Automatgenererad bild.
Published

4 February 2015

Third round of ideas for
Mistra Innovation

During the spring, smaller companies will once more be able to apply for support for innovation projects. The application period for the third call in the Mistra Innovation research programme will end in April.

Mistra Innovation’s basic purpose is to foster environmental innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). To date the results have been good, thinks Mistra’s Christopher Folkeson Welch. Altogether in the two previous calls, funding for some 60 projects was applied for. Eleven were awarded support, and have shared a total of SEK 37 million.

Of these 11 projects, five have ended. One example is OptBody, which developed small, light goods vehicles. Production began in Indonesia, with Asia as the primary market, but the intention is to sell the vehicles in Sweden as well.

‘The City of Gothenburg is one of the municipalities that have bought them to use instead of heavy goods vehicles in its parks and landscape administration,’ says Folkeson Welch.

In another project the Kalmar Kebab company, in cooperation with Justech AB and Lund Institute of Technology, has developed new induction technology for heating food.

‘Traditionally, the food has been heated with big, heavy rollers that use a lot of energy, so the project represents a big energy saving.’

Building bridges between stakeholders

Funds for Mistra Innovation projects are applied for jointly by companies and one or more academic partners. One positive effect of the calls is that many new contacts and networks between academia and SMEs have been created, says Folkeson Welch.

‘We’ve realised that a lot of companies and higher education institutions, including some involved in projects for which funding from Mistra was applied for but not received, have gone on to develop their ideas further. That’s a positive side-effect of the calls.’

The first initiative of this kind was back in 2009, then under the name of Pro Enviro, which was implemented jointly with the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF). That programme explicitly addressed the engineering industry. Since Pro Enviro ended in 2010, Mistra has continued to run the initiative on its own, and the two earlier Mistra Innovation calls also included projects in, for example, the food industry and arable farming. The hope is now to broaden the target group further in future calls.

‘Engineering companies are still, of course, welcome to apply. But we see scope for companies in, for example, healthcare, construction, chemicals, farming and IT,’ says Folkeson Welch.

The new initiative in the programme covers the years 2015–19. In the current call, five or six new projects will share SEK 20 million.

Text: Henrik Lundström, Vetenskapsjournalisterna

FACTS: TIME SCHEDULE FOR THIRD
MISTRA INNOVATION CALL

February: information meetings will be held in Gothenburg and Stockholm.

10 April: closing application date.

May: initial evaluation and screening, with 12 projects shortlisted.

10 June: a hearing in Stockholm, with presentations by the 12 remaining projects.

Later in June: decisions on which five or six projects have been granted funding.

Summer and autumn: agreements drawn up.

October: preliminary project start.

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