3 July 2023
Stimulating debate on key issues regarding Sweden and Big Science
Big Science Sweden panel debate at Almedalen.
Sweden contributes over SEK 2 billion each year to research facilities around the world. Upcoming investments and procurements at 13 of these facilities are worth around SEK 400 billion. Sweden needs to improve its ability to compete for these lucrative contracts.
The panel calls for greater state involvement, investments in advanced technology environments, and dependable long-term funding.
Heads of research at three industrial companies: From left: Tom Eriksson (Alleima), Mikael Dahlgren (ABB) and Stefan Christiernin (Volvo Cars).
Mikael Dahlgren, Head of ABB Corporate Research Sweden: “Development projects together with research facilities, such as the one in which we are working with CERN on energy consumption – a successful win-win project – are a good way to build up confidence and increase opportunities for future contracts.”
Tom Eriksson, EVP and Head of Strategic Research, Alleima: “It's important for Alleima and other companies to build knowledge at the forefront of technology, in materials science for example."
Stefan Christiernin, Head of Strategic Knowledge and Research, Volvo Cars: “The car industry holds a leading position in research into, for example, new materials. I can see a future in which the industry continues to contribute with specialist expertise that is attractive for the research facilities – a win for AB Sverige.”
From left: Tom Eriksson (Alleima), Moderator Fredrik Engelmark (BiSS), together with Charlotte Platzer-Björkman (Uppsala University) and Anders Palmqvist (Chalmers University of Technology).
Charlotte Platzer-Björkman, Deputy Vice Rector, Faculty of Science and Technology, Uppsala University: “When researchers and industry collaborate in advanced technical environments, we can develop new specialist expertise. We will be working to get involved with projects at an early stage, and quickly arrange funding so that we do not miss out on contracts for which we have the competencies.”
Anders Palmqvist, Vice President of Research, Chalmers University of Technology: “Close collaboration is a key to influencing how the research facilities will develop. An input into how a facility is being built up, working upstream, also gives an opportunity to influence how Sweden benefits from the facility, downstream.”
From left: Chair of Big Science Sweden Kjell Möller with Catarina Sahlberg (BiSS ) and Daniel Rencrantz (Vinnova).
Daniel Rencrantz, Deputy Director General, Vinnova. “Sweden was late entering the discussions regarding long-term funding of research. It’s now time to move on from the current fragmented pattern of funding. We need to join forces on a national basis and make strategic decisions.”
Catarina Sahlberg, Programme Director, Big Science Sweden: “We’re pleased we could gather key people with different perspectives on this panel. We could see a strong common ambition to become engaged in the research issues, and to work together on strengthening the ability of Swedish industry and academia to compete in the international Big Science market.”
Almedalen Week is a popular forum arranged annually in Visby on the island of Gotland. Representatives of the Swedish political parties, interest groups, and companies gather to discuss current political, societal, and business issues.