A strategy for SLU's four 'Future' research platforms has now been adoped by the vice-chancellor. The aim of the platforms is to integrate different scientific fields and encourage cooperation with different actors in society who need the scientifically based decision support that our university can offer.
The new platform strategy covers the period 2017-2020 and is characterised by inter- and multidisciplinary working methods with focus on the future. The work spans across faculties and is to take place in collaboration with relevant stakeholders in society. Using this approach to tackle complex scientific issues is something that makes the Future platforms unique.
The platforms are intended to be a living, interactive interface between academy and society, and aims to:
- identify needs for knowledge, through projects based on synthesis and analysis, and generate scientifically based decision support for issues relevant to society;
- identify and develop, through collaboration with relevant actors in society, new questions for research to support solutions to future challenges;
- develop interdisciplinary working methods by coordinating cooperation across disciplinary boundaries.
The four Future platforms are:
SLU Future Forests
The Future Forests platform focuses on sustainable forestry in a wide sense, and covers the importance of forests and forestry for the developement of a biobased economy, adaption to climate change, the ecosystem services provided by forests and decision-making processes where the views of different groups on forestry are taken into account.
SLU Future Food
The Future Food platform focuses on Swedish food production and food in a wide sense, both animal and vegetable production. Several aspects are covered, from soil use and primary production to processing, consumption and residual products.
SLU Urban Future
The Urban Future platform focuses on urban inhabitants and their need for green environments with a broad sustainability perspective, including urban supply systems and the interaction with the surrounding countryside.
SLU Future Animals and Health
The Future Animals and Health platform focuses an the health and quality of life of animals, as well as the interface between people, animals and nature. It also covers the importance of animals and nature for the health and well-being of humans.
These are the long-term objective of the Future platforms:
- SLU's work is seen as more relevant to society.
- SLU is seen as an attractive partner for cooperation.
- SLU, through dialogue with other actors in society, gains a better insight into current challenges and issues that may stimulate new research.
- SLU, in cooperation with partners, attracts resources for research into the challenges and issues that are identifed.
- SLU gains increased competence in synthesis and analysis work, and this generates valuable, scientifically based decision support for various actors in society.
- SLU develops its competence and networks for transdisciplinary methodology.
- The working methods of the Future platforms contribute to increased quality and relevance to society in SLU's courses and programmes, and strengthens the image of SLU as an attractive university for students.