Planned calls for 2024

2024-02-05

The following is an overarching plan of calls for 2024. The calls are either already approved or are preliminary initiatives under development that the Research Council will discuss and decide on in 2024.

They are divided by category of initiative: Researcher-initiated research, National research programmes, Other thematic calls, Strategic innovation areas, and International calls.

The curiosity-driven research calls planned for 2024 are Career Grant for Early-career Researchers External link. and Research Projects. Similar to previous curiosity-driven research calls, it is proposed that these be recurring annual calls. A common aspect to the curiosity-driven research calls is that researchers freely identify research and development needs and formulate questions within Formas’ areas of responsibility. In 2023 and 2024, extensive development work to design the calls is being supported by the Research Council and it will continue to make contributions.

The Research Council decided on the call “Career Grant for Early-career Researchers” at its September meeting and, as such, the call is not covered by the decision on a call plan. The call is intended to support the short- and long-term access to expertise and knowledge. Society is in severe need of experts with a combination of skills and subject knowledge and who can lead efforts to solve global and national challenges facing society. This call gives researchers with a career age of zero to seven years (after completing their doctorate) the opportunity to apply for funding to independently conduct a research project of high scientific quality. Projects are to include national/international mobility stays. This will provide opportunities to expand the researchers’ knowledge, expertise and skills in collaboration with others and to drive their career development. This will help ensure access to expertise and continual and long-term expansion of knowledge. This, in turn, will provide access to necessary information for making decision, taking concrete measures and solving societal challenges. Projects can last 36 to 48 months. At its September 2023 meeting, the Research Council approved a budget of SEK 400 million for the 2024 call round.

The Research Projects call is being developed as per the Research Council’s previous decisions on purpose, goals, and measures. These are summarised as follows:

  1. A crucial part of the instrument is to be a clear shift in the state of knowledge.
  2. The instrument is also to enable projects with a higher element of risk, which can include linking this to the instructions we give .
  3. A societal perspective and a clear connection to sustainable development and solving societal challenges are to be a central part of the instrument.
  4. Striving for the highest scientific quality is to support the shift we want to achieve.

The call will continue to welcome applications within Formas’ three areas of responsibility – Environment, Agricultural Sciences, and Spatial Planning. The call will probably consist of only one form of grant. The structure of the planning group, assessment criteria and limits for the new Research Projects call will be developed and approved in the first quarter of 2024. The new call is planned to open in September or October 2024. The budget for the Research Projects call has not yet been determined, but it is believed that it will total approximately SEK 330 million for the 2024 call round.

Formas is part of the Weave initiative through the Research Projects call. Within Weave, researchers from two or three European countries may submit a research application to one of the participating funding bodies and the application will only undergo a single evaluation procedure. Each project participant is funded by its country’s funding body. Weave will be involved in developing the Research Projects call.

Formas has long offered grants for suddenly arising research needs through the Urgent call. The Urgent call is currently closed, but we suggest that the Research Council decide to open a new round in 2024. In 2023, the budget for the Urgent call was SEK 10 million, which we propose maintaining.

Formas is responsible for four national research programmes (NFP). In accordance with the Government’s guidance, these programme calls have both a research and an innovation purpose. In the four NFPs, we propose several forms of initiatives in the coming years. All planned calls are based on the strategic agendas adopted by the Research Council. These, in turn, serve as the basis for the activities within the national programmes. The call proposals are also calibrated with Formas’ intelligence and designed in close consultation with the working groups and programme committees linked to each programme. The call proposals are at different stages of their development and are therefore presented only briefly below.

National Research Programme for Sustainable Spatial Planning

Two new initiatives are planned for 2024 within the National Research Programme for Sustainable Spatial Planning. The local level and municipalities have a central role in the necessary transformation for society to achieve a more sustainable spatial planning. In 2024, a call for municipalities in collaboration with researchers is planned as a follow-up to the 2022 call on climate-neutral and inclusive municipalities. This call is planned to open in spring 2024. The preliminary budget is about SEK 20 million and will be awarded over the period 2025–2026.

In 2021, Formas participated in the call “Visions: in North”, which was a call for funding rough drafts of idea. The aim was to bring together cross-sectoral and creative expertise to help in the development and transition to a more sustainable society in six municipalities in Norrbotten and Västerbotten counties. In 2024, a second call is planned, Visions: in North 2.0, with a focus on securing access to housing. The call is a collaboration in the Council for Sustainable Cities, where Formas, Vinnova and the Swedish Energy Agency are funding bodies. The programme is proposed to contribute SEK 5 million to the call in 2024.

National Research Programme on Climate

In 2024, the National Research Programme on Climate plans to open a new call for research projects centred around Sustainable Consumption. The call is an outgrowth of Sweden’s relatively high consumption-based emissions and the importance of reducing these as part of achieving the country’s climate goals. The call will be based on different system perspectives that can incorporate questions about resource efficiency, value chains, instruments, norms, and behaviours. The call is planned to open during the first quarter of 2024, and the preliminary budget is SEK 60 million, but this may be adjusted before the final proposal is presented to the Research Council.

The programme also plans a follow-up to the 2023 Policy Lab call, which was a new type of call for promoting research for use by society and which enabled municipalities to apply for funding together with researchers for innovative policy development for climate adaptation. The 2024 call will have the same overall purpose, which is to promote innovative policy development to integrate different perspectives and produce broadly supported policies that take a holistic approach. The call’s thematic focus will be developed during spring 2024. The call is planned to open in autumn 2024, with announcement of awarded grants during 2025. The preliminary budget is SEK 40 million.

National Research Programme for Food

In 2024, the National Research Programme for Food plans to announce grants for new centres that supplement the 2020 initiative. The earlier initiative was noted in the programme’s mid-term evaluation, which states that the centres have contributed to interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration and expanded the link between research and higher education. The goal is to fund three to four centres that focus on knowledge and innovation for food preparedness, for up to four years (with the potential for an extension after 4 years) and with a budget ceiling of SEK 15 million per year and centre. The programme has budgeted SEK 240 million (SEK 55 million for 2024) over the period 2024–2027 for this call.

National Research Programme on Oceans and Water

In 2022 and 2023, Formas conducted three large calls in the field of oceans and water: Sustainable Water Resource Management, Blue Innovation, and Connections Between Climate, Biodiversity and Water. Formas also participates in a series of international calls in the field, especially within the EU partnerships Water4All and SBEP (see below). In 2024, there will be no major calls within the programme since most of the budget is already earmarked for the year.

In 2023, Formas also awarded grants to researchers to participate in working groups of the International Marine Research Council (ICES) through a collaboration with the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment and the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management Based on this experience, we want to continue offering this type of grant in 2024. Meanwhile, we are examining the need for and possibility of offering a similar grant to participants in IPCC’s seventh assessment cycle and other potentially comparable international science policy bodies, such as IPBES. A budget of is proposed for 2024 for ICES, and we are preliminary reserving another SEK 1 million for other contexts.

All national research programmes

The call From Research to Implementation for a Sustainable Society was conducted in 2022 and 2023. The call had been conducted once before, and the hope is for this to be a recurring call format. A follow-up is also planned for 2024. The call format spans all four national research programmes and is aimed at projects that translate research results, together with end user knowledge and experience, into applicable and sustainable solutions that can benefit society. Research organisations, public organisations, companies, and other organisations that meet Formas’ requirements for administrating organisations could apply for grants in the call. The preliminary budget is SEK 70 million.

As in recent years, a Communication call is also planned for 2024. The call is intended to supplement research and innovation funding. The purpose of the call is to support projects that communicate and popularise research related to sustainable development so that the results can be applied by and benefit society. Projects must link to one of Formas’ areas of responsibility (Environment, Agricultural Sciences, or Spatial Planning) while supporting the achievement of the Global Sustainability Goals defined in Agenda 2030. The total budget is planned to be at least SEK 24 million.

A call within is planned in autumn 2024, with budgeted funds for the years 2025–2028. The theme of the call will be based on the strategy for the area, which is under development, and is tentatively planned to be approved by the Research Council in February 2024.

Smart Built Environment

Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency, and Formas jointly fund the innovation programme Smart Built Environment. A large open call is held annually within the programme, and applicants can also be apply for grants from the Innovation Idea call. Digital Built Environment in Practice is a large, open annual call that opens in November and closes in February of the following year. The call is to contribute to the sustainable development of the built environment through projects that utilise digitisation and industrial processes as central aspects of the work. The themes of the calls vary, but they have in common that they cover the programme’s four thematic areas: Innovations and new applications, Value chains and business models, Information infrastructure, and Knowledge and expertise. Two main types of projects can be funded in this call: 1. Research, development or innovation projects; 2. Continuation projects.

In the Innovation Ideas call, grants can be applied for to continue work on previously developed ideas that need scaling up and/or implementing. Within the programme, strategic projects are also conducted within the thematic areas to contribute to the programme’s goals and impacts.

The total 2024 budget for Smart Built Environment is SEK 60 million. Vinnova and the Swedish Energy Agency are co-funding bodies and contribute SEK 10 million and SEK 6 million, respectively. The budget includes funds for new calls but also for administrative costs, such as coordinating the programme and payment of funds to projects that have received grants in previous years but that run beyond 2024. According to Formas’ public service agreement, the strategic innovation programme covers SEK 100 million per year. Funds not used as part of the Smart Built Environment programme co-fund strategic innovation programmes at the Swedish Energy Agency and Vinnova, above all the programmes Viable Cities, Bioinnovation, and RE:Source. In 2024, the budget will be used in the existing strategic innovation programmes. A smaller part will be used in the new government assignment, Impact Innovation.

In 2024, Formas plans to participate in international calls within several of the programmes in which we are active. In addition to the programmes listed below, Formas is also involved in additional international programmes and partnerships that do not plan to hold calls in the coming year.

Biodiversa+

Supporting transformation for the sustainable use and management of biodiversity

The European partnership Biodiversa+ supports outstanding research on biodiversity with impact on society and policy. It was developed as part of the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. A call on the theme Supporting transformation for the sustainable use and management of biodiversity is also planned within Biodiversa+. This call is in the initial planning stages, so the timetable has not yet been established. The preliminary budget from Formas is EUR 3 million and the total budget from all countries is EUR 40 million.

Driving Urban Transitions (DUT)

The European partnership Driving Urban Transitions (DUT) addresses issues of energy, mobility, and resource use in an urban context. Formas, the Swedish Energy Agency, and Vinnova are the Swedish public authorities involved and together provide funding so that actors active in Sweden can participate in international research and innovation projects that take on urban challenges within DUT. In the 2024 DUT call, specific themes will be developed between the actors included in the partnership. The new call is planned to open in September 2024. The total budget for the 2024 DUT call from all actors in the partnership has not yet been determined.

Water4All Partnership

The European Water4All Partnership aims to address water challenges exacerbated by climate change, help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and boost EU competitiveness and growth. Formas has been a partner of the Water4All Partnership since it launched in 2022. Since then, Formas has contributed to the first two calls of the partnership, in the areas of water resources management (2022) and aquatic ecosystem services (2023). The 2024 call will have the theme: Water and Circular Economy that matches the partnership’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). The detailed description for the call will be developed in the second quarter 2024. Formas plans to contribute SEK 20 million to the call. The call will open in September 2024.

Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership (SBEP)

The Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership (SBEP) increases the rate of transformation towards a climate-neutral, sustainable, productive, and competitive blue economy. In designing the international calls, SBEP builds and works on Intervention Areas that are based on the SRIA research objectives and the priorities of the Member States and the associated countries. For the 2024 call, SBEP selected four thematic Intervention Areas: Digital Twins of the Ocean, Blue Economy Sectors, Managing Sea Uses, and Blue Bioresources. The call description will address all Intervention Areas together. As in the 2023 call, this call is expected to be funded by more than 30 bodies with a budget of around EUR 50 million. Formas will contribute SEK 20 million. The call will open in February 2024, and the funded projects will start in the third quarter of 2025.

Agroecology Partnership

Formas plans to announce SEK 25 million in the first call in the Agroecology Partnership (Accelerating Farming Systems Transition: Agroecology Living Labs and Research Infrastructure). The partnership aims to promote transition to a more resilient, productive, prosperous, and locally adapted agricultural system. In the first call, 35 countries plan to participate. The preliminary title is Agroecology at Farm and Landscape Level, and the call has a total budget of approximately SEK 320 million. According to the preliminary schedule, the call will be pre-announced no later than December 2023 and open in February 2024. The deadline for pre-proposals is planned for the end of April and for full applications in September 2024. The projects ultimately funded will be decided at the end of 2024 or beginning of 2025. The call was approved in a separate decision at the Research Council’s meeting on 21 November 2023, where the concept was further developed.

Partnership on Animal Health and Welfare

Formas participates as the Swedish funding body in the European Partnership on Animal Health and Welfare (PAHW). Two Swedish research organisations, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and National Veterinary Institute (SVA), are also part of the partnership. At an overarching level, the partnership addresses animal welfare, infectious diseases, and vaccine development. It includes 24 countries, and the work is coordinated by the University of Ghent. The total partnership budget is EUR 120 million, of which EUR 60 million come from the EU. Four external calls are planned, all of which will be applied for in a two-step process. Formas will contribute a total of EUR 7 million over seven years and preliminarily participate in two or three of the planned calls. The partnership plans for a first call to open in the third or fourth quarter of 2024. The theme for the first call is being developed based on the partnership’s SRIA and will be decided in late 2023 or early 2024.

Partnership for Future of Food Systems

Formas is participating in the European Partnership for Sustainable Future of Food Systems (also called FutureFoodS) together with Vinnova. The collaboration between Formas and Vinnova will give a wide range of Swedish R&I food sector actors the opportunity to participate in larger groupings that improve knowledge development and Sweden’s international competitiveness in the food sector. Formas’ indicative budget for the partnership is SEK 80 million. The partnership includes 84 organisations (40 funding bodies and 44 research organisations) from 20 countries. The partnership’s budget is just over EUR 1 billion, of which about SEK 320 million comes from EU co-funding. An initial call is planned for 2024, where Formas has indicated that it will contribute approximately SEK 20 million. At an overarching level, the partnership addresses processing, packaging, distribution, and consumption after the raw material has been produced. The call’s more specific themes are being developed in collaboration among the partnership organisations and will be determined during the first half of 2024.

Overview of planned calls in 2024

Call

Opens

Decision

Curiosity-driven research calls

 

 

Career Grant for Early-career Researchers

Quarter 1 2024

Quarter 4 2024

Research Projects

Autumn 2024

 

 

 

 

National Research Programme on Climate

 

 

Sustainable Consumption

Quarter 1 2024

Quarter 3 2024

Policy Lab

Quarter 3 2024

 

From Research to Application

March 2024

 

 

 

 

National Research Programme for Sustainable Spatial Planning

 

 

Climate-neutral and Inclusive Municipalities

Spring 2024

 

“Filling the gaps”: A smaller call to supplement the portfolio

Autumn 2024

 

Visions: in the North 2.0

 

 

From Research to Application

March 2024

 

 

 

 

National Research Programme for Food

 

 

Centre initiatives for improved resilience and competitiveness in the food system

February 2024

 

From Research to Application

March 2024

 

 

 

 

National Research Programme on Oceans and Water

 

 

From Research to Application

March 2024

 

 

 

 

Other thematic calls

 

 

Communication Call for 2024

Quarter 3 2024

Quarter 1 2025

Thematic call within the framework of Formas’ Strategy for the Forestry Sector

Autumn 2024

 

 

 

 

Strategic Innovation Areas

 

 

Smart Built Environment 12: Digital Built Environment in Practice

 

 

Smart Built Environment Innovation Idea 6 (spring 2024)

 

 

Smart Built Environment Innovation Idea 7 (autumn 2024)

 

 

Smart Built Environment, strategic projects 2024 round 1 (spring)

 

Ongoing

Smart Built Environment, strategic projects 2024 round 2 (autumn)

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

International calls

 

 

Driving Urban Transitions: Call 2

Spring/summer 2024

 

Biodiversa+ Societal Transformation

April/May 2024

Autumn 2025

Water4All Call 3: Water for Circular Economy

April/May 2025

Autumn 2025

Sustainable Blue Economy (SBEP) Call 2

 

Spring 2025

Agroecology: Call 1

Spring 2024

 

FutureFoodS: Call 1 (Partnership Food System)

Autumn 2024

 

PAHW: Call 1

Autumn 2024

 

Water4All JTC Call 2: Aquatic Ecosystem Services

Spring 2024 (step 2)

 

Nordforsk: Sustainable Development of the Arctic

February 2024

 

In 2022, an in part new approach was introduced, where the Research Council approved an overall call plan at its November meeting. The call plan brings together the planned calls for the coming year. The calls are listed in the plan at heading level and provide an overview of the call portfolio. Once approved by the Research Council, the call plan could be communicated to others, which was appreciated by the research community, but we also received positive feedback on the plan from institutes, industry stakeholders, companies, and municipalities. An adopted call plan also enables Formas as an organisation to better plan its internal operations. The call plan also allows improved coordination with other funding bodies, such as joint communications related to funding opportunities.

Once the call plan is adopted, each call is then taken up by the Research Council again to approve a more detailed direction and design for the call. These call concepts allow the Research Council to influence and contribute to each individual call, such as the size of the project, project duration, requirements for collaboration, and the thematic focus. The remaining calls will be taken up by the Research Council as developed call concepts at future meetings.

Updated:5 February 2024