Automatgenererad bild.

9 May 2014

Mistra’s new Executive Director in place

On 15 April, Åke Iverfeldt took over the role of Executive Director for Mistra after Lars-Erik Liljelund. He has spent his first few weeks focusing on new research initiatives, ideas about the scope for asset management and further development of Mistra’s background policy analysis.

Åke Iverfeldt has more than 30 years’ experience of heading research projects relating to the environment, both in Sweden and internationally. He was appointed as Mistra’s new Executive Director in December. His last position was as Executive Vice President of IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, where he also managed the Business and Market Development unit. His many achievements include developing the Sustainable Building theme area as a thematic research area.

‘It’s been full steam ahead at Mistra from the start. We’ve started drafting a new programme proposal focusing on resource-efficient design,’ Iverfeldt relates.

An external working group has just begun compiling a background report ahead of the Board’s decision on whether Mistra should make an investment in this area.

‘Going into product development as early as possible, right from the initial design stage, gives great opportunities for helping to bring about sustainable use of resources in later stages.’

Awareness of international developments important

In his first few weeks as Executive Director, Åke Iverfeldt has gained a stronger grasp of which issues are important for Mistra’s further work. One is the need for more structured analysis of the international background and its connection with research initiation. The forms for, and further development of, evaluation methods are another key issue.

‘Getting a clearer picture of what’s going on abroad and what future needs that is creating is crucial, both for new programme initiatives and for our sustainable asset management.’

Iverfeldt also wants to link these activities together more: ‘The managers who invest our assets sustainably possess valuable knowledge, for instance, on where various markets are heading. That’s information we can use in our background analysis and that can then lead to strategic decisions on research initiatives.’

Using the investment network

He also sees opportunities in the other direction: conveying the results and knowledge derived from Mistra’s programmes to the managers, who can then use them to support investment decisions.

‘We want to contribute practical environmental benefits, and the innovation process isn’t complete until the programme results are put to use. Here, I think more use can be made of the network we’ve established in sustainable investments.’

Iverfeldt is also looking forward to the various anniversary activities that are planned during the year to celebrate the 20 years since Mistra was founded. These include a continuation of the series of seminars that collect experience and indicate ways forward for action on environmental issues, creating strong research environments and strengthening Sweden’s competitiveness.

Text: Andreas Nilsson, Vetenskapsjournalisterna

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