What we do

Formas is a government research council for sustainable development. We fund research and innovation, develop strategies, perform analyses and conduct evaluations. Our areas of activity include the environment, agricultural sciences and spatial planning. We conduct evidence syntheses that aim to make it easier for Sweden to achieve our environmental objectives. We also communicate research and research results.

Our work is based on our vision:

  • Knowledge builds a sustainable world.

How do we distribute funding for research?

Formas funds research and innovation of the highest scientific quality and relevance. We do this through various calls. We distribute a total of more than 1.5 billion kronor each year for various research projects.

About half of these funds are distributed through our annual open call. In the annual open call, researchers themselves identify research needs within our areas of responsibility: environment, agricultural sciences and spatial planning. This means that we fund research on climate, the circular economy, food, agriculture, forestry and urban planning.

The other half of the research funding goes mainly to targeted national and international initiatives that focus on a particular field of research. This can be part of one of our three national research programmes, or a specific commission from our appropriation directions, or a call for proposals where our analysis shows that there is a need for research. We also have calls within the framework of one of the strategic innovation programmes that we operate in collaboration with Vinnova and the Swedish Energy Agency.

We lead and operate ten-year national research programmes

At present, we are leading national research programmes on climate, sustainable spatial planning, food and on ocean and waters. Each programme has a research agenda based on different analyses and collaboration with many different stakeholders. These agendas indicate the areas and societal challenges that research programmes should highlight and cover.

Work on the national research programmes takes place in close collaboration with many different stakeholders and with other research councils. The efforts are led by specific programme committees. Decisions on calls within the programmes are taken by the Scientific Council.

We are involved in strategic innovation programmes

The strategic innovation programmes are run in collaboration between Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas. Leading players from industry, academia and the public sector have identified and defined areas where there is a need for research and innovation. Formas is principal funder for one of the 17 programmes, the Smart Built Environment programme.

We analyse investments and communicate research results

We also evaluate and analyse our various research calls and programmes and provide the government with decision support for research policy. Through initiatives like our online magazine, Extrakt, Formas’ digital channels and breakfast seminars, we help to popularise and communicate research and research results.

New commissions for contributing to the Swedish environmental objectives

Formas is tasked with evaluating, analysing and compiling published research. This helps to develop scientific support for municipalities, government agencies and others working to achieve the Swedish environmental objectives.

Updated:17 November 2022
Page manager: Elisabet Blomberg