news | 2020-09-01
Porträtt av en man som har handen under hakan. Whiteboard bakom visar kemiska kartor.

“This is a unique platform for collaborations”

To show ambition and work in Mistra SafeChem we plan to regularly interview people involved. The first one to share his views is Magnus Johansson, PhD, associate professor and principal scientist at AstraZeneca, one of the industrial partners in the programme.

What is the importance of Mistra SafeChem?

  1. First, to educate a new generation of scientists about sustainability and green chemistry.
  2. Second, in the interaction between academia and industry it is important to work together, mix expertise ranging from very theoretical to applied science. By doing so Mistra SafeChem can be a paradigm shift for Swedish chemical industry and academic research.
  3. Third, LCA and green chemistry principles along with the UN sustainability goals are important but do not offer good measurables. My hope is that the programme will add to these overarching goals – to give better instruments for both industry and academia in pursuit of sustainable chemical science, development and production.
  4. And finally, the fact that different industries get to work together makes this a unique platform for collaborations.

What do you think Mistra SafeChem will achieve in five to ten years?

I think that Mistra SafeChem can aid in global refinement of sustainable and green chemistry measures. Having listened to all scientific leaders in the programme presenting their work packages I am confident that we will transform the chemical industry long-term by applying things like improved LCA analyses, better predictive tools for eco/toxicology, improved processes using either chemo or biocatalysis and by educating our staff both in academia as well as industry on these matters.
Another long-term goal will be to incorporate more industrial partners and to make all industries dealing with chemicals more competitive on the global arena by applying cutting edge Mistra SafeChem science.

From your point of view: Why is this happening right now?

We can see the effects of long time “non-green” and unsustainable industrial production with our own eyes, such as climate change and toxicologic effect of chemicals used in production. Additionally, today’s increasing and very unsustainable consumption leads to dramatic effects in environmental impact just by the increased dose. Sweden has industries with a high scientific profile, and this is the natural next step in taking responsibility and increase competitiveness.