news | 2020-09-21
Porträtt på en man infällt i en bild med molekyler på  en grön bakgrund.

“When combating climate change, it is natural to also seek chemical safety”

"When going through the required transformation to combat climate change it’s only natural to also make choices for safer replacements," says Richard Lihammar, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

As programme manager of Mistra SafeChem he wants to contribute to a smooth teamwork in the programme and close contact with the industry.

What is the importance of Mistra SafeChem?

Mistra SafeChem is important since it aims to ensure that all the excellent research and industry efforts made on green, safe and sustainable chemistry in Sweden is coordinated and given the best chances of expansion and maximum relevance. We hope that the programme will create new tools and knowledges in safe chemical design which can ensure that Swedish research and industry stays at the forefront of a green and sustainable chemistry. Moreover, with the EU and other regulators continuously increasing their expectations on chemistry related businesses this initiative gives the industrial partners an opportunity to team up with academia and gain an edge in safe chemistry design. Since the importance of green, safe and sustainable chemistry will certainly increase over the coming decades, this can pTogether with John Munthe and the rest of the management team I aim to create a smooth and collaborative environment giving rise to innovation and cooperation. The programme must not consist of individual partners doing individual research tasks, but rather be a group effort where different branches of green and sustainable chemistry can merge. Also, we want to ensure close contact with the industry so that knowledge is spread to the stakeholders controlling large quantities of chemicals in our society. Their view and input are important for the research in the programme.ut Swedish industry in a good position to be ahead of international competitors.

What is your role in the programme?

Together with John Munthe and the rest of the management team I aim to create a smooth and collaborative environment giving rise to innovation and cooperation. The programme must not consist of individual partners doing individual research tasks, but rather be a group effort where different branches of green and sustainable chemistry can merge. Also, we want to ensure close contact with the industry so that knowledge is spread to the stakeholders controlling large quantities of chemicals in our society. Their view and input are important for the research in the programme.

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

I think it is due to the general increase in environmental awareness. Despite that this awareness, at least in the public eyes, mainly focuses on climate change, also reduction of pollution and hazards of chemicals are of high importance. When going through the required transformation to combat climate change it’s only natural to also make choices for safer replacements. I think it is wise of Mistra to put chemical safety in the spotlight and launch this programme at this point in time, thereby ensuring that the right tools and knowledges get funded to aid this transformation.