Research-driven solutions for a sustainable society 2024

WHAT CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

Projects that translate research results, along with knowledge and experience among end users, into sustainable solutions, processes or practices that can be implemented and achieve real-world impact and can result in economic, environmental, or social benefits. Projects must clearly contribute to the objectives and fall within one or more of the themes and perspectives highlighted in the national research programmes (Sustainable Spatial Planning, Food, Climate, and Oceans and Water).

WHO CAN APPLY?

Research-performing organisations, public organisations, companies (not sole proprietorships), and other organisations that meet Formas’ requirements for administrating organisations. At least one researcher who has completed their doctorate must participate in the project. Only multi-party applications with at least one party from the business sector, the public sector, or other organisation and at least one party from a higher education institution or research institute can receive funding.

HOW MUCH CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

The project duration is 1 or 2 years. You can apply for a maximum grant of SEK 2 million per 12-month period.

Current: 37 Days left. Apply before: 2024-05-29 14:00

The corresponding call has previously had the title "From research to implementation for a sustainable society".

We face a long list of major and pressing challenges as we work to transition into a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable society. A key in this transition is multi-stakeholder collaboration to enable the translation of research findings and end-user knowledge and experience into solutions that have real-world impact.

The purpose of this call is to translate research findings into new sustainable solutions. These solutions, processes, or practices are to result from close collaboration between researchers and one or more end users and have the potential to create environmental, social, and/or economic benefits that support a sustainable transition. Therefore, Formas requires that there are at least two applicant parties: at least one must be from a higher education institution or research institute and at least one must be an end user from, for example, the public sector, business sector, or civil society. End users must have a clear need for and interest in the intended solution and actively participate in the project.

The projects must clearly contribute to the objectives and fall within one or more of the themes and perspectives highlighted in the national research programmes for Sustainable Spatial Planning, Food, Climate, and Oceans and Water. Summaries for each national research programme can be found below.

Grants can be applied for projects of 1 or 2 years (12 or 24 months), for a maximum of SEK 2 million per 12-month period, so a total maximum amount of SEK 4 million. Companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity wishing to apply for grants from Formas are subject to EU state aid rules, which specify co-funding requirements and aid intensity.

The total budget for the call is SEK 70 million.

We face major challenges that must be resolved as we transition away from fossil fuels, adapting to climate change, and creating the conditions for socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable communities.

The 10-year national research programmes for Sustainable Spatial Planning, Food, Climate, and Oceans and Water aim at promoting the transition to a sustainable society and achieving significant real-world impact, meaning changes that benefit society. Each programme has a strategic agenda that serves as the basis for the actions the programme chooses to implement. Summaries of the programme goals, the prioritised themes and perspectives of the programmes, and links to each programme’s agenda are provided below.

Research is crucial for enabling the transition to a sustainable society, but it is within society that the challenges needing solutions are found. End users, such as public organisations, businesses, and the public, have important knowledge and experience to bring to the process of translating research into practice. This makes collaboration between researchers and end users vital in this work.

With this call, we want to enable collaboration between researchers and end users, with the goal of developing and testing new solutions, processes, or practices. Key for the success of this type of process is a shared commitment on the part of researchers and end users. The project participants must understand the contexts and systems in which the research findings will be used. This can involve needs, perspectives, requirements, and obstacles that must be understood and addressed to develop impactful solutions that enable long-term sustainable development.

The purpose of the call is to translate research results, knowledge, and experience from researchers and end users into solutions, processes, and practices that can have real-world impact for the intended target group and over time can contribute to achieving a sustainable society. End users can come from the public sector, civil society, or business. For this reason, the call places great emphasis on multi-stakeholder collaboration between academia (higher education institutions, research institutes or other research-conducting organisations) and end users to allow them to develop relevant solutions and processes that focus on increased sustainability.

For example, projects can develop solutions that involve policies, technologies, attitudes, drivers, or norms. Projects must fall under one or more of the themes and perspectives highlighted in the research agendas and clearly contribute to the goals for one or more of the national research programmes Sustainable Spatial Planning, Food, Climate, and Oceans and Water.

In the projects, researchers and end users must collaborate in a common process to further develop research finding, aiming to produce solutions or processes that can achieve real-world impact. Projects must enable solutions, processes, or practices that can be tested under realistic conditions together with relevant stakeholders. Projects should also investigate opportunities and obstacles for the solution’s real-world impact.

To emphasise the importance of societal relevance as an integral part of projects, the applicant in this call must define the project’s readiness level based on the scale for Societal Readiness Levels (SRL) (Societal readiness levels External link.). This nine-point scale was developed by Innovation Fund Denmark to define the readiness of a project from a societal perspective. The intent is to more clearly connect the project to a societal challenge and demonstrate the need to include several areas of competence in the development of a solution, process, or practice. It is worth noting that SRLs may vary between countries and regions, so the applicant should indicate the current readiness level for the location in which the project is intended to be applied. The applicant’s self-assessment of the project level must be thoroughly explained. Applicants must also describe efforts in the project that would enable progressing to higher levels.

This call is only intended for applicants with projects at one of the readiness levels 3 to 5. The reason for this is that this call is intended to support processes that develop research results into a solution that can have real-world impact. The intention is not to support pure research projects nor to support projects that have progressed to the point of being implemented.

SRL levels:

  • SRL 1 – identifying problem and identifying societal readiness
  • SRL 2 – formulation of problem, proposed solution(s) and potential impact, expected societal readiness; identifying relevant stakeholders for the project
  • SRL 3 – initial testing of proposed solution(s) together with relevant stakeholders
  • SRL 4 – problem validated through pilot testing in relevant environment to substantiate proposed impact and societal readiness
  • SRL 5 – proposed solution(s) validated, now by relevant stakeholders in the area
  • SRL 6 – solution(s) demonstrated in relevant environment and in cooperation with relevant stakeholders to gain initial feedback on potential impact
  • SRL 7 – refinement of project and/or solution and, if needed, retesting in relevant environment with relevant stakeholders
  • SRL 8 – proposed solution(s) as well as a plan for societal adaptation complete and qualified
  • SRL 9 – actual project solution(s) proven in relevant environment

The complementary skills, participation, and the degree of collaboration among project participants must be based on the needs of the specific project. It is important that participants have both an understanding of the context in which the solution or process is to be used and a common interest in the expected results and impacts. Project activities are to be formulated in relation to the specific readiness and the specific challenges of each project.

Different solutions, processes, and practices can have different potential but also different opportunities for scaling up and dissemination. The applicant is to describe how the project’s proposed solutions can be scaled up and/or disseminated to relevant stakeholders to allow them to realistically contribute to the goals of the national research programmes. Scalability means the solution can be scaled up, used, and implemented in society. Dissemination means that the solution can be used in the same type or similar applications nationally and/or internationally.

Applicants must be able to clearly demonstrate that the solution meets a need of the end user and potentially other stakeholders and how it promotes the transition to a sustainable society. The project’s proposed solution should have a clear user perspective that strives to expand opportunities for impact and dissemination. Early-stage projects can describe the long-term plan for the solution, even if the project in the current phase tests preliminary solutions. For a project to be considered, applicants must clearly demonstrate that the sustainability perspective is an integral part of the project and how this will be followed up.

The composition of the project team and the activity level of the participants should provide the project with the best conditions for developing the described solution, process, or practice with potential for practical application. End users must have a clear need for and interest in the intended solution and actively participate in the project. This should be reflected in the project’s budget for each party and be visible in the implementation, for example in the design of the project’s work packages.

The research results or collective findings that underpin the solution should be of high quality. This means that they rest on a solid scientific foundation, have novelty value, have a level of innovation, and fill a gap for solutions within or outside Sweden.

The projects must fall within one or more of the themes and perspectives highlighted in the research agendas and clearly contribute to the objectives of one or more of the national research programmes for sustainable spatial planning, food, climate, and oceans and water.

National Research Programme for Food

The National Research Programme for Food was established to strengthen needs-driven research, promote the dissemination and commercialisation of research results, and increase competitiveness and profitability within the food system. Its purpose is to help increase productivity and innovation across the food chain and achieve sustainable food production and consumption.

The programme promotes a transition of the food system to one that is more sustainable from environmental, social, and economic perspectives, where long-term competitiveness is based on science-based knowledge and enhanced innovation for sustainably produced, healthy, tasty, and safe food for all.

The national research programme’s agenda aims to provide a direction for knowledge building and innovation to achieve a sustainable and competitive food system. Four themes have been defined that need to be interlinked and that need interaction. The programme’s four themes and six perspectives are listed below and are described in the programme’s strategic agenda, Towards a Sustainable and Competitive Food System External link..

  • Sustainable production systems
  • Good food for good health and the environment
  • Meals and the consumer
  • Innovative and safe food

The cross-cutting perspectives highlight key areas of development that can simultaneously act as drivers in the transition to a sustainable, competitive Swedish food system. The perspectives are: a system perspective, knowledge and skills development, governance and leadership, regional and global digitalisation and technology development, and gender equality and diversity.

National Research Programme on Climate

The National Research Programme on Climate creates favourable conditions that enable research and innovation to contribute to climate change adaptation, the transition to a fossil-free society, and attainment of climate goals nationwide and worldwide. The programme funds research and innovation within six key themes described in its agenda, Knowledge for a Climate Transformation External link..

Climate change is a complex challenge. We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout society while more rapidly shifting from words to deeds through measures, changes in behaviour, and innovations. The public and intended users of novel research need to be involved in climate efforts, and it is essential that these efforts be perceived as fair and inclusive. We also need to better understand climate trends, the relationship of climate actions to other SDGs in the 2030 Agenda, and climate adaptation efforts.

The agenda identifies six themes:

  • Sustainable innovations for climate efforts
  • System-integrated knowledge of climate change, ecosystems, and society
  • Production and consumption in line with the climate goals
  • Governance for meeting the climate challenges
  • Economic and financial drivers for climate action
  • A democratic and just climate transformation

Each of these themes should be highlighted using the key perspectives of International Climate Efforts, Digitalisation, Synergies, and Conflict Goals in Sustainable Development Goals, and Gender Equality, Equity, and Diversity.

National Research Programme for Sustainable Spatial Planning

The National Research Programme for Sustainable Spatial Planning funds research and innovation that can contribute to a transformative, sustainable built environment. We face major challenges, such as transitioning to a fossil-free society, adapting to climate change, and creating better conditions for socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable cities and communities. Boosting the transition capability of all stakeholders is central to achieving more sustainable spatial planning in practice.

In its agenda Research for Transformative and Sustainable Spatial Planning External link., the National Research Programme for Sustainable Spatial Planning External link. has identified a number of central themes and perspectives that should be prioritised in this transition. These themes and perspectives are based on the various challenges that the built environment and spatial planning currently face. More knowledge and new solutions are needed in these areas so that society can shift to transformative, sustainable spatial planning. The six themes identified are:

  • Sustainable residential and public environments
  • Sustainable mobility systems for all
  • Human health and well-being
  • Security and safety for people and societies
  • Sustainable consumption and production
  • Sustainable land and water use

Each of these themes should also be highlighted using five intersecting perspectives: Governance, policy and economics; Organisation, collaboration and leadership; Accessibility, equity and gender equality; Democracy and participation; Digitalisation and artificial intelligence.

National Research Programme on Oceans and Water

By funding research, innovation and other activities, the National Research Programme on Oceans and Water promotes a strategic, long-term approach to water that takes a holistic perspective. The programme will help address challenges in the marine and water environment nationally and enable synergies with Sweden’s various engagements in the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and the implementation of the UN Decade of Ocean Science.

The programme’s strategic agenda “Mobilisation for Healthy Oceans and Water External link.” forms the basis for calls for proposals and other activities initiated within the National Research Programme on Oceans and Water. Healthy oceans and waters are needed to keep ecosystems in balance across the planet and achieve sustainable development throughout society. As such, there are many issues that the programme needs to address, and these have been condensed into three central themes in the agenda.

The agenda defines the following themes:

  • Strengthen the resilience of aquatic ecosystems. This includes the need for knowledge around complex and dynamic ecosystems and more effective environmental monitoring.
  • Develop sustainable water resource management. This includes our common water resource, sustainable water resource management in a changing climate, and our essential groundwater.
  • Boost society’s ability to act for sustainable oceans and water. This includes effective planning and management, community engagement and involvement in water-related issues, and initiatives for stimulating blue innovations.

Enabling a transformation in this area requires more effective regulations and permit procedures and more effective and enhanced water management. The programme thus intends to facilitate close collaboration between researchers and civil and public organisations.

The call is aimed at individuals who work in academia, the public sector, non-profit associations, the business sector, and other organisations. Participants from at least two parties must take part in the application: at least one from academia (a higher education institution, research institute or other research-performing organisation) and at least one from outside academia. The project leader can come from a private company, public-sector organisation, a higher education institution, or a research institute. Any application involving a sole proprietorship as a party will be rejected.

To be considered a project party, the organisation must be included as an active party in the project plan and the project budget must clearly identify which costs the party in question will cover through a Formas grant, self-finance, other funding, or a combination of these. After notice of awarded funding, the project parties must individually sign a written commitment to implement the project as per the Formas decision for funding. Before the initial payment of grant funds, all project parties must have submitted their signed commitments on time along with any additionally requested information.

For organisations engaged in economic activity, such as municipal companies, private companies, and other organisations, Formas applies EU state aid rules. Read more under “State aid rules for companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity” in this call text.

This call does not permit a main applicant to submit more than one application.

Before you apply

Research-driven Solutions for a Sustainable Transition 2024 does not permit submitting the same application with different main applicants. All finally registered applications with the same content will be rejected.

The main applicant may only submit one application for the Research-driven Solutions for a Sustainable Transition 2024 call. It is, however, permitted for the main applicant to be a participant in multiple applications as long as the applicant’s total salary, divided between the projects, does not exceed 100% funding.

A main applicant may simultaneously have an ongoing project grant from another Formas targeted national and international call and/or the Annual Open Call as long as the applicant’s total salary, spread across the different projects, does not exceed 100% funding.

Employees at Swedish higher education institutions, research institutes, public organisations, companies, and other private organisations can apply for a grant in this call. Sole proprietorship businesses cannot be granted funding. Any applications involving one or more parties that are sole proprietorships will be rejected.

As a general rule, participants from academia are required to have a doctoral degree and at least one participating researcher is to have completed a doctoral degree. The reason for this is to guarantee an appropriate understanding of the research results forming the basis of the project and the development of the proposed solution. However, every participating party from academia is not required to hold a doctorate.

Participating parties from academia refers to higher education institutions, research institutes, or other research-conducting organisations.

Several types of organisations are to participate in the project, including representation from a higher education institution or research institute and one or more end users from outside academia. It is up to the project to put together the most suitable project team, assign tasks among the parties in different parts of the project (work packages), and define how the budget is shared among participating parties. This is part of the assessment criteria under “How does the assessment process work?”.

There are to be a minimum of two (2) and a maximum of five (5) project parties.

Formas strives for an equitable, gender-balanced, and inclusive development of society. Applicants should thus design the project so that its results can benefit a diverse group of people, and composition of the project team should strive for an even gender distribution among members. Consideration should also be given to how influence is distributed among team members.

The organisation that receives and administers the funds paid by Formas to awarded applications is called the administrating organisation. Formas distinguishes between administrating organisations that can receive funds in all Formas calls and administrating organisations that are approved to receive funds for an individual project. Higher education institutions, government agencies with research assignments, and most research institutes are approved as administrating organisations in all Formas calls. Most other public and private organisations need to obtain individual approval as administrating organisations.

Who can become an administrating organisation? External link.

Project participants in funded projects are expected to participate in seminars, workshops, and networks within the framework of the national research programmes Sustainable Spatial Planning, Food, Climate, and Oceans and Water.

All projects applying for funding from Formas must have a responsible project leader and be conducted by the individuals listed in the application.

When applying for project funding, you can apply for both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include such costs as personnel costs and other operating costs that are directly attributable to the project. Indirect costs are costs that are shared with others in your organisation, such as for administration, IT, and renting of premises. Indirect costs are sometimes called overhead.

The total amount of salary received for an individual researcher, doctoral student, or other participant must correspond to the activity level in your project and may not exceed 100 per cent of a full-time position. This means that additional salary funding cannot be granted to staff who already have full salary funding. Participants who receive a full-time pension cannot receive funding for their own salary.

Formas grants can be used to fund practicing researchers (at higher education institutions or research institutes) outside Sweden, although the project must be initiated and managed from Sweden. This only applies if the administrating organisation is a higher education institution, research institute, or public authority with a research assignment and is approved as an administrating organisation for all Formas calls. The administrating organisation is responsible for hiring any foreign staff and paying for activities or services outside Sweden as per the administrating organisation’s own guidelines. Any parts of the project that are conducted outside Sweden must be thoroughly explained and must only constitute a limited part of the project.

Grants can be applied for projects of 1 year (12 months) or 2 years (24 months), for a maximum of SEK 2 million per 12-month period, so a total maximum amount of SEK 4 million.

The project start date is set by default in Prisma as 1 December 2024 and cannot be changed. In the budget section, state how you plan to use the funds based on how actual costs are expected to be incurred during each financial year. For administrative reasons, Formas may apply a payout plan that differs from the application’s allocation of the budget over time.

Applications with a different requested amount or a project duration that does not fall within the above range will be rejected.

Private companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity that want to apply for grants from Formas must follow specific rules on state aid. These rules are based on the main principle of EU law that state aid to private enterprises normally distorts competition but that certain exceptions are allowed, including support for research, development, and innovation.

The aid intensity that Formas can offer depends on the size of the organisation and the type of activities in the project. The organisation’s size is assessed using the EU definition of small and medium-sized enterprises. Activities will primarily be assessed on the basis of Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation EU 651/2014. Under the call, state aid is granted only to projects which, under EU state aid rules, are grounded in “industrial research”. Aid intensity depends on the eligibility and the size of the company; read more in Aid intensities and definitions for grants under Formas’ aid scheme External link. (in Swedish only).

Note that sole proprietorships cannot be awarded a grant under this call or participate as a party in projects applying for grants in Formas calls. Any application involving a sole proprietorship as a party will be rejected.

Companies or other organisations engaged in economic activity that do not have a Swedish corporate identity number cannot be awarded a grant in this call. They can, however, participate in-kind.

More information on state aid rules is available on the Formas website: State aid rules External link.

Applicants receiving state aid (should the application be awarded funding from Formas) need to be aware that the requirements for transparent reporting of state aid became more strict in 2023. This means that state aid over EUR 100,000 to a project party (or if it concerns primary agricultural production or the fisheries and aquaculture sector EUR 10,000) are to be publicly reported within the EU. Formas is responsible for this transparency report. Applicants are assumed to understand this requirement for transparent reporting and are considered to have accepted that such public reporting occurs for grants exceeding the threshold amounts.

You should write application in English, since the review panel that will assess your application is international. If you do write your application in Swedish, a professional translator will translate into English only the section describing the research programme. You will not be able to change the translation before the application proceeds to assessment. However, the popular science description must be written in Swedish, while the abstract is to be in both Swedish and English. Your budget specification and CV will not be translated. So, please write these in English, even if you write the other sections in Swedish and submit your application in the Swedish version of our application system.

Please be aware that if you have installed an automatic translation plugin in your browser, when you paste your text into Prisma you risk having your text translated into the language that you have set as the default. We recommend that you check the language of your text in Prisma by previewing your application well in advance of the final registration of your application.

According to Swedish law, your application and its appendices are considered general public documents once they have been submitted to us. This means that anyone can request and read your application. Information can only be concealed if it is confidential as defined in the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act (2009:400).

Formas is limited in its ability to designate personal data as confidential. For this reason, your application should not contain the personal data of anyone who is not included in the application.

If the project is awarded funding, the popular science description and project abstracts in Swedish and English will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality review. For this reason, the contents of these fields should not include sensitive information.

At Formas, we strive to fund projects that maximise positive and minimise negative impacts on the environment and climate. As such, we encourage grant applicants to design their projects to enable primarily online collaboration and that any necessary travel minimises climate impact as much as possible. We also suggest that your project planning includes measures that minimise energy use and other resource consumption, emissions, and waste. However, this is not part of the assessment of your application.

Read about Sustainability at Formas External link..

How to apply

You apply for grants in our application system, Prisma, where you add the information you need for your application.

Please read these instructions carefully, even if you have previously applied for a grant from Formas.

The following information and instructions address personal and organisation accounts in Prisma.

Personal account

The main applicant who fills in the necessary information and registers the application must have a personal account in Prisma. If the main applicant lacks a personal account, they must apply for one well before the call closes, but no later than 21 May.

Apply for a personal account in Prisma External link.

Organisation account

The organisation that will receive and administer the funds Formas awards to a project is called an administrating organisation in Prisma, the Formas application system. At the time of application, the organisation must have an organisation account.

The main applicant must specify the administrating organisation and the project site when filling in the application form in Prisma. This is done in the drop-down menus for administrating organisation and project site. Available project sites are defined in the organisation structure by the organisation account supervisor. The administrating organisation represented by the main applicant (the coordinating project party) must have an organisation account in Prisma when applying for funding.

If your organisation has not previously been an administrating organisation of Formas funds, it must first apply for an organisation account (see below).

Formas distinguishes between administrating organisations that can receive funds in all Formas calls and administrating organisations that are approved to receive funds for an individual project.

Main applicants from administrating organisations approved for all types of calls

Higher education institutions, most research institutes, and government agencies with research assignments are approved as administrating organisations for all Formas calls and already have an organisation account.

Main applicants from administrating organisations that can be an approved administrating organisation for an individual project

Companies, municipalities, trade associations, and other organisations can apply to become administrating organisations for an individual project. These organisations must have an organisation account with Formas.

Organisation account for organisations that can become an administrating organisation for an individual project

  • If the organisation already has an account in Prisma, email our research officer Emma Stockvall emma.stockvallcarlsson@formas.se to request to be added to the list of possible administrating organisations for this call. Include your organisation number in your email, even if your organisation was approved as an administrating organisation in a previous Formas call.
  • If your organisation does not have an account in Prisma, an appropriate representative should apply for the organisation account on the Prisma website. In this box, explain the reason for the application, state that you are applying under Formas’ call “Research-driven Solutions for a Sustainable Transition 2024”, and state the type of organisation and the organisation’s corporate identity number.

Apply for an organisation account in Prisma External link.

  • If you do not know whether the organisation has a Prisma account, contact our research officer Emma Stockvall emma.stockvallcarlsson@formas.se before applying for a new account. Specify your corporate identity number.

If the intended coordinating party (the administrating organisation) is not already listed in Prisma, it is important that the main applicant apply for an organisation account well in advance, but no later than 21 May 2024.

Project site – create a structure to describe your organisation

To be able to register an application, a project site within the organisation must be specified, such as an institute or a department. The organisation account supervisor creates a structure containing units and subunits (project sites). If the organisation does not have departments, specify a subunit that has the same name as the organisation. For information on how to do this, see Prisma’s user support External link..

Learn more about creating project sites and viewing levels for project sites in Prisma External link..

All limits for the maximum number of characters refer to characters including spaces. We recommend that you use the Arial font in font size 12 for the information you enter in all text boxes.

Note that if you write your application using a word processor and then paste the text into Prisma, formatting might be lost.

Upload tables and figures with advanced formatting or formulas as an attachments to prevent the loss of important information contained in formatting.

Your application must include a clear description of the project under the following sections:

Basic information

  • Number of years for the project.
  • Start month. Note that the start month is predefined in Prisma and cannot be changed.
  • Project title in Swedish and English (max. 200 characters including spaces).
  • Popular science description in Swedish (max. 4,500 characters including spaces). The popular science description and project abstracts for awarded projects will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality review. As such, the contents of these fields should not include sensitive information.
  • Abstract in Swedish and English (max. 1,500 characters each, including spaces). The abstracts of granted applications will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality review. For this reason, the contents of these fields should not include sensitive information.

Project description

Carefully read the background and the call’s purpose and focus. The project description must clearly describe the project based on the assessment criteria under “How does the assessment process work?”. Address all the criteria in your application. Also, justify the chosen SRL level and describe planned efforts to increase the maturity level of the solution. The chosen SRL level and its justification, along with the description of how the project addresses the work of developing the solution's SRL level, will be included as part of the assessment based on the criteria in the call.

Described the following thoroughly:

Project’s relevance and potential (max. 10,000 characters, including spaces)

Background

  • Describe the context of the project and why the project is important from a broader perspective. This gives the Swedish and international reviewers a solid understanding of how the project solution relates to different areas of society.
  • Describe and characterise the challenges addressed by the project, any previously tested solutions, and the lessons learned from them.

Purpose and objectives

  • Describe how the project can contribute to the purpose and focus of the call and to sustainable development.
  • Specify the challenges addressed by the project.
  • Describe the objectives and expected impacts of the project in the short and long term.
  • Describe how implementation of the project’s expected results or solutions meet the current needs of the business sector, public organisations, and/or civil society.
  • Describe the potential for disseminating and scaling the expected results or solution, nationally and internationally.

State-of-the-art

  • Describe the research and knowledge that form the basis of the project.
  • Describe the project’s context, its novelty, and/or the level of innovation of expected results or solutions. Compare the project’s expected solutions with relevant solutions in and outside Sweden.
  • Describe project obstacles and risks, including any related to intellectual property, and the roadmap for implementation and achieving real-world impacts from the proposed solutions. Describe the consequences of identified obstacles and risks, and how the project will manage these.
  • Describe if and how the implementation of developed solutions depends on other project results.

National research programmes

  • State which national research programme or programmes (Sustainable Spatial Planning, Food, Climate, or Oceans and Water) and which objectives, themes, and perspectives from the programme agendas are addressed by your application. Explain how the project contributes to the programme(s).

Societal Readiness Level (SRL) (max. 1,000 characters, including spaces)

  • The project’s SRL level

Indicate the maturity of your project from a societal perspective by specifying the SRL level for the project. This call targets applicants with projects at levels 3 to 5. Note that SRL may vary between countries and regions, indicate the level for the project based on where the solution is intended to be applied.

  • State a brief justification for the selected SRL level

Implementation (max. 12,000 characters, including spaces)

  • Describe the project and explain how it will be conducted using, for example, work packages, activities, methods, work plan, and schedule.
  • Clearly describe the plan for creating real-world impact from the project.
  • Describe any ethical considerations and how these are managed in the project.
  • Reflect on how gender equality and diversity have been integrated into the project.
  • Reflect on how risks can affect the project’s implementation, schedule, and budget, how likely such risks are, and how you will manage these if they arise.

Organisation (max. 8,000 characters, including spaces)

  • Explain your choice of project parties and their qualifications, roles, and level of activity in the project.
  • Explain how the project will consider the interests of the project parties and other end users.
  • Reflect on the project team’s composition (key stakeholders) with regard to gender and distribution of influence among women and men.

List of references (max. 5,000 characters, including spaces)

  • List the in-line references pertaining to the above sections in a separate field. These can include publications, previous works relevant to the project, and similar.

Budget and other information

State the project budget and other information about all participating organisations in Prisma. Note that you should always write the budget and budget specification in English; a Swedish budget specification will not be translated but will instead be assessed as is by the international review panel. In Prisma, write out the total amount you are applying for in kronor using digits. For example, one million kronor should be written as: SEK 1,000,000.

Note that the first payment to an awarded project will be made in December 2024, but you should state the budget for 2025 and 2026.

The following information must be stated in the project budget:

Information about the main applicant’s organisation and each project party

This is required information and must be completed for each party in the project. The information is collected and added by the main applicant. The main applicant’s organisation must be the same as the one stated as the administrating organisation.

  • Name of the organisation
  • Corporate identity number
  • Address, postal code, city, country
  • Annual turnover (the total sales or turnover of the higher education institution, research institute, company, or organisation during the previous fiscal year), stated in digits. Example: 3,500,000.
  • Balance sheet total (the sum of either the assets page or liabilities and equity from the company’s or organisation’s balance sheet), stated in digits. Example: 5,500,000.
  • Number of employees
  • Contact person
  • Email address to contact person
  • Name of the workplace, address, postal code, city, and country where most of the work will be carried out.

Costs

  • Personnel costs: Funding is available to cover actual salary costs for time spent on the project. This applies both to companies, other organisations engaged in economic activity (which are subject to EU state aid rules), and other types of organisations. For employees of higher education institutions or research institutes, the amount may never exceed 100 per cent of full-time employment. So, someone who is already receiving full salary funding from another source of funding cannot receive additional salary funding. Researchers who are full-time pensioners cannot receive funding for their own salary.
  • Equipment, buildings, and land: The maximum amount you can be granted for equipment and equipment depreciation costs is SEK 500,000.

Equipment, buildings, and land costs are eligible to the extent and for the duration of their use in the project. For equipment and buildings, depreciation costs incurred during the project’s duration are eligible. For land, the actual capital expenses are eligible but are subject to limitations as described above.

  • Consultancy and licensing costs: For the costs of consultancy services and licenses to be eligible for funding, they must be purchased or licensed from external providers at market prices and their services and scope must be stated in the project description.
  • Other direct costs: Other direct costs can include the cost of consumables, travel, conferences, and publication fees for open-access journals and databases.
  • Indirect costs (overhead): Higher education institutions and research institutes may charge a markup for indirect costs according to the applicable full-cost pricing method. Other project participants may charge a markup for indirect costs of up to 30 per cent of their eligible personnel costs. Formas does not grant funds for overhead on costs written off for equipment or for premises.

Financing

An application can specify four types of funding:

  • Applied funding from Formas: Indicates the amount requested from Formas under the call. This amount cannot exceed total costs. If the amount applied for is less than the total costs, the remaining amount will be automatically calculated and reported under “Self-funding”.
  • Other funding (state): If Formas or another public funder has provided funding for related projects.
  • Other funding (private): If another private company or organisation has provided funding for the project.
  • Self-finance: If the project party contributes its own funding, this is calculated automatically and displayed in this field.

Justification of budgeted personnel costs

Specify the average hourly cost for budgeted personnel costs. This refers to salaries including social security contributions and other required charges associated with salaries (max. 500 characters, including spaces).

Budget specification

In your own words, explain the budget and state the overhead costs included in the application. Formas does not grant funding for overhead costs written off for equipment or premises.

Also indicate any consultancy costs and the scope of the consultant’s participation. Specify which project participants will pay for the consultancy costs. You are encouraged to clearly describe all costs related to the project activities (max. 9,000 characters, including spaces).

Ethical considerations

Indicate whether the project includes special ethical concerns. If so, state what these ethical concerns are and how you plan to manage them. Examples include research that uses personal data or research involving experiments on humans or animals.

If you are conducting research on humans or human tissue or are processing sensitive personal data, you must submit an application for ethical review to the Swedish Ethical Review Authority and have it approved. If you are conducting animal experiments, you also need to obtain approval from a relevant committee for animal ethics. You can apply for approval through the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s online service.

State in your application whether or not you have obtained a valid ethical approval. If you have not obtained approval and you are awarded a grant, you must obtain approval before the described studies begin.

Even if you do not expect your research to involve ethical concerns, you should state this in your application and briefly explain why not.

Classifications

Formas uses the project’s classifications in analyses and supporting documentation on an overall level. The classifications are made when the applicant states the subject area, research subject (SCB code), at least one sustainable development goal the project can contribute to, and keywords.

  • Subject area

Select at least one subject area for the project and add a sub-heading.

  • Research subject (SCB code)

Select at least one research subject and two sublevels that together form the entire code.

  • Sustainable development goals

Select at least one and up to three sustainable development goals (SDGs) the project can help to achieve, in order of relevance.

More about the meaning of the goals (in Swedish). External link.

  • Keywords

Enter at least one and a maximum of three keywords describing the project.

Administrating organisation – the organisation receiving the grant

The organisation that will receive and administer the awarded funds paid out by Formas is called the administrating organisation.

  • Select the administrating organisation from the dropdown list. If you cannot find the organisation that will be the main applicant, see the “Organisation account” heading under “How to apply”.
  • Select project site from the dropdown list. If you cannot find the correct project site, see “Applicants from administrating organisations who must be individually approved” under “How to apply”.

Project participants

State all project participants with their name, organisation, and degree of activity in the project. Fill in the information in any table style, save the document as a PDF file, and upload under the required appendices in Prisma. You can only upload files in PDF format in Prisma.

CVs

Upload one CV (that includes relevant qualifications) for each key participant. Each CV is to be a single PDF (max. 4 MB) and maximum one A4 page per person.

In this call, researchers at generally approved administrating organisations (approved for all Formas calls) cannot link to CV information that is already entered in Prisma. This is to allow a fair assessment of applications and CVs.

The CVs are to provide relevant information demonstrating the key participants’ qualifications and skills that are important in the project. This can include experience from relevant research, implementations, collaborations, and project management.

Each CV should contain the following headings: Name, Sex, Organisation, Title, Participation in per cent, Role in the project, Relevant skills and experience, Reason why the person is a key participant in the project, and Other information.

Appendices

Required appendices:

  • List of project participants
  • CVs for key individuals in the project (max. one A4 page per participant, in PDF format)

Optional appendices:

  • Illustrations and figures (max. 4 MB)

After submitting your application

First, Formas verifies that the application meets the procedural requirements set out in the call. If the application does not meet these requirements, it is rejected.

In this call, the following requirements will be verified:

  • The administrating organisation has signed the application. This must be done within seven calendar days after the call closes.
  • The application has been approved by the administrating organisation.
  • The main applicant has only submitted one application.
  • There are not multiple applications with the same content and different main applicants.
  • The application’s focus falls within Formas’ areas of responsibility.
  • The focus of the application falls within the call’s areas.
  • The application is complete and contains all required information.
  • The requirements for project leaders, project participants, and organisations under “Applicant and organisation requirements” are met.
  • A credit check has been performed on all participating companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity that may be relevant for awarding a grant.
  • A main applicant responsible for other projects or activities funded by Formas has submitted all requested reports by the stated deadlines.

All applications are assessed by an external review panel of national and international members based on the contents of the application. As such, it is important to write the application as clearly as possible and include all important and relevant information. As part of the assessment prior to a decision, Formas considers the project portfolio with the aim of funding projects that address a wide range of themes within the call’s framework.

Read more about the Formas assessment process here: The application assessment process - Formas External link.

Applications are assessed based on the following criteria:

Relevance

  • The project can significantly contribute to the purpose and focus of the call.
  • The design of the project and the expected results have taken into consideration the relevant needs and conditions of different groups in society.
  • The application clearly states how the impact of the proposed solution would benefit society.

Potential

  • The problem formulation and purpose of the project are clear, logical, and in line with the purpose and focus of the call.
  • The research that forms the basis of the project is of high quality.
  • The expected results of the project and/or proposed solution are at the forefront of the field, and the novelty or innovation level is substantial.
  • The project has significant potential for scalability and/or dissemination.

Implementation

  • Planned activities and methods are appropriate for achieving the expected results.
  • The time frame and budget are realistic and appropriate in relation to the purpose and objectives of the project.
  • The plan for how the results of the project are to be utilised is well described and appropriate.
  • Ethical considerations are well described and the plan for how to handle these is appropriate.
  • Gender perspectives are well integrated into the implementation of the project.

Project organisation

  • The project’s organisation and overall competence of the project group are appropriate for the implementation of the project, including the utilisation of the project’s results.
  • The project will be carried out in collaboration with relevant stakeholders or end users. The involvement of the project participants is well described and appropriate for the objectives of the project.
  • The project group (key actors) as well as the distribution of influence is well balanced between women and men. Relevant for project groups of more than 3 people.

Formas expects to decide on awarded projects on 22 October 2024. We publish our decisions the following day at the latest on the Formas website and later by email from Prisma. Grant award decisions cannot be appealed.

All awarded projects must submit a report to Formas containing financial and project results within three months of the end of the grant availability period. For projects longer than 18 months, a financial statement must also be submitted to Formas annually. All reports are submitted in Prisma.

Financial reporting in Prisma External link. (in Swedish)

Financial reporting for projects in this call follows the same structure as the application.

Formas may impose content and results requirements for reporting projects to enable dissemination and real-world impact. In such cases, the award decision will include more information about this. Formas may also require you to participate in conferences and similar events to create synergies and platforms for learning and knowledge sharing.

Results of research funded by Formas must be published using open access.

You must also have a data management plan for the data produced in the project. If you receive Formas funding, you are to draw up a data management plan. The plan should not be sent into us, but you should be able to present the plan upon request. By signing our grant terms and conditions, you certify that a data management plan will be in place before the research begins and that it will be maintained.

Open access to research results and data External link.

Formas shares information about awarded grants to SweCRIS, a national database of grant-funded research that was instituted by request of the government.

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Definitioner

Term

Explanation

Coordinating project party

 

An organisation that coordinates the project and is an administrating organisation, meaning it receives funding from Formas and transfers the funds to other organisations that are project beneficiaries, submits reports on the project as instructed, and notifies Formas of any changes.

 

Note that only Swedish organisations can be coordinating project parties.

 

Project party

An organisation that implements the project, regardless of whether it receives funding or provides self-funding in part or in whole. A subcontractor is not a project party.

 

Note that companies or other organisations engaged in economic activity outside Sweden cannot receive grants in this call. However, they can participate as project parties if they contribute in kind.

Main applicant

A member of the project team, such as a participating researcher or participant from another organisation.

Project participants

Medelsförvaltaren är den organisation som mottar Formas utbetalningar och överför pengar till övriga organisationer som är bidragsmottagare i projektet, rapporterar projektet enligt anvisningar och meddelar Formas eventuella ändringar.

Administrating organisation

The organisation that receives funding from Formas and transfers the funds to other organisations that are project beneficiaries, submits reports on the project as instructed, and notifies Formas of any changes.

Administrating organisation for all types of calls

An organisation that can seek funding from Formas in all types of calls. These are higher education institutions, research institutes, and government agencies with research assignments.

Administrating organisation for an individual project

An organisation that can apply for funding from Formas in specific calls and receive funding for an individual project. Examples include private companies, associations, trade organisations, regional health authorities, or municipalities.

Project site

A project site can be an institution, department, or project specialisation.

 

Contact information

For questions about the content of the call

For administrative questions and questions about Prisma

For administrative questions and questions about Prisma

For questions on budgeting and funding for businesses

Updated:4 April 2024