Mistra Innovation: Fourth Call for proposals – 2016-2019

Reducing Environmental Impact through the application of inventions and discoveries

This post is also available in Swedish

Mistra invites small and medium sized Swedish companies together with academic research organisations to submit proposals for research projects concerning the implementation of discoveries and inventions contributing to the solution of environmental problems and improvements in sustainability. The overall purpose of the investment in Mistra Innovation is to encourage the development of innovative ideas through the interaction of small and medium sized enterprises with universities and other research institutes. Mistras investment should lead to products, processes and services which reduce the environmental impact of our society and improve the sustainable use of resources.

Mistra will invest a maximum of 80 million SEK, over eight years, in this area. The first three calls for proposals resulted in the allocation of 57 million SEK in eighteen projects. A further 20 million SEK will be allocated to projects answering the fourth call. Additional support from other sources, mainly participating companies, is expected to match Mistras investment.

Criteria for the programme

Mistra has allocated 80 MSEK to support research and development efforts, involving small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and academic research institutes, over an eight year period commencing in January 2012 and ending in December 2019. The resources made available through Mistra are primarily intended to finance research and development performed at the academic institution. The SMEs are expected to contribute through their own development work, know-how and materials to at least 50% of the project cost. Ownership of immaterial rights resulting from the project should be regulated in a project agreement signed prior to commencement of the project.

The programme is focused on SMEs with production and/or development operating in Sweden in a number of different branches, which may include: technology, manufacturing, food production, energy and recycling. For the fourth call for proposals, Mistra is particularly interested in attracting slightly larger companies with 20 – 250 employees. The funding should be invested through the programme Mistra Innovation, in research projects whereby SMEs are afforded the opportunity to develop their own ideas about environmentally beneficial innovations together with researchers from academic institutions. As such it is the industrial partner which is responsible for the application process and for overseeing the execution of the project.

Mistra is a research foundation which supports research of strategic importance for a good living environment. Research supported by the foundation is intended to play a significant role in solving major environmental problems thus contributing to the development of a sustainable society. The research results should also benefit Swedish competitiveness.

A previous programme, called ProEnviro, co-financed by Mistra and the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, SSF, supported a number of research projects where collaboration between medium sized companies and academic institutes led to the development of products and services with improved environmental profiles. Mistra Innovation is intended to stimulate collaboration between SMEs and academia.

The first three calls for proposals resulted in eleven projects receiving support amounting to 57 million SEK. This fourth call for proposals seeks to provide a further 20 million SEK to projects on a similar scale. More information about Mistra Innovation could be found at www.mistrainnovation.se.

Practical details of project proposals

Proposals should be submitted by one or more SMEs, although one of these must be designated the main applicant. One or more academic institutions should be named as collaborators in the project and as the main site for the research activities. In the case of the involvement of more than one academic institution, one should be named as the prime institution to which payments should be made for subsequent distribution. The applicant company (companies) is (are) expected to provide an overall project goal as well as a project plan with sub-projects (where suitable). The project leader should be provided by the company (lead company) and is responsible for the application. Non-Swedish institutions and companies are welcome to participate in the projects. However the main applicant and hosting institution should both be in Sweden.

The company (companies) is expected to identify and recruit to the project outstanding researchers in Swedish universities or research institutes that are committed to collaborate. Part of the research could be carried out in other countries and foreign researchers could be members of the research team.

The support from Mistra is intended to allow SMEs access to first class research facilities including research personnel for projects with a high level of innovation. It is therefore important that the application outlines the nature of the innovation and how the research contribution will aid its’ development and implementation.

The project proposal, the research design and the project leadership should meet several criteria:

  • The potential contribution to reducing the pressures on natural resources and on the environment should be specified;
  • The environmental problem addressed should be outlined together with a description of the potential impact its’ solution will have;
  • The market potential as well as the potential for entering the market should be specified;
  • The research results should give the SMEs involved a competitive advantage;
  • The research must be of a high international standard.

The research group should consist of one or more companies cooperating with one or more universities/institutes collaborating to achieve the goals of the project. The project is defined through a Project Plan which describes the goals, project team, budget, deliverables and time schedule etc. The project should be managed by a highly qualified person (Project leader) from one of the participating SME companies. The Project leader is responsible for all of the details of the application and also responsible for the project towards Mistra Innovation. One of the participating universities/institutes in the research project shall be the Trustee (Grant holder) and be responsible for administration of the grant for the project. The terms for the project and for the relationship between Mistra Innovation and the Trustee will be governed by a legally binding contract.

The operational form of the project should, as far as possible, secure a research process which supports scientific quality, industrial relevance and efficient implementation of the research results. The outcome of the project will be new and competitive knowledge in the form of methods, tools, products, design and processes.

Emphasis should therefore be on:

  • Strategic areas with commercial relevance, which will be demonstrated by active participation and leadership from Swedish SMEs contributing money or other resources of its own.
  • High quality scientific research and development.
  • Senior researchers taking an active part in the research.
  • Mobility of researchers between companies and universities.
  • Research with a focus on products, processes, services and design.
  • Environmental and commercial relevance of the research.

In this way the project will achieve:

  • Environmental impact
  • Industrial impact.
  • Commercial realisation.
  • Cooperation between companies and universities/institutes.
  • Scientific quality through the verification of the research results in “live” projects.

Requirements for the proposal

Formulation of application. Please visit www.mistra.org or www.mistrainnovation.se to find basic information including the Application form.

The application should include the completed Application form which include;

  • Project plan including “state of the art” description, time schedule, list of deliverables and references (5 pages)
  • A budget for the total costs of the project
  • A budget for the proposed funding from Mistra along with own or other contributions covering the costs
  • CV for key researchers (1 page per researcher)
  • List of relevant publications from researchers (max 10 publications)
  • Letters of intent from participating companies (CEO) and academic institutions (Dean of faculty)
  • The application should be combined into a single file (pdf format), with clear headings and delineations, for electronic submission.

Please note that an application will be rejected if the formal requirements are not met.

Time schedule

The projects are expected to commence in October 2016 and end not later than December 2019. The planning schedule for the process up to the launch of the projects is as follows:

12 February 2016 Call for proposals published

11 February 2016 Information meeting in Gothenburg (Chalmers)

18 February 2016 Information meeting in Stockholm at Mistra

8 April 2016 Project proposals to be submitted to Mistra

May 2016 Evaluation by an international expert group; report to Mistra

1 June 2016 Hearing at Mistra, Special invitation only

June 2016 Decision by Mistra Innovation Board

October 2016 Commencement of Innovation projects

Selection and evaluation

Prior to the Mistra Innovation Board decision in June 2016, the project proposals will be evaluated for scientific quality, user value and organisational and leadership aspects.

Mistra reserves the right to withhold support should an insufficient number of applications satisfy the specified requirements.


If you have any questions about the programme or the application procedure, you are welcome to contact the Programme Director Lars Frenning at Mistra Innovation, +46 (0) 70 5268340, e-mail lars.frenning@lafri.net

Or Christopher Folkeson Welch, phone +46 (0)70 732 30 74, e-mail chris.welch@mistra.org

This call has been published at www.mistra.org and at www.mistrainnovation.se