While professor Marklund is widely seen to have led the research environment from strength to strength, representing Bio4Energy in national and international fora and stayed in his position for longer than planned, finally he is about to take his retirement. The incoming programme manager Boström, for his part, comes equipped with about 30 years of experience in being an inorganic chemist, having managed people and funds for about two thirds of that time, for the last 15 last years at TEC-Lab of the UmU Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
Boström said solid plans for research and development had already been drawn up for the next five years, under Marklund's leadership, but that as a leader of the research environment Boström would intensify efforts to promote joint work by researchers from different scientific disciplines, for the benefit of biorefinery development and the transition to a bioeconomy.
"At this point Bio4Energy has established itself as a leader in biorefinery research in Sweden. There are many collaborations and a well thought out [operational] strategy for this new programme period. I would like to bring about even more cross-disciplinary collaborations. I think there is great potential in crossing disciplinary borders. So we are going to put a lot of work into making people meet and creating environments that encourage such cross-disciplinary work", Boström said.
Looking back to the start of Bio4Energy early 2010 and to the seven years that followed, Marklund said great strides had been made.
"Apart from first-class research, I think [Bio4Energy’s greatest achievements] are the close ties and the collaborations that have been formed between the universities and also between research groups at the universities. Bio4Energy's aim has been to create research across [disciplinary and institutional] borders and I think our efforts have been quite successful", Marklund said.
Widening the perspectives to a societal level, he said that Bio4Energy must continue to strive to make a contribution—by inventing and developing alternatives to petrochemical and fossil fuels—to keep global warming within levels that do not cause great harm to people, nature or fundamentally alter the climatic conditions of the planet Earth.
"I believe it is important that we really manage to meet the climate targets [that are in the process of being agreed by a majority of countries under the auspices of the United Nations]. I believe Bio4Energy has an important role to play in the joint work to fulfil the promises made during the international climate change negotiations", according to Bio4Energy's outgoing programme manager Marklund.
Från en kemist till en annan: Bio4Energy byter föreståndare from Bio4Energy on Vimeo.
Umeå University published a press release in Swedish to announce the change of leadership in Bio4Energy.