Published 2019-07-10

This post is also available in Swedish

Farewell Mistra Innovation — hello Mistra Innovation 23

Mistra Innovation has been a successful initiative: 24 projects have been carried out over eight years, and many products have reached market. However, the programme period is now over. Instead, Mistra Innovation 23, a programme with a similar approach, is coming. The call for proposals is open until October.

Since 2012, in the Mistra Innovation programme, Mistra has funded innovative environmental research in small and medium-sized Swedish companies. The programme is about to end, and Mistra’s Board has decided to fund another initiative in the area.

‘Mistra Innovation has been a successful programme. So we want to keep investing on environment-related research in smaller companies that builds on this experience,’ says Christopher Folkeson Welch at Mistra’s Secretariat.

For those familiar with Mistra Innovation, much is similar in the new programme Mistra Innovation 23. As before, the aim is to develop new competitive products, processes or services that reduce environmental impact and contribute to sustainable development. The programme will be carried out in project form, with companies working alongside a university or another academic research organisation. In addition, many members of the programme’s management remain. They include Programme Director Lars Frenning.

But there has also been some reorganisation. One important change is that at least two companies must be included in every project — along with an academic counterpart. This is intended to contribute knowledge and results that are more generally applicable than they would be if only one company is included in each project.

‘With at least two companies per project, we hope to gain reinforcements from the results, and even greater scope for reaching out with competitive products,’ Folkeson Welch says.

The Programme Director of Mistra Innovation 23, Lars Frenning, also welcomes the new arrangements, and notes that the projects will be less vulnerable.

‘If a company has worries or staff changes, as smaller companies tend to do, the project is jeopardised. This way, the projects become less sensitive.’

Another important new rule is that all applications are made in Swedish. Accordingly, the previous requirements for English have been dropped. Frenning hopes this will induce even more companies to apply.

‘We know there are many small companies that find it burdensome to write applications and hold presentations in English. Now we’ve left English, and also redesigned the scientific council to make it completely Swedish-speaking,’ Frenning says.

The first call for proposals in Mistra Innovation is under way, and applications have to be submitted in early October at the latest. During the autumn, all applications will be reviewed, and decisions taken on which projects are to receive funding. The first projects are intended to start at the beginning of next year.

After some time, when work has started in each project, the plan is for project managers to meet and compare notes. Mistra is keen to see in-depth cooperation and exchange, according to Folkeson Welch.

‘In other initiatives, such as Mistra Closing the loop, we’ve seen how face-to-face meetings of people in different projects have the potential to offer synergies and collaboration benefits that aren’t visible initially,’ he says.



  • The Mistra Innovation 23 programme will run from 2020 to 2023 inclusive.
  • The first call for proposals will be open until 2 October 2019.
  • During October and November, project applications will be reviewed by two councils, one industrial and one scientific, both associated with the programme.
  • On 21 November, a hearing will be held with invitees from the projects.
  • In December, the Board of Mistra Innovation 23 will decide which projects are to receive funding.
  • In early 2020, the first projects can be launched.