How we work

The purpose of Mistra’s research is to promote the development of strong environmental research environments with the aim of creating a good living environment for all. The investments Mistra makes are also intended to assist in enabling companies, public stakeholders and users to develop new products, services and working methods with a view to meeting society’s environmental challenges. Another, simultaneous aim is for the initiatives to strengthen Swedish competitiveness.

Wide-range research to benefit society

Every year, Mistra invests a sum of around SEK 200 million in various research initiatives. They involve collaboration among academic disciplines, as well as between research on the one hand and companies, public agencies and other stakeholders on the other. Mistra is an active research funder that monitors the progress of its initiatives to ensure that they provide public benefits in terms of a good living environment, and that various users develop new products, services and working methods to meet society’s environmental challenges.

The purposes of Mistra’s investments are:

  • To create strong, world-class research environments. For research to be of benefit, its high quality is crucial.
  • To solve important environmental problems. Many environmental challenges are complex, and new solutions require research of strategic importance that combines varied knowledge and approaches from a range of different areas.
  • To strengthen Swedish competitiveness. Companies, public stakeholders and other users are intended to develop new products, services and working methods that contribute to employment. The initiatives are also aimed at making Sweden, in a broad sense, a good place to live in.
  • To be valuable to users.

The results should contribute to efforts to bring about sustainable development. Users and other key people are involved in the research, to ensure that it is put to practical use.


Long-term initiatives close to users

Mistra is funding some 20 major research initiatives. The contract period is usually four years, but a second period is approved for most initiatives following an evaluation. This means that most Mistra programmes have eight years in which to achieve results.

The research is carried out at higher education institutions and research institutes in Sweden, and in some cases abroad. Several companies and organisations, large and small, are also linked to Mistra’s research.

New research initiatives

Mistra has a specific process for developing new research initiatives. The requirement is that new research programmes and other investments will benefit and contribute to sustainable development efforts. The fact that these investments are geared to bringing about practical environmental benefits distinguishes Mistra from many other research funders.

Public access

Mistra is subject to the principle of public access to official records, which means that all documents received by Mistra, including applications, are public. Under certain circumstances, Mistra may decide that parts of a document are not public.

Read more about public access and confidentiality here (in Swedish):

Open access

Researchers funded by Mistra must publish their results in a form that enables them to be freely read and downloaded from the Internet. This can be done by the researchers either publishing directly in journals that offer open access or archiving already published articles in freely accessible databases.

This archiving should be done immediately or within six months of publication at the latest. For social science and humanities research, the time limit is 12 months after publication. Requirements for open access publication have been included in all programme agreements drawn up since 1 January 2014.

Mistra follows the guidelines and recommendations of the Swedish Research Council and the National Library of Sweden.


Mistra’s policies can be downloaded here.