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Large grants for research solving Nordic challenges

Eleven projects are funded by the research programme "Future Challenges in the Nordics — People, Culture and Society". More than 100 million will be awarded. Two of the projects are led from Lund.

Ulrika Oredsson and Jessika Sellergren – Published 17 December 2021

Stefan Larsson and Helena Sandberg. Portrait pictures.
Stefan Larsson and Helena Sandberg together receive just over SEK 20 million in research funding from the research programme "Future Challenges in the Nordics". Photo: Sara Arnald and Charlotte Carlberg Bärg

"The selected projects are multidisciplinary and combine social sciences and humanities in new ways. They also have clear societal relevance and show a broad spread across different research disciplines. The interest in the programme among researchers was so high and the quality of the applications so good that all funders chose to increase their initial funding amounts. In addition, we gained a new funder in the form of the Kamprad family foundation in the final stages of the application process", says Tom Moring, chair of the seven-year research programme's steering committee.

Eleven projects were selected from 449 applications from some 30 different research disciplines. The research programme emphasises multidisciplinarity and cooperation across the Nordic borders.

Projects led from Lund

AI in public administration

Stefan Larsson, Associate Professor of Technology and Social Change at LTH, has been awarded SEK 9.7 million to investigate over a four-year period how public administrations can introduce AI technology and automated decision-making without compromising fundamental rights, good governance and trust in public institutions.

"The project will work with public authorities in both Sweden and Finland to address issues such as how citizens and public authorities are affected by new AI-related technologies and how already established legislation needs to be interpreted in the light of changing working methods. In short - how governance can evolve in relation to our authorities' increasingly automated operations", says Stefan Larsson.

The project "The Automated Administration: Governance of ADM in the Public Sector" is located at Lund University with Stefan Larsson as project leader. Researchers in sociology of law, political science, media and communication, technology and science studies and law at Uppsala University, Södertörn University and the University of Helsinki are also involved in the project.

Stefan Larsson's profile in the Lund University Research Portal

Healthy ageing in a digital world

Media and communication scientist Helena Sandberg has received SEK 10.1 million to study how people over the age of 75 access digital health services over four years. The aim is to counteract the fact that digitalisation leads to differences in health and digital gaps within the elderly population in the Nordic countries.

"We will focus on both those who use and those who do not use digital health services, whether they live at home or in nursing homes", says Helena Sandberg. "We will also identify good examples that we can learn from across the Nordic countries."

The project "Demography and Democracy - Healthy Ageing in a Digital World" is based at Lund University, where project participant and media and communication scientist Fredrika Thelandersson also works. The project involves a total of six researchers in the fields of communication, digital health, health sociology, social work and gerontology from Lund University in Sweden, the University of Southern Denmark in Denmark and from Finland Turku University and the University of Eastern Finland.

Helena Sandberg's profile in the Lund University Research Portal

Future Challenges in the Nordics

The research programme is funded by the Finnish foundations and associations Swedish Literature Society in Finland, the Swedish Cultural Foundation, Suomen Kulttuurirahasto and the Brita Maria Renlund Memorial Foundation, and by the Swedish foundations Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and Familjen Kamprad Foundation. The aim of Future Challenges in the Nordics is to contribute to concrete societal benefits in addition to research of the highest scientific quality.