Natural sciences and engineering, with a strong emphasis on mining and energy, have always formed the core activity at Luleå University of Technology. The growing ambition of the University to expand research and teaching in social sciences, humanities and the arts, came to full fruition in 1997, when a new Faculty of Philosophy was established. The launch of an Economics Research Program took place in 1992, and so antedates the new Faculty. From its inception, the Program has been characterized by:
a clear international orientation;
a strong emphasis on applied, policy-oriented work; and
a decisive focus on natural resources and energy.
Several advantages follow from the narrow subject focus. First, it facilitates synergies between the individual projects of which the Program is composed. Second, the specialization is a precondition for the development of prominence in the field, in Sweden and internationally. And third, it provides valuable opportunities for the development of research links with the University’s Faculty of Technology.
The ambition is to make Luleå the Nordic Centre of Excellence for applied, internationally oriented research in resource and energy economics.