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Pressrelease | 2024-04-04
Plants with biochemistry structure on green background.Gröna växtet med inlagd biokemistruktur i den bakgrunden.

SEK 70 million for continued research on sustainable and green chemistry

The Mistra SafeChem research programme, led by IVL, aims to establish a safe, sustainable and green chemical industry in Sweden. The funding body Mistra has decided to support the research with up to SEK 70 million, which means the programme can continue its work for another four years.

Portrait of an employee at IVL

John Munthe

“With this decision, we are even better positioned to contribute to safe and sustainable chemicals and materials”, says Programme Director John Munthe from IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

Green chemistry is an approach whereby chemical compounds and processes are designed so as to minimize their negative impact on the environment and human health.

Mistra SafeChem seeks to reduce the exposure of hazardous substances to humans and the environment. The programme secured funding from Mistra in 2019 and started its first phase in 2020. Following evaluation by an international panel of experts, Mistra’s board has now decided to fund a second phase that will run until 2028.

Research gathered in a toolbox

In early 2024, the programme launched a toolbox that compiles the results of four years of research. It describes 37 different methods and processes that can be used in the further development of new chemicals, materials and products.

Shortly after Mistra SafeChem started, the EU launched its chemicals strategy. The programme is well aligned with that strategy, in particular the work known as Safe and Sustainable by Design (SSbD). Here, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre has developed a framework for fostering the development of safe and sustainable chemicals and materials.

In phase two, Mistra SafeChem will include a number of activities focusing on developing methods and tools for the chemical industry's application of SSbD in its operations.

"The work of implementing the EU's chemicals strategy means that our research will be of great interest to industry. The industry association IKEM, Innovation and Chemical Industries in Sweden, has started work on a roadmap on both the climate challenge and the EU's chemicals strategy. We believe that this will lead to greater interest in our research, and we will gain valuable insight into the chemical industry's need for new knowledge and new tools”, says John Munthe.

Multidisciplinary collaboration is key

An important aspect of Mistra SafeChem is that various disciplines work together. Experts in several fields, such as toxicity risk assessment, sustainability assessment and life cycle analysis, collaborate so that the different methods can be integrated. In phase two, this multidisciplinary approach is intensified in five case studies. In addition to safe chemicals, key aspects include using renewable raw materials and designing for recycling. The toolbox will grow and become even more accessible to the chemical industry.

In addition to IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, the Mistra SafeChem consortium includes RISE, Stockholm University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Uppsala University, as well as nine industrial partners: AstraZeneca, BASF, Cambrex, EnginZyme, Merck, Nouryon, Perstorp Innovation, RenFuel and Stockholm Vatten och Avfall.

Anyone who is interested in advancing a green and sustainable chemical industry is invited to join the Mistra SafeChem webinar on 3 June. Read more and register here. External link, opens in new window.

Read more about Mistra SafeChem on the programmme website mistrasafechem.se External link, opens in new window.

For more information, contact:
John Munthe, john.munthe@ivl.se, ph. +46 (0)10 788 68 06

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