SLU news

Interdisciplinary projects receive internal funding

Published: 11 April 2022

Four projects have been granted funding as part of the investments being made by the Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Science (LTV) into collaborations between subject fields and departments.

In 2021, LTV Faculty issued a call for internal interdisciplinary projects, aiming to enhance the quality and attractiveness of research and utilise the development potential between departments and subject areas. This initiative ties in with the LTV Faculty Strategy for 2021–2025.

The initiative’s overall objectives are to strengthen research, meet the new needs for knowledge, and increase levels of external funding. This can be achieved by concentrating efforts on interdisciplinary, multisector catalyst projects as a basis for external funding applications. This in turn will increase societal benefits and the value of research and education.

The projects are to be characterised by collaborations between subject fields and departments, thus creating greater value for research, education, and benefit to both industry and society.

The projects are set to be completed by December 2022.

The following four projects each received SEK 500,000 during 2021:

Horticultural food production systems as a driving force supporting resilient urban transformations

The need for innovations within the food system is highlighted by the ongoing sustainability challenges such as climate change, increased awareness and need of food safety (access to food as well as safe, healthy and nutritious food), as well as the importance of protecting and preserving agricultural land. Several factors point towards a need to support the development and implementation of innovative food production systems such as plant factories with artificial lighting (PFAL) and rooftop greenhouses. In this project, we will analyse the existing conditions to see how these high-tech cultivation companies can increase their presence in Swedish urban contexts. The aim is to map the system elements and connections, thereby identifying structural systems and processes that can support the implementation of commercial PFAL and rooftop greenhouses in urban locations in Sweden.

“We expect to identify possible bottlenecks and explanations for why there are currently so few of these companies in Sweden. We also expect to identify how conditions can be changed to open up for similar companies”, says Sara Spendrup, Project Coordinator and Senior Lecturer at the Department for People and Society

Project participants:

Sara Spendrup, Project Coordinator, Senior Lecturer, Department for People and Society

Karl-Johan Bergstrand, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biosystems and Technology 

Gun Hagström, Operations Manager SLU Food Lab, Department of Plant Breeding 

Anna Levinsson, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management 

Susanna Lundqvist, Project Leader, Unit for Collaboration and Development 

Lars Mogren, Researcher, Department of Biosystems and Technology 

Anna Karin Rosberg, Researcher, Department of Biosystems and Technology

Paul Becher, Senior Lecturer, Department of Plant Protection Biology 

Sustainable living requires the nexus between urban socio-ecology and integrated pest management

The project aims to integrate biology with landscape architecture and plant protection to explore how urban green spaces can be designed to deliver pest management as an ecosystem service, and to investigate how integrated pest management can be adopted for urban areas. This has been developed through lively and inspirational discussions during which the members of the project aimed to gain a common understanding of central concepts. The research includes ecological pilot studies of how species interactions that could have pest-controlling effects are influenced by the urban environment. Another research effort is surveying how urban stakeholders perceive environments with good pest control functions.

“We hope to both raise awareness and scientific understanding of pest management as an ecosystem service in urban areas and we expect to learn a lot from each during the process. Furthermore, our long-term goal involves securing larger funding for a full project. Our discussions have shown us that we have several ideas about how we can potentially combine our respective research fields to contribute to sustainable urban development. We hope we are able to use them in the future!” says Kristina Karlsson Green, coordinator and researcher, Department of Plant Protection Biology.

Project participants:

Kristina Karlsson Green, Project Coordinator, Researcher, Department of Plant Protection Biology

Åsa Lankinen, Researcher, Department of Plant Protection Biology

Laura Grenville-Briggs Didymus, Professor, Department of Plant Protection Biology

Jean WH Yong, Professor, Department of Biosystems and Technology

Åsa Ode Sang, Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management 

Petra Thorpert, Lecturer, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management

Plant Protein Hub Alnarp From production to consumer and innovation

The project aims to create and establish a hub for development for the faculty’s subject area of plant protein. The hub will create the conditions for successful further applications, development of education and joint publications, both popular and scientific. The project will support LTV Faculty in becoming known for its successful activities throughout the plant protein chain, from plant breeding and cultivation conditions in the field, to protein-based products, consumer aspects of cultivation, production and products, as well as new and innovative plant protein-based products. The project also creates new opportunities for collaborations between a number of successful research environments at the faculty, which provide unique opportunities for increased visibility and success in research, education and collaboration.

Eva Johansson, Project Coordinator, Professor, Department of Plant Breeding

Thomas Prade, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biosystems and Technology

Sven-Erik Svensson, Lecturer, Department of Biosystems and Technology

Georg Carlsson, Professor, Department of Biosystems and Technology

Åsa Grimberg, Researcher, Department of Plant Breeding

William Newson, Researcher, Department of Plant Breeding

Sara Spendrup, Senior Lecturer, Department for People and Society

Kristina Santen, Head of Unit, Unit for Collaboration and Development

The importance of digital technology and shorter food chains in urban food production, for the benefit of a sustainable food production, multiple landscape values and wider access to locally-grown food

Digital technology is vital for shorter food chains and location and origin marking. Furthermore, digital technology is crucial when creating new markets as well as the contact, dialogue and payment between its parties. The project has several objectives. These include producing a conceptual interdisciplinary article that collates and summarises various starting points, and a joint research application concerning digital technology and shorter food chains for urban food production that promote sustainable production systems, landscape values, and access to locally grown food. It combines different perspectives on sustainable food production and urban landscapes from three departments at LTV. The collaboration focuses on how digital technology and application can be implemented, evaluated and expanded throughout the chain, from production to consumption, for example when exchanging information about the origin, places of food, identity, production, environmental requirements or ethical values, as well as sustainable production methods through “smart farming”.

Ingrid Sarlöv Herlin, Project Coordinator, Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management

Linda-Maria Dimitrova Mårtensson, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biosystems and Technology

Oleksiy Guzhva, Researcher, Department of Biosystems and Technology

Fredrik Fernqvist, Senior Lecturer, Department for People and Society

Håkan Jönsson, Visiting Professor, Department for People and Society

Anna Peterson, Lecturer, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management

Sara Spendrup, Senior Lecturer, Department for People and Society


Contact

Tomas Österman

Research Officer
Fakulty Office
Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Science (LTV)
Phone: 040-41 50 37, Mobile: 072-718 70 78
tomas.osterman@slu.se