5 December 2012

Mistra Biotech: more food, less environmental impact

Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, is to invest SEK 40 million in Mistra Biotech — Biotechnology for Sustainable and Competitive Agriculture and Food Systems, a proposal from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

Yesterday, the Board of Mistra chose the application that is to receive funding in the recently implemented call regarding Mistra Biotech, a research programme on green biotechnology. The winning application was submitted by a consortium comprising, besides SLU, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the Universities of Lund and Dalarna in Sweden; University of California (UC) Berkeley in the USA; and the Universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus in Denmark.

Mistra´s hope is that the research will culminate in environmentally beneficial innovative products and services in niche markets, and in knowledge of value to decision-makers. The research will cover both natural and social sciences and, in the latter, especially consumer behaviour and ethics.
Lars-Erik Liljelund, Mistra´s Executive Director

To achieve these aims, the programme will develop:

  • New, improved crops that are advantageous to consumers, farmers, the food industry and the environment.
  • Biotech tools designed to reduce the harmful environmental impact of agriculture and bring about new product qualities and healthier animals and crops.
  • A basis for sustainable production systems that will promote the competitiveness of Swedish farming and food production.
  • Tools that permit ethical assessments of biotechnological applications in agriculture and impose high safety requirements while promoting innovation.
  • Ways of improving regulatory systems and fostering forms of cooperation between the private and public sectors in the use of biotechnology in farming and food production.

In April, Mistra announced an interdisciplinary research programme concerning green biotechnology for sustainable agriculture and a sustainable food production chain. Mistra intends to invest SEK 40 million over four years. Mistra invited researchers in the natural and social sciences, and also Swedish industry, to submit joint applications. The Mistra Biotech research programme will focus on the scope for boosting sustainability by bringing biotechnology to bear in agriculture and the food production chain.

Further information may be obtained from

Christopher Folkeson Welch, Programmes Director
+46 707-32 30 74

Malin Lindgren, Communications Manager
+46 761-12 37 00

Sven Ove Hansson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Programme Director of Mistra Biotech
+46 8 790 95 64

Mistra Webbredaktör