"I am very happy, grateful and overwhelmed that we get this amazing opportunity, especially considering the tough competition", says Maria Viklander, Professor in Urban Water Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.
It is Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova who’s behind the eight new centers of excellence. The centers are part of the government's initiatives for strategic collaboration programmes. The aim is to establish collaborations between universities and companies for conducting world-class research in areas that are important for Sweden. New technology and new knowledge will be spread by the business community and other parts of society contributing to the development of new products, processes and services.
"Vinnova's new centers of excellence are important for Swedish research and innovation. Luleå University of Technology receiving one of these centers of excellence confirms our strength in both collaboration and research for sustainable solutions", says Johan Sterte, Vice-Chancellor at Luleå University of Technology.
Minimize the pollution load
DRIZZLE (formerly VINNWATER) has a funding of 110 million SEK over five years, with 36 million from Vinnova. The vision is to develop cutting-edge, research-based stormwater solutions that minimize the pollution load on rivers and lakes, and that capture the opportunities that stormwater runoff can offer.
DRIZZLE, chaired by Professor Maria Viklander, will involve a large number of people, both from Luleå University of Technology and other partners.
"This is an acknowledgment of the research work that we have done for many years. DRIZZLE gives us an opportunity to take the next step", Maria Viklander says.
The seven other centers of excellence will be led by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Chalmers, Linköping University and Acreo Swedish ICT AB.
"Access to good research environments and opportunities for collaborations with universities plays an important role in Sweden's ability to retain and attract knowledge-intensive companies. Past experience clearly shows that this type of collaborations will strengthen the innovative capacity of the companies involved", says Charlotte Brogren, Director-General of Vinnova.
Each of the eight excellence centers will receive funding from Vinnova with between four and eight million SEK per year for five years, a maximum of 36 million. In addition, the universities and companies involved will contribute with as much each.