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LTU SUN 020221Natural resources of the Swedish north. Photo collage by courtesy of Luleå University of Technology. Two of the partner universities in the research environment Bio4Energy are launching major initiatives to make researchers from different disciplines collaborate with each other and with industry to make northern Sweden lead the way in adapting to and countering climate change, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in northernmost part of Sweden takes aim at basic industry in the region—sectors that draw on forest trees, mining ore or dams or waterfalls for hydropower—to carry out the transition to a sustainable economy.

“Meeting the climate [change] goals and transforming basic industry requires an increased use of northern Sweden’s natural resources. We need new technology and new methods; new products and new solutions for fossil-free electrification, energy storage, efficient use of raw materials and use of byproducts”, said a press release from LTU.

Research group leader This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy has been elected assistant scientific leader of the LTU initiative SUN—Natural Resources for Sustainable Transitions.
 
“Industry’s transition is going to require a great number of skilled people. We need to create attractive conditions for them to come here”, according to Söderholm.

A number of LTU’s academic divisions are involved. Industrial partners are hydropower provider Vattenfall, companies in the mining sector LKAB, Lunding Mining, Boliden and Epirock. So too are technology provider ABB and trade unions Swedish Forest Industries and Svemin. 

SUN is launched on the back of UTRI, Umeå Transformation Research Initiative, which has a focus on bringing researchers from different academic disciplines together at Umeå University (UmU) to create “creative collaborations” that will contribute to reaching the UN SDGs.
 
“UTRI will bring together researchers from different academic disciplines, as well as people and research groups who would not meet otherwise”, according to a press release from UmU.

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Swedish public service television published a video clip and an article, both in Swedish: 
Därför är Norrbotten och Västerbotten bäst i världen på klimatomställning, SVT Nyheter Norrbotten