Avslutad PERSEA default.jpg – Plasma-Enhanced Reaction Systems for Environmental Applications Combustion of fossil fuels, household waste and biofuels alike causes emissions of hazardous substances. The PERSEA research programme, which was completed in 2010, developed methods that, in efficient and environmentally sound ways, remove several pollutants without causing new harmful substances to form. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/persea-plasma-enhanced-reaction-systems-for-environment-applications/ 2003-2010 SEK 34,7 million Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, Sweden · Avslutad Heureka default.jpg – Environmental decision support models for forest land Besides getting timber from forests, people seek to use them for biofuel production, while also for recreation and as a carbon sink, while preserving biodiversity. This creates a complex web where different stakeholders have varying visions of the future of forests. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/heureka-environmental-decision-support-models-for-forest-land/ 2002-2009 SEK 18,8 million Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) · Avslutad HagmarksMISTRA default.jpg Semi-natural grasslands are among the habitats that are richest in species, which makes them important for biodiversity. In Sweden and the rest of the EU, these areas have shrunk since the 1980s, and species diversity has thus also decreased. In its natural science, economics and sociology research, the HagmarksMISTRA programme, which ended in 2008, analysed the regulations, proposed various amendments, investigated the farmers’ livelihoods and carried out large-scale field trials to enhance biodiversity. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/hagmarksmistra-management-of-seminatural-grasslands-economics-and-ecology/ 2001–2008 SEK 47 million Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) · Avslutad Soundscape Support to Health default.jpg Noise, even at low decibels, causes damage to hearing, increases the risk of sleep disturbances and causes premature death to the same extent as road accidents. The ‘Soundscape Support to Health’ research programme, which ended in 2007, developed ‘soundscape thinking’ and a ‘soundscape concept’ that can be used when new residential areas are built, and to improve the noise situation in existing living environments. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/soundscape-support-to-health/ 2000-2007 SEK 40 million Chalmers University of Technology · Avslutad NewS default.jpg – the New Strategy for Risk Management of Chemicals For thousands of the chemical compounds used today, the effects on health and the environment are incompletely known. By bringing together researchers focusing on environmental chemistry and toxicology, as well as legislation and risk management, the NewS programme, which ended in 2009, succeeded in influencing the final version of the European chemicals legislation REACH. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/news-the-new-strategy-for-risk-management-of-chemicals/ 1999–2009 SEK 76,1 million KTH Royal Institute of Technology · Avslutad ASTA default.jpg – International and National Abatement Strategies for Transboundary Air Pollution The purpose of research in the ASTA research programme, which was completed in 2007, was to support work to bring about a decline in pollution in Sweden and abroad. The programme focused on acidification, the impact of nitrogen on forest ecosystems, effects of ground-level ozone on vegetation, and long-range transport of particles. During the programme period, ASTA made important contributions to the development of international air-protection work, for example to the EU clean air strategy. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/international-and-national-abatement-strategies-for-transboundary-air-pollution-asta/ 1999-2007 SEK 59 million IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute · Avslutad LUSTRA default.jpg – Land Use Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions A significant stumbling block in the international negotiations is whether and how soil and vegetation can be used as sinks for greenhouse gases. The LUSTRA research programme, which ended in 2007, reviewed the role of soil and proposed strategies for reducing the net supply of greenhouse gases from woodlands. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/lustra-land-use-strategies-to-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions/ 1999-2007 SEK 60 million Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) · Avslutad MARE (Marine Research on Eutrophication) default.jpg – a Scientific Base for Cost-Effective Measures for the Baltic Sea Eutrophication is one of the biggest environmental problems in the Baltic Sea, mainly nitrogen and phosphorus from various sources that affect marine ecosystems. The MARE research programme, which was completed in 2006, linked various types of information on the workings of the sea, and how nitrogen and phosphorus are dispersed and used. The costs of reducing these loads in various ways were also calculated. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mare-marine-research-on-eutrophication-a-scientific-base-for-cost-effective-measures-for-the-baltic-sea/ 1999–2006 SEK 62,5 million Stockholm University · Avslutad Mountain Mistra default.jpg – Sustainable Management in the Mountain Region Sweden’s mountain region has low biodiversity and is vulnerable to overexploitation. Nevertheless, the mountains are used for a wide range of activities, ranging from reindeer husbandry to mining. The Mountain Mistra research programme, which ended in 2006, worked to create a knowledge base for a common view of resource conservation, and for finding ways of coordinating various interests to generate long-term, sustainable development of the mountain region. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/sustainable-management-in-the-mountain-region-mountain-mistra/ 1998–2006 SEK 84 million Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Umeå) · Avslutad Urban Water default.jpg – Sustainable Urban Water Management The Urban Water research programme, completed in 2006, developed tools from a system perspective for both analysis and practical use in the water and sanitation (WS) system — its technology, organisation and users. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/sustainable-urban-water-management/ 1998–2006 SEK 62 million Chalmers University of Technology · Avslutad Fuel Cells in a Sustainable Society default.jpg Fuel cells are a very interesting alternative to fossil fuels in vehicles, for example. Mistra’s Fuel Cells in a Sustainable Society programme, which ended in 2010, took several important steps to enable competitive fuel cells to be used in vehicles and other electricity-consuming equipment alike. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/fuel-cells-in-a-sustainable-society/ 1997–2010 SEK 121 million KTH Royal Institute of Technology · Avslutad FOOD 21 default.jpg – Sustainable Food Production The FOOD 21 research programme, completed in 2008, was aimed at showing options and ways forward for Swedish agriculture. It combined stringent requirements concerning environmental impact and animal care with product quality and good profitability for farmers and the food industry. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/sustainable-food-production-food-21/ 1997–2008 SEK 125 million Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) · Avslutad MiMi default.jpg – Mitigating the Environmental Impact of Mining Waste Swedish mines have dumped hundreds of millions of tonnes of rock masses, which leach various heavy metals into soil and water. The MiMi programme, which ended in 2004, contributed to the fact that it is now possible to assess what happens to a landfill over time in a way that was not previously possible. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/mimi-mitigating-the-environmental-impact-of-mining-waste/ 1997–2004 SEK 76 million Luleå University of Technology · Avslutad SUCOZOMA default.jpg – Sustainable Coastal Zone Management Human use of resources in coastal waters is causing problems both in the marine environment and in coastal communities. The SUCOZOMA research programme, which was completed in 2004, contributed to the sustainable use of these resources. This was achieved by developing methods that make it possible to show consideration for both the limits of the ecosystem and the needs of the coastal population. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/sucozoma-sustainable-coastal-zone-management/ 1997-2004 SEK 80 million University of Gothenburg · Avslutad RESE default.jpg – Remote Sensing for the Environment How can we know that the efforts being made to manage environmental problems are having the desired effect? And that it is being done at the lowest possible cost? These were two of the questions addressed by the RESE research programme, which ended in 2002, during its eight-year period. RESE Remote Sensing for the Environment: 1997‒2002 RESE Environmental objectives: 2003‒2005 https://www.mistra.org/en/research/rese-remote-sensing-for-the-environment/ 1997-2005 SEK 85 + 3 million Metria Environmental Analysis, National Land Survey of Sweden · Avslutad COLDREM default.jpg – Soil Remediation in a Cold Climate There used to be a shortage of scientific data on soil remediation in Sweden. The COLDREM research programme, which was completed in 2003, developed new methods and accumulated knowledge in two contaminated areas. In this way, knowledge of soil remediation in Sweden, both within and outside universities, has improved significantly. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/coldrem-soil-remediation-in-a-cold-climate/ 1997–2003 SEK 39 million Umeå University · Avslutad Biosignal default.jpg – Using natural scents to combat insect pests In Sweden alone, insects cause damage totalling several billion kronor a year to harvests, but the chemical agents available for controlling insect pests often have severe effects on the environment and health. Practical application of several research results from the Biosignal research programme, which ended in 2005, has culminated in sustainable, effective and economically rational methods of controlling insect pests. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/biosignal-using-natural-scents-to-combat-insect-pests/ 1996–2005 SEK 68 million Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) · Avslutad VASTRA default.jpg – Water management research programme Groundwater represents a common resource that many people want and need to share. The VASTRA research programme, which was completed in 2005, developed new strategies for sustainable water management. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/vastra-water-management-research-programme/ 1996–2005 SEK 68,5 million University of Gothenburg (2002‒2005) & Linköping University (1996‒2001) · Avslutad SUFOR default.jpg – Sustainable Forestry in Southern Sweden To be sustainable in the long term, forestry must be both financially profitable and safeguard biodiversity. The SUFOR research programme, which ended in 2004, made it easier to strike a balance between the differing requirements by developing models for assessing the impacts of various management options. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/sustainable-forestry-in-southern-sweden-sufor/ 1996–2004 SEK 108 million 1996‒2002: Lund University, 2002‒2004: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) · Avslutad ÅSC default.jpg – Ångström Solar Centre Present-day use of energy is always environmentally harmful to some degree, owing to resource consumption and emissions of greenhouse gases and other substances that cause environmental and health problems. Solar energy is a more environmentally friendly option. The ÅSC research programme, which ended in 2004, was therefore aimed at creating a stable knowledge base to enable Swedish companies to participate, on a broad front, in the industrial exploitation of solar-energy technology. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/asc-angstrom-solar-centre/ 1996-2004 SEK 75 million. Energimyndigheten har finansierat 75 million. Uppsala University · Avslutad MAaF default.jpg – Microbial Antagonism against Fungi Fungus attack causes widespread, expensive damage to cereals, vegetables, fruit, fodder crops, forests and timber every year. The MAaF research programme, which ended in 2003, developed methods to control harmful fungi based on the use of natural enemies. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/maaf-microbial-antagonism-against-fungi/ 1996-2003 SEK 65 million Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) · Avslutad SWECLIM default.jpg – Swedish Regional Climate Modelling The SWECLIM research programme, which ended in 2003, developed regional climate models for Sweden and northern Europe, which means that it is now possible to study climate change at regional level. During the programme period, the Rossby Centre at SMHI was established as a hub of climate-modelling research. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/sweclim/ 1996–2003 SEK 66,7 million The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) · Avslutad KAM default.jpg – The Ecocyclic Pulp Mill The KAM research programme was completed in 2004. Its overarching objective was to develop solutions that minimised the use of non-renewable resources and made efficient use of the potential of biomass. Several of the solutions developed in the programme are currently used on a large scale by industry both in Sweden and in other countries. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/the-ecocyclic-pulp-mill-kam/ 1996–2003 SEK 90 million Swedish Pulp and Paper Research Institute (STFI) · Avslutad ByggMISTRA default.jpg – Sustainable Building Apartment buildings and other built structures affect their surroundings throughout their long life. The Sustainable Building research programme, completed in 2002, helped to make housebuilding and property management more ecofriendly and reduce energy use in finished properties, including residential buildings. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/sustainable-building-byggmistra/ 1996–2002 SEK 39 million Chalmers University of Technology · Avslutad Ways Ahead default.jpg – Pathways to sustainable development: behaviours, organisations, structures The Ways Ahead programme, which ended in 2001, succeeded in inducing more researchers in human sciences to engage in environmental research. Their participation boosted understanding of, for example, how individuals’ values and behaviours are shaped. https://www.mistra.org/en/research/ways-ahead-paths-to-sustainable-development/ 1996–2001 SEK 22 million Lund University · Avslutad Avsnitt 5Mistra meets… More meetings on Arctic issues wanted According to Annika E Nilsson, discussions are a key tool for development of the Arctic. https://www.mistra.org/en/news/researcher-portrait-annika-e-nilsson-and-arctic-meetings/ AnnikaE_600x600.jpg Pinning hopes on improved potato Researcher Erik Andreasson wants the ban on selling GM crops to be lifted for environmental reasons. https://www.mistra.org/en/news/environment-the-big-loser-from-rejection-of-genetic-engineering/ Erik-Andersson_600x600.jpg Piecing together a climate-neutral Sweden Sweden’s new Climate Act requires restructuring of society, says Lars Zetterberg. https://www.mistra.org/en/news/engineer-working-for-a-climate-neutral-sweden/ LarsZ_600x600.jpg Teaching avoidance of mistakes Scientist Neal Haddaway travels worldwide to teach procedure for systematic reviews. https://www.mistra.org/en/news/researcher-portrait-neal-haddaway-teaches-error-avoidance/ Neal-H_600x600.jpg Working to give new life to our textiles Åsa Östlund wants to end the current situation in which most clothing we buy goes to landfill. https://www.mistra.org/en/news/researcher-portrait-asa-ostlund-gives-textiles-new-life/ ÅsaÖ_600x600.jpg Demonstrating connectedness of various threats Malin Mobjörk classifies security risks that are arising in the wake of climate change. https://www.mistra.org/en/news/seeking-to-show-interconnectedness-of-threats/ MalinM1_600x600.jpg Avsnitt 7Five questions to Thomas Rosswall, who after many years’ of work in Mistra’s initiatives leaves for a postponed retirement You’ve been involved in the Stockholm Resilience Centre, as well as Mistra Biotech and Mistra EviEM (the Council for Evidence-Based Environmental Management). In 2017, you left the Board of Mistra Urban Futures. You’ve reached the age of 76. Is it time to slow down?No, not quite yet. I still have a commitment as chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Sida (the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency). We‘ve recently taken on the role of advisor to the whole of Sida on issues relevant to research. I think it’s wonderful that research issues have gained a more distinct profile in foreign aid activities. In my spare time, I’ll read all the fiction I buy but never get round to reading. And I’ll travel, see friends and go to the opera. The need for outreach of research results in society is a key issue for Mistra. How relevant is environmental research turning out to be?Most policy decisions in the environmental sector are based on knowledge and research results. But it’s very difficult to measure the effects of research and give concrete examples of how political decisions may be connected with research findings. Discovering the hole in the ozone layer was brilliant atmospheric chemistry research, but the causes were few and relatively easy to identify, so agreeing on policy decisions and measures was simple. Still, it’s taken 30 years to see results. Many other environmental issues are considerably more complex and call for both scientific and social science research. Here, Mistra has led the way and played a key role in making it relevant, by creating broad interdisciplinary programmes based on given ways of formulating problems. Can you give examples of how you personally have worked on research relevance?Mistra Urban Futures, where I chaired the Board until last year, is an excellent example of relevance. We worked on sustainable urban development in five cities and regions around the world, in close cooperation with the authorities. Municipal, city and regional officials alike sat down with researchers to identify key issues. It’s an unusual new way to work. It enhances people’s understanding of one another’s situation and, not least, lets researchers know what to expect from the political process. How does the research community regard the concept of relevance?‘Relevance’ is a buzzword and many claim to be achieving it, but unfortunately most researchers don’t take the matter seriously. A closer look shows that it’s mostly a Potemkin village. When I was helping to evaluate some major Swedish research programmes a few years ago, the requirements were, first, that they should become world-leading within five years and, second, that the research should be socially relevant. All the programmes were world-leading, but only one programme management in five even understood the issue of relevance and was able to respond. The researchers had reflected on relevance in their applications, of course; but later, in doing the research, they hadn’t borne it in mind. There’s more and more talk about relevance, and demands from politicians are increasing. Are we heading towards an excessive focus on the usefulness of research?No, I don’t think so. Curiosity-driven research and relevance are concepts that overlap. What’s crucial is to support high-quality research. My perception is that young researchers today are generally much more interested in social relevance than they used to be. Take the Stockholm Resilience Centre, where I also worked: right from the start, it devoted great efforts to making the research socially relevant. Lots of young PhD students went in for this kind of research, because it was an exciting new way of working, although it didn’t fit into the traditional academic structure. Avsnitt 7 del2Six questions to Mette Morsing, holder of the new Mistra Chair of Sustainable Markets at the Stockholm School of Economics What made you move from Denmark and Copenhagen Business School?My reasons for taking the job and moving to Sweden were that the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) offers a prestigious education of a high international standard and that its management has such a clear focus on sustainability issues. It’s hard to find anything similar elsewhere in the world. What’s equally important is that every part of SSE is working actively on long-term development. At Copenhagen Business School (CBS) too, where I used to work, there was a great commitment to sustainability. With one exception, the Department of Finance was not in the least interested in the issue, unfortunately. What bearing have Mistra’s initiatives had on a more sustainable financial market?Mistra has systematically, and with great steadfastness, promoted research in the field, spreading interest in sustainability, and not only in the Swedish business and research communities. Today, almost all companies, banks and fund management firms are involved in the issue. Since the Government also launched the Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre initiative, Sweden has had an even stronger platform for sustainability research. We have a unique opportunity to highlight the subject, thanks to Mistra giving us a free rein to develop the research area. On the wish list now are resources that would enable us to invite international researchers to work with us for varying periods. How do you want to develop your research and focus?I want Misum [the Mistra Centre for Sustainable Markets] and SSE to focus on international development. This doesn’t mean that we should drop the Swedish perspective. Rather, we’ll take some of the lessons from Sweden, and test and develop our country’s solutions in collaboration with researchers from other parts of the world. That way, we can gain insights and knowledge that may be advantageous to Sweden. How is the SSE research on sustainable finance seen abroad?What we do attracts the attention of many internationally active researchers, who are keen to cooperate with us. For example, the University of Oxford has invited us, along with 14 other universities, to collaborate on research in the field. We’re now also establishing research collaborations with various other international universities, such as New York University. It’s interesting to see different countries’ attitudes to the topic. For instance, the New York financial markets aren’t quite as interested as Swedish financial stakeholders in integrating sustainability into their management. Do you get a hearing for sustainability ideas among SSE students?Most of them understand the thinking, which may come to exert a great impact because many of the students will eventually have high positions in Swedish society and business. If they’re well informed about and committed to sustainability issues, it could have significant effects. But giving them an understanding of the pitfalls on the path to sustainability, not least in terms of politics and economics, is important too. Not all students agree with us on how best to manage sustainability issues, of course. And that’s good because it creates stimulating classroom discussions and demonstrates to the students that no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions exist. Can financial services be lucrative in a sustainable economy?It’s certainly possible to make profits in a green economy as well. The difference is that you should have a slightly longer investment perspective. The other advantage of a more sustainable approach is risk reduction. After all, for a company, one implication of not caring about the environment or human rights may be the risk of losing clients’ confidence. Avsnitt 8We who work at Mistra Åke Iverfeldtake_94x94.pngExecutive Directorake.iverfeldt(at)mistra.orgPhone: +46 8 791 10 24Mobile: +46 70 732 03 17 Johan Edmanjohan_94x94.pngProgrammes Directorjohan.edman(at)mistra.orgPhone: +46 8 791 10 28Mobile: +46 70 732 40 73 Birgitta Jonsson Palmgrenbirgitta_94x94.pngChief Financial Officerbirgitta.jonssonpalmgren(at)mistra.orgPhone: +46 8 791 34 80Mobile: +46 70 344 54 66 Christopher Folkeson Welchchristofer_94x94.pngProgrammes Directorchris.welch(at)mistra.orgPhone: +46 8 791 10 26Mobile: +46 70 732 30 74 Malin Lindgrenmalin_94x94.pngCommunications Managermalin.lindgren(at)mistra.orgPhone: +46 8 791 10 27Mobile: +46 76 112 37 00 Thomas Nilssonthomas_94x94.pngProgrammes Directorthomas.nilsson(at)mistra.orgPhone: +46 8 791 10 22Mobile: +46 70 629 88 12 Linnea Kassmolinnea_94x94.pngOffice Coordinatorlinnea.kassmo(at)mistra.orgPhone: +46 8 791 10 23Mobile: +46 70 659 09 60 Josefin Lönbergjosefin_94x94.pngEconomyjosefin.lonberg(at)mistra.orgPhone: +46 8 791 10 25Mobile: +46 70 732 25 92 Åsa Mobergasa-moberg-2_94x94.jpgProgrammes Directorasa.moberg(at)mistra.orgPhone: +46 8 791 10 21Mobile: +46 70 732 46 02