10 April 2017
The call for proposals for Mistra’s new research programme on sustainable consumption has now closed. Seven applications were received and, at the end of April, the process of deciding which research group is to be responsible for the programme will start.
Economic growth demands consumption of goods and services alike. The other side of the coin is that this consumption contributes to numerous environmental and resource problems. How we should manage them and, in particular, change our consumption habits has been the subject of a great deal of research. Seldom, however, has the focus been on the changes in society required to ensure that development goes in a more sustainable direction.
One purpose of the research programme on sustainable consumption that Mistra is now preparing to initiate is therefore to fill some of the existing knowledge gaps.
‘The aim is for the research to foster efficient resource use and low emissions. The initiative is also intended to contribute to solutions, rather than describing the implications of present-day consumption,’ says Mistra’s Chief Executive Åke Iverfeldt.
Today the Government is attempting, for example, to steer development by means of financial instruments in the form of taxes and subsidies, through laws and ordinances and with information campaigns. How these measures interact together, however, is less well known.
Hearings for applicants the next stage
By the beginning of March, when the call closed, seven applications had been received. At the end of April hearings will be held at which the research groups applying will get the chance to report on their research plans in more detail to Mistra’s evaluation panel.
The award decision is expected to be made in June, to enable the programme to start at the beginning of the autumn.
‘Interest in the programme is unusually keen. We’ve received seven applications, and most of the Swedish higher education institutions are represented in one way or another. It’s also interesting to see the breadth of the organisations that have demonstrated their support in the applications. Altogether, nearly 100 companies, government agencies, interest organisations and municipalities have taken part in the applications,’ says Malin Lindgren, programme director at Mistra.
The programme will have a total budget of SEK 50 million over four years. Mistra’s contribution is SEK 45m.