An exciting year with major societal challenges and green change in focus


We look back on a year when the mining industry has received a great deal of attention. It has not only been about the challenges with the permit processes, but innovation linked to the sustainable supply of metals and minerals has also been in the spotlight. Sweden’s mining and metal industry is a world leader in the green transition, and the major investments that the industry is implementing and planning are historic and unparalleled in modern times. The research and innovation needs and the ambitions that are necessary for us to meet society’s needs for sustainably produced metals and minerals require a concerted effort by the Swedish mining cluster, and Vinnova has increased Swedish Mining Innovation’s budget by approximately SEK 45 million via the “Sustainable Industry” area. The extra funds have meant that this year we were able to carry out the program’s largest call ever with SEK 45 million in the pot for innovation projects for resource efficiency and sustainable production. Now that we have closed the call, it is extremely gratifying to see that our actors are really rolling up their sleeves to meet the investments that are taking place. Never before in the history of the program have we had such a number of applications. This reflects both the need and the ambitions and is a clear proof that Vinnova’s investment is exactly right in on time. The need for innovation, research and competence-building in our area has never been greater.

A lot has happened since we updated the industry’s strategic research and innovation roadmap 2.5 years ago. We are now starting with full force the next update to be ready and launched at Swedish Mining Research and Innovation Day on 12 May 2022. With the challenges and the need for investments that lie ahead, the update is necessary, and very important from a long-term perspective. In this important work, we need your expertise! We hope you will participate in some of the digital workshops that will be the basis for the update and will be conducted during weeks 2 and 3, 2022.

And speaking of Swedish Mining Research and Innovation day, now it’s time to book it in the calendar! After a year break and a year with a digital conference, we look forward to meeting you all at Kulturens hus in Luleå on 12 May. Save the date!
But first we all take a little break to celebrate Christmas and New Year with our loved ones.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year wishes Jenny, Lawrence, Lotta, Matz, Niclas and Terese

Short facts 2021

During the year, we launched 10 new pre-studies, 1 pilot project, 5 full-scale projects, 15 strategic projects and 2 planning projects. We have had our biggest call ever and opened a new type of call to support internationalization. Together with four other strategic innovation programs we have launched the CIRCLA project, an initiative on traceability for sustainable value chains. We have started an SME network and started the work with the update of the strategic research and innovation roadmap. We have organized an AI workshop, a program day, the Swedish Mining Research and Innovation day, two workshops within our PhD student network, four open call information webinars, Mining @ORU in Bergslagen and the mining session at Hindersmässan in Bergslagen. We have participated in many panels and seminars, both in Sweden and abroad. For this year’s innovation idea competition we received 19 applications and for the third time we awarded the Swedish Mining Innovation Award and as a part of this, we also took the opportunity to award an inspirational prize. Apart from our work in EU, the focus countries for our internationalization work have been Chile, Brazil, Canada and Australia, and we have arranged three workshops with Codelco, a Brokerage event with Canada and Finland and participated in innovation week in Brazil. The percentage of female project leaders for the overall program is now 40 %. This year, we have continued to invest very hard in inclusive innovation to increase the proportion of women in the program’s activities.

Photo: December morning in Björkliden


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