Agricultural research in Sweden should be considered in its broadest sense: sustainable production, diet and nutrition, food safety, forestry, fishery, ecology, rural and regional development and landscape management.
The system for agricultural higher education and research is mainly under the authority of five Ministries. The Ministries are comparatively small and policy defining. Research councils and independent funding agencies with research dominated boards are in charge of funding and promoting R&D. There is also a lot of public – private collaboration. Most of the research is performed in universities and university colleges; the research institute sector in Sweden is relatively small.
The responsibility for higher education falls to the universities and the university colleges, both of which operate joint research units with other research organisations.
Ministries in charge of the agricultural research system
- Formas– Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning
is a government agency under the Ministry ofthe Environment. The Council encourages and supports scientifically significant research related to sustainable development. Especially this means support in the areas of the environment, agricultural sciences, including forestry, horticulture, veterinary medicine, food, fish and reindeer husbandry, and spatial planning, including building sciences, community systems and rural development. The projects supported cover a wide range of approaches from basic research to more applied efforts.
- VR - Swedish Research Council
is a government agency under the Ministry of Education and Research. It
Public R&D–funding Agencies
- VINNOVA –Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems
is a State authority under the Ministry of and Communications that aims to promote growth and prosperity throughout Sweden. Its particular area of responsibility comprises innovations linked to research and development. The tasks are to fund the needs–driven research required by a competitive business and industrial sector, and to strengthen the networks that are such a necessary part of this work.
- SEPA –Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
is a central environmental authority under the Ministry of
- Sida –Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation
Sida's Unit for Research Cooperation (FORSK) is part of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida. FORSK has the overall responsibility for the implementation of the Policy and Strategy for Research Cooperation 2010-2014 and reports to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.The overall objective of the Policy and Strategy for Research Cooperation 2010-2014 is to support research cooperation partners so that they better plan produce and use research in the fight against poverty. Partners include international organisations, research councils and universities all over the world.
- SWEA– Swedish Energy Agency
Public and Private Research Foundations
is a government agency under the Ministry of . Its mission is to promote the development of Sweden’s energy system so that it will become ecologically and economically sustainable. This means that energy must be available at competitive prices and that energy generation must make the least possible impact on people and the environment. The Swedish Energy Agency supports research and development about the supply, conversion, distribution and use of energy. Assistance is also provided to development of new technologies.
- Mistra –Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research
The aim of the foundation is to support research of strategic importance for a good living environment.The foundation shall promote the development of robust research environments of the highest international class that will have a positive impact on Sweden's future competitiveness. The research shall play a significant role in solving major environmental problems and contribute to the development of a sustainable society. The potential for achieving industrial applications shall be realized as far as possible.
- SSF –Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research
SSF promote the development of strong research settings of the highest international standard and of importance for Sweden’s future competitiveness.The supported research is intended to result in deeper knowledge and expertise that is expected in the long term to be applicable in knowledge-intensive and high-technology branches of industry or public sector in Sweden.Priority is given to research efforts that are expected to lead to applications in:Biotechnology, drug discovery and development, medical technology and biomedical engineering, Systems, information and communication technology, development
Materials development, Process and production technology
was established in 1994 by the Swedish government. The aim of the Foundation is to support research and the training of doctoral studentsas well as the academic infrastructure at Södertörnshögskola
(Södertörn University). During recent years, Södertörn University has been granted SEK 200 million per year from the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies. Of these funds, about 40% has been allocated to research projects. A large number of these projects are multidisciplinary in character.
- SLF –Swedish Farmers’ Foundation for Agricultural Research
is the Swedish agricultural industry’s organization for funding research and development. The purpose of the foundation is to strengthen the competitive ability of Swedish agriculture.The Swedish Farmers' Foundation for Agricultural Research – makes annual calls for applications for grants for research and development projects. SLF finances projects in some 15 research programmes.
- NFA –National Food Agency
is the central supervisory authority for matters relating to food, including drinking–water. NFA has the task of protecting the interests of the consumer by working for safe food, fair practices in the food trade, and healthy eating habits. Fair practices in the food trade imply that the consumer can rely on the labelling as regards, for example, the composition, weight, keeping qualities and origin of the food.The NFA is directly responsible to the government.
- SwAM–Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management
The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) is a new government authority that works to achieve flourishing seas, lakes and streams for the benefit and enjoyment of all.Based on Swedish and international research, SwAM take responsibility for planning and managing marine and fresh water resources. SwAM commission research from universities and colleges which house expertise. Together with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and other funders of research, SwAM make sure that government research grants also benefit marine and freshwater environments.
The Board of Agriculture is the Government's expert authority in matters of agri-food policy, and is responsible for the agricultural and horticultural sectors as well as fisheries.
Institutes Mainly Devoted to Agricultural Research
The Swedish Forest Agency is the national authority in charge of forest-related issues. Its main function is to promote the kind of management of Sweden's forests that enables the objectives of forest policy to be attained.The forest policy places equal emphasis on two main objectives: production goals and environmental goals. As the administrative body in charge of implementing the forest policy, Swedish Forest Agencycooperate with representatives from the forest industries and environmental sector towards the goals of economically and ecologically sustainable forestry.
The missions of these research institutes include: to produce and disseminate scientific knowledge; to support innovations and develop know how; to assist in decision making, through their expertise; to improve scientific and technical culture and to participate to the science–society debate. These institutes have a large autonomy in setting up their research programmes
- JTI– Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering
JTI -is an industrial researchinstitute engaged in research, development and information in the areas of agricultural engineering and environmental technology.Subsidary to SP –Technical Research Institute of Sweden
- SIK – the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology
SIK is an industrial research institute owned by SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden. The purpose of the Institute is to strengthen the competitiveness of food industry.SIK conducts strategic and applied research for industry in accordance with a goal-oriented research programme and in the form of joint industrial projects.
- Skogforsk – the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden
Skogforskis the central research body for the Swedish forestry sector, and is financed jointly by the government and the members of the Institute. The Institutepursue demand-driven applied research in a wide variety of fields, including forest technology, raw-material utilization, environmental impact and conservation, forest tree breeding, organizational structures, etc.
- SVA – the National Veterinary Institute
Other Research Institutes
is a Swedish national authority that strives for good animal and human health, a good environment and sustainable food production.
- IVL – Swedish Environmental Research Institute
IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute is an independent, non-profit research institute, owned by a foundation jointly established by the Swedish Government and Swedish industry. IVL undertake research projects and contract assignments in the entire environmental field. The activities include for example climate issues, environmental technology, indoor environment, waste management, working environment, environmental measurements, and environmental quality evaluation. IVL also performs studies of the environmental effects in air, water, and soil, and the institute has its own accredited laboratories for analysis. All activities are linked to six major theme areas: Climate and energy, Sustainable building, Air and transport, Sustainable production, Resource-efficient products and waste, and Water.
- SMHI – Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
operates under the auspices of the Swedish Ministry of the Environment and uses its meteorological, hydrological and oceanographic expertise to promote efficiency, safety and a better environment in various areas of society. General forecasts and severe warnings are processed to provide forecasts tailored to meet the specific needs of different sectors of society. The products and services, including consulting assignments, are frequently used by authorities and by Swedish andinternational trade and industry.
- The RISE Group Research Institutes of Sweden
The industrial research institutes play a vital role in the Swedish innovation system by bridging the gap between the academic and business worlds. They focus on problem oriented applied research but they also take on confidential contract assignments as consultants. Technology transfer between researchers and industrial enterprises is an important task on their agenda.
Within the RISE Group there are two subgroups of applied research companies with research or subsidiaries related to the agricultural sectors:
- Innventia(a world leader in research and development relating to pulp, paper, graphic media, packaging and biorefining )
Universities and University Colleges
- SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden (SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden is the parent company in a group consisting of six wholly-owned subsidiary companies. The Swedish state is the sole shareholder of the company).
The Universities and the University Colleges are under the authority of the Ministry of Education and Research. Sweden has around 40 universities and university colleges. Many of them have research groups with research themes relevant to the agricultural sectors. A convenient link provides information on all the Swedish universities and university colleges
, and links to their websites. One of the universities SLU is especially geared towards agricultural sciences and with support from the Ministry for Rural Affairs.
- SLU– the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
SLU develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources. This is achieved by research, education and environmental monitoring and assessment, in collaboration with the surrounding community. SLU develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resourcesAcademies Related to Agricultural Sciences
- KSLA - The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry
- KVA - The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
- IVA - The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences