Yesterday the Foundation for the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (SIVL) arranged, in collaboration with their daughter company the Swedish Environmental Research Insitute (IVL), a seminar to discuss ongoing projects and future developments of "cofunded research" in Sweden. The cofunded research process is a unique set-up where the Swedish government, through two of their agencies Swedish EPA (in Swedish "Naturvårdsverket") and Formas, invests 34 MSEK on sustainability projects with SIVL on the condition that SIVL finds cofunding from Swedish enterprises to the same amount. I have had the honour to be on the Board of Directors for SIVL for several years, and also chair SIVL's workgroup (in Swedish "temakommitté") for Water and Soil.
Yesterday's seminar had participants from the Board of both SIVL and IVL as well as several representatives (both from agencies and from companies) from the 6 different workgroups. The workgroups are the following:
- Resource-efficient Products and Waste
- Sustainable Production
- Climate and Energy
- Air and Transports
- Water and Soil
- Sustainable Community-buidling
The Chairman of SIVL, Lars-Göran Bergqvist, and the Research Director of IVL, John Munthe, welcomed us and gave a background to the discussions on on-going projects within the different workgroups as well as future developments for the cofunded research.
John also dared to try to explain the process for the cofunded reserach on just one slide... It is not easy to do that, but John mangaged well!
I will not go into any details neither about the process for the cofunded research nor about the different presentations from yesterday. If you want details I suggest that you contact IVL or visit the IVL website where you will find some more details.
I cannot however stay away from two comments, one from the Water and Soil Committee (a presentation made by myself), and one from the the Sustainable Production Committee (made by Henrik Kloo and Uwe Fortkamp).
Water and Soil: Intense discussions are ongoing regarding the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Marine Directive. From my own pharmaceutical industry perspective the proposal to included active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) on the so called Priority List in WFD of course is of top concern. But also other industry sectors have several questions on what´s is meant by "good environmental status" and how the derived Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) will be deployed and used in discussions around e.g. environmental permits for manufacturing processes. You can read more about my concerns with WFD in some of my previous blog posts, for instance from Nov 29 last year where I discussed some ongoing regulatory developments. One thing that has changed since then is that only three APIs are still discussed for potential inclusion on the priority list, namely ethinyl estradiol, estradiol and diclofenac.
Sustainable Production: One of the projects in the committee tries to transform waste water treatment facilities from energy consuming and waste generation installations to energy and nutrients generating installations where the treated water can be recycled directly in new uses. Very interesting idea! Will be interesting to follow that project!