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New donation to Luleå University of Technology

Published: 27 October 2016

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, The Kempe Foundations, the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten and Luleå University of Technology are together investing 100 million SEK to strengthen and develop research areas by recruiting new young talents.

– This is one of the largest investments at Luleå University of Technology ever, says Vice-Chancellor Johan Sterte.

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation contributes with 50 million SEK over a five year-period.

– We hope that the Foundation's contribution to the recruitment of young, creative people in basic scientific disciplines will serve as a great addition to the University's demonstrated ability to conduct applied industrial research, says Göran Sandberg, Executive Director of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

The Foundation's funding primarily focuses on capacity-building in Space Science, but also on neighboring research areas in Physics.

"Powerful reinforcement"

Luleå University of Technology’s Vice-Chancellor Johan Sterte says that the joint effort is of great value to the university.

– This a powerful reinforcement and a big step forward for our investment in fundemental research in space, physics and computer science, says Johan Sterte.

The joint effort at Luleå University of Technology includes the following areas:

  • Nanosatellite research for exploration of asteroids and comets
  • Exoplanetary research to interpret features from exoplanets
  • Nanomaterials for energy 
  • Molecular and atomic scale materials research
  • Computer Science

The research group in Onboard Space Systems, led by chaired Professor Reza Emami, will use the donation for a new field of space technology, Asteroid Engineering.

– The generous donation by the Wallenberg Foundation will pave the road toward a new field of space technology. The new field studies systems and missions designed and developed for accessing and manipulating asteroids for science and engineering explorations as well as extracting and utilizing their resources, Reza Emami explains.

Develop their research

The research group in Dependable Communication and Computing, led by chaired Professor Valeriy Vyatkin, will continue to develop their research on Computer Science and artificial intelligence, and what they call "growing software"; Growing Cyber-Physical Systems.

– For us it’s a possibility to explore some of our interesting ideas. It’s a logical step to hire more PhD students in order to maintain continuity, says Valeriy Vyatkin. 

The Kempe Foundations already supports the research areas mentioned above. Chairman Carl Kempe, who welcomes the joint initiative, will take on the task of assessing grant applications from newly recruited researchers.

– We note with satisfaction that Luleå University of Technology manages to recruit internationally qualified scientists. Since this strengthens the region Kempestiftelsernas donor wanted to promote, it is natural for us to continue to support such recruitments, says Carl Kempe.

The County Administrative Board of Norrbotten contributes with 5 million SEK.

– This is important for the space industry, for Norrbotten and for Sweden, says County Governor Sven-Erik Österberg.