Research initiation

Research that Mistra invests in is intended to bring about a good living environment and the emergence of a sustainable society. Mistra’s process for developing new research initiatives comprises six stages.

    Analysis of global developments

    Within Mistra, global developments are continuously analysed with a view to finding knowledge gaps where Mistra’s funding can be beneficial.

    Identification of research areas

    When Mistra finds knowledge gaps in any of its thematic areas, it initiates a major survey. In close dialogue with researchers, companies, public agencies and organisations, the need for new knowledge is investigated. Simultaneously, ideas are analysed and developed and specific research initiatives proposed.

    Thematic areas

    Mistra’s research is strategic and focuses on the most pressing challenges in terms of climate, environment and sustainable development. The research is conducted mainly in the following five thematic areas:

    Climate Change: including societal adaptation and related security and subsistence issues
    Circular Economy: design, manufacture and use of products in such an economy, including new business models
    Materials and Production Technology: innovative materials and production technologies to benefit the environment, climate and Sweden’s competitiveness
    Food and Bioeconomy: optimal use of biological resources within planetary boundaries
    Cross-cutting opportunities: overarching issues.

    Background paper

    If a proposal is found interesting, the ideas are developed further with an international review group’s assistance. This group’s task is to analyse the research area in depth and assess the potential strategic environmental significance of an initiative, if any. The results of the group’s analysis are presented in a background paper, and serve as the basis for a decision by Mistra’s Board as to whether a call for programme proposals will be issued.

    Call for proposals

    Calls for programme proposals are announced on Mistra’s website. There, all the relevant conditions and background documentation required to enable interested research groups to submit applications are also specified.

    Review of programme proposals submitted

    When the call closes, a comprehensive evaluation of applications received is undertaken. This is usually carried out by an international panel of experts, and their review criteria are scientific quality and potential benefits.


    When the task of evaluating programme proposals is completed, Mistra’s Board reaches its own assessment and decides on which proposal to support with funding.

    To learn more, contact:

    Thomas Nilsson, Programmes Director at Mistra