Given decision

Research syntheses about sustainability aspects within different systems for production and use of forest raw materials and biomass

Last day of application: Note! New date 25/08/2015

Day of decision: Preliminary 06/11/2015

Please note the new last day of application. Third call within the program Forest raw materials and biomass. Formas announces a call for funding of 5 million SEK for research syntheses about sustainability aspects within different systems for primary production and subsequent industry production and refining of forest raw materials and biomass (from forestry, agriculture and aquaculture). The funding will be divided among approximately five projects, each of about 1 million SEK incl. indirect costs, and the studies are expected to be performed during 2016.

Decision list 2015-11-05

Panel members

Patricia J Harvey, Prof - Chairman
University of Greenwich, UK

Jan Eksvärd, Senior expert - Vice chair
The Federation of Swedish Farmers, SE

Göran Ericsson, Prof
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE

Jan Hanspach, Associate Prof
Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, DE

Riitta Hänninen, Senior researcher
Natural Resources Institute, LUKE, FI

Julia Koricheva, Prof
Royal Holloway University of London, UK

Anna Lundborg, Dr
Swedish Energy Agency, SE

Robert Lundmark, Prof
Luleå University of Technology, SE

Ulrika Palme, Associate Prof
Chalmers University of Technology, SE


Research officer in charge:
Karin Perhans, Formas

Research administrator:
Kenneth Nilsson, Formas

The call

The overall aim of the call is to synthesize and utilize existing knowledge about sustainability aspects (environmental, economic, and social) within production, use, and refining of forest raw materials and biomass. Trans-disciplinary and/or cross-sectorial approaches are encouraged, and the syntheses could for example comprise land use for different purposes, political and economic frameworks for extraction and use of forest raw materials and biomass, system analyses of material and energy flows, or environmental and socio-economic impact assessments of different measures and alternative approaches within one or several parts of the value chain from raw materials to products and society. The focus may be national or international.

Apart from providing an overview of the current state of knowledge, the syntheses should also identify and concretize the central sustainability challenges and (if applicable) needs for new research or knowledge building. Each synthesis is expected to lead to a scientific review article, but can of course also be published and presented in additional ways.

Interaction with industry, authorities or other stakeholders should be sought where this is relevant and appropriate for the area being studied.

For guidance of relevance, please see applicable parts of ”Swedish Research and Innovation Strategy for a Bio-based Economy”, which Formas together with Vinnova and the Swedish Energy Agency presented to the government in the spring of 2012, and ”NRA 2020” (only Swedish version), which is a national research agenda for the forestry sector, compiled by the Swedish forest industries federation in partnership with companies, researchers, authorities, and research funding agencies.


The development of a bio-based economy is proceeding with an increasing rate at a global scale. Swedish research is of high quality in this area and Sweden has competitive advantages, e.g. because of good supply of forest biomass. The area has a central position within the European Union Framework program for research and innovation, Horizon 2020, and it is identified as one of the most important development areas. Climate change, reduction of the use of fossil raw materials and dwindling natural resources are important challenges. A central action to tackle these challenges is to develop sustainable production, use, and refining of renewable biomass. The Swedish research council Formas has received increased funds from the government for research on forest raw materials and biomass for the period 2014-2016.


The eligibility criteria are the same as for research and development projects according to Formas Handbook 2015, i.e. grants can be given to researchers at Swedish universities, university colleges or research institutes. The main applicant and co-applicants must have doctoral degrees (with the possible exception of co-applicants from collaboration partners outside of academia).


The application should be constructed according to the instructions for research and development projects in Formas Handbook 2015. The handbook contains a detailed description of Formas’ policy, rules, forms of project support and application procedure, as well as information about how the applications are evaluated. Apart from Formas’ standard evaluation criteria, the evaluation panel may also be instructed to pay attention to the spread of topics among the research syntheses.

It is recommended to write the application in English as it will be reviewed by an international panel of experts.

Please observe: The restrictions regarding maximum allowed salary in the project and maximum number of ongoing Formas projects, given in Formas Handbook 2015, are only applicable to Formas’ annual open call, and not to this call.

The application is made in Formas’ web based system Formas Direct, and must include:

Appendix A (Research program, a maximum of 18 000 characters)
Appendix B1 (Budget, template can be downloaded in Formas Direct)
Appendix B2 (Comments on the budget, a maximum of 2 pages)
Appendix C (CV, a maximum of 8000 characters per applicant).
Appendix D (list of publications, a maximum of 8000 characters per applicant)

All appendices above are required in the application.

The call closes and applications must be registered in Formas Direct by midnight August 25th 2015. Technical support is open until 4:00 pm on the last day of application. Appendix S (signatures) must be received by Formas no later than 1 September.

Contact persons

Senior research officer:

Karin Perhans, Formas,
Telephone: +46 (0)8 775 40 36,

Administrative support:

Kenneth Nilsson, Formas,
Telephone: +46 (0)8 775 40 40,

IT support:

Jan Danielsson, Formas,
Telephone: +46 (0)8 775 40 43,

Karin Perhans