Published 2019-12-18

This post is also available in Swedish

New environmental innovation initiatives

Mistra Innovation 23 is now up and running. An initial call for proposals resulted in five different projects sharing SEK 25 million to develop products ranging from lithium-ion batteries to lubricant based on oats and vegetable oil.

After eight years, the Mistra Innovation programme is ending on 31 December 2019, but its successes have been so evident that Mistra’s Board has decided to start a similar programme. The programme period will run until year-end 2023 and, accordingly, the new programme is called Mistra Innovation 23 (MI23).

An initial call for project proposals attracted 14 applications for a total value of SEK 62 million. Of these, five projects have the go-ahead from the Board, although one of them must clarify certain points before it is approved. These projects will share funding of SEK 25 million.

The approved projects are as follows.

  • ProECOnlub: EcoBränsle i Karlshamn AB is to develop lubricating and cooling liquids based on glycerol and vegetable oil, with elements of oat-based nanostructures.
  • Battery Voltage: SEM AB (Svenska Elektromagneter) in Åmål will develop methods for balancing energy output from lithium-ion batteries for improved performance and increased use.
  • FSMT: Winfoor AB in Lund will further develop modular rotor blades for wind turbines. These are more easily transported and thus useful in more inaccessible terrain. The rotors have a unique structure, with three blades working together for greater efficiency in relation to weight. The project proposes to use high-strength steel instead of fibre composite as the blade material. In addition, steel can be recycled more easily when the rotor reaches the end of its service life.
  • SmartSol: Solhybrid i Småland AB in Växjö seeks to promote the development of an integrated heating, cooling and electrical system solution for European buildings. The system’s core consists of cooled solar panels and geothermal heat that provide a highly efficient hybrid solution that allows much better land use than current systems and may be superior to district heating systems.
  • PolyFree: Cyclicor AB in Lund is to provide new non-toxic, biobased polymer products with high biocarbon content, developed with Cyclicor technology, for specific markets to strengthen Swedish competitiveness and sustainable growth.

The project will develop the entire value chain, from biobased polymers to plastics, including recycling, and range from small to large scale. However, some points still need clarifying before the project gets the green light.

‘Swedish industry is built on innovation, and the results of these project awards show that the success story is continuing,’ says Christopher Folkeson Welch, Programmes Director at Mistra.

Lars Frenning, Programme Director of Mistra Innovation 23, is also pleased that they received so many interesting project proposals.

‘The approved projects have what it takes to create jobs in Sweden and boost corporate competitiveness, while providing scope for a better environment both indoors and outdoors,’ he says.

Facts — Mistra Innovation

During its eight years, Mistra Innovation invested a total of SEK 90 million in various projects, and equally among the participating companies. Many of the projects supported achieved success in the form of methods and products that improve the environment. This success, in turn, brought about expanded operations, new research findings and more employees at the companies involved.

Mistra Innovation’s model of supporting both research and businesses has been successful, especially since the question of how research results should be commercialised never has to be asked: the companies already have in place their channels out to the market.