Published 2022-09-09

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Mistra’s new Board

Mistra welcomes new members and a new chair and vice chair. Anna Jakobson and Anders Tunlid are looking forward to creating an initiated and involved Board, on which everyone’s perspectives and competencies contribute to Mistra’s development.

In early summer, Mistra thanked Johan Söderström and Sara Ilstedt, chair and vice chair respectively, and four additional members for their services. In July, six new Board members were elected and a new chair and vice chair appointed.

Anna Jakobson, who has been a Board member since 2019, is Mistra’s new chair. She is a Portfolio Manager at Alfred Berg and has also been the Board’s representative on Mistra’s Asset Management Committee. Anders Tunlid, Professor of Microbial Ecology at Lund University, was also elected to Mistra’s Board in 2019 and is now the vice chair. They regard their different backgrounds and competencies as a major strength in their cooperation.

“I have knowledge about asset management and have worked with sustainability issues from a financial perspective for a long time, while Anders as vice chair has an in-depth academic background and in-depth academic knowledge,” Jakobson says. “Mistra’s main task is to distribute research funding, and the asset management enables this, so we complement each other well.”

For Anna Jakobson and Anders Tunlid, it is important that the new Board members quickly get to know each other and Mistra’s activities to be able to contribute ideas and perspectives based on their different backgrounds and knowledge.

“Mistra has many research programmes, and they are conducted over a long period of time,” Tunlid says. “It is important that it is clear both how the process works and where in the process the Board can and should contribute.”

Tunlid highlights Mistra’s long-term programmes and the strong research environments that are built up. He also sees a risk that the programmes could balloon in size and thereby require a great deal of strength to coordinate. To reach additional younger researchers and new types of partners in the research programmes, his view is that the programme portfolio may need to be complemented with smaller and more delimited initiatives.

“We need to lower the thresholds to build new capabilities and give those who have exciting ideas more leading roles,” he explains. “In this respect for example, the application process can be changed, in a similar way to the latest call for proposals concerning the sea, where the application took place in two stages. It could also involve developing an even more inviting idea generation process.”

Jakobson sees that the Board, together with Mistra’s office, also has the important task of working more with qualitative evaluations to clarify what constitutes a successful Mistra programme. For example, based on Mistra’s statutes, the research should be of significance to Sweden’s future competitiveness and environmentally adapted development of society.

“There is also more media noise regarding the environment and climate today, and it is important to reach beyond the circle of the already converted,” Jakobson explains. “Research findings can be made even more readily available, not least within the business community and in the area of policy. I am really looking forward to welcoming our Board members with new approaches that we can use to tackle this.”

In conjunction with taking up her position as chair, Anna Jakobson will step down from Mistra’s Asset Management Committee. A new Board member for this Committee will be appointed at the next Board meeting in September.


New Board members:


Tina Schmid Neset, Senior Associate Professor on the theme of Environmental Change at Linköping University





Emma Nehrenheim, Chief Environmental Officer at Northvolt





Maria Khorsand, former CEO of SOS Alarm and RISE





Torbjörn Lundahl, former Programme Director of Ericsson Research





Peter Westman, Deputy Secretary General of WWF





Göran Sundqvist, Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Gothenburg





Existing members re-elected for a new period:


Anna Jakobson, Portfolio Manager at Alfred Berg





Anders Tunlid, Professor of Microbial Ecology at Lund University





Emelie Persson Lindqvist, Specialist Advisor within Sustainable Financing at Handelsbanken





Thomas Aronsson, Professor of Economics, Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics (USBE), Umeå University