17 January 2024

Biggest ever investment in materials science research in Sweden

Luleå University of Technology has been awarded SEK 52 million through the WISE* initiative, with funding from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The SEK 52 million is part of a total investment of SEK 500 million in research infrastructures, with a focus on materials science for the green transition.

Leading persons within WISE at Luleå University of Technology. Front row, from the left: Fredrik Forsberg and Jens Hardell. Back row, from the left: Roland Larsson, Marta-Lena Antti, Ekaterina Osipova, and Glenn Bark. Photo: Tomas Bergman.

Naturally, the announcement has delighted everyone working with the WISE initiative at Luleå University of Technology (LTU). The team includes Fredrik Forsberg, researcher in experimental mechanics, Jens Hardell, Professor of Machine Elements, Roland Larsson, Professor of Machine Elements, Marta-Lena Antti, Professor of Engineering Materials and scientific leader of WISE at LTU, Ekaterina Osipova, research coordinator, and Glenn Bark, researcher in ore geology. 

Major upgrade to materials science labs

The new funding will significantly strengthen two of the high-tech materials science labs at LTU. The grant will be used for unique equipment that will enable discoveries of revolutionary materials for applications such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas storage, fossil-free steel, and battery production.

“We are delighted about this opportunity to improve our labs. The new instruments raise our already outstanding research on materials to a new level. Now we can improve existing materials and identify new ones with high performance and reduced climate impact throughout the entire production and utilisation process,” says Marta-Lena Antti.

Greater collaboration with industry

LTU is working actively to broaden and deepen various collaborations with industry. Ekaterina Osipova sees new opportunities to work towards a green transition.

“Fifty-two million is a large one-off investment for equipment, something that is very difficult to get. We’re very pleased and grateful, and we’ll be collaborating with industry in the region to give industrial users access to the labs. This will be important for speeding up a green transition,” she says.

* Wallenberg Initiative Materials Science for Sustainability

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The vision of WISE – Wallenberg Initiative Materials Science for Sustainability – is a sustainable society, through the promotion of Swedish research on technical qualities of different materials.

The initiative is a collaboration between the leading universities in Sweden within the field of materials science: Luleå University of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Linköping University, Uppsala University, Stockholm University, and Lund University.