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Society’s demand for materials requires smart solutions

Mikael Lindström works on materials, design and sustainability issues at RISE. His job is to place research in a wider context linked to the needs and challenges of society. Something that is also necessary to be able to run a research programme.

- “I see the need for our research out in society, and I can also see the contexts where our research would apply,” says Mikael Lindström. 

He also wants designers to be involved in the research and innovation chain at an early stage in order to see the potential offered by this research. Within RISE, the research must be linked to the needs of society and industry. It is therefore important to be aware of the relationship between what the market needs and what researchers can develop. 

- “It isn’t possible to develop new materials unless you are clear about where and how they will be used, and by whom,” says Mikael Lindström. 

The goal is also to ensure that all the constituent parts of the product can be recycled. Basic thinking regarding this issue is part of the research programme, because all the components are produced in the biorefinery. Naturally it is important that researchers are specialists in their field, but according to Mikael, you need to be able to see the complete picture to build something new.

- “I see myself as the senior chameleon,” he says and means that he must blend into many different environments.  

During the research programme, Mikael hopes to be able to broaden the scope of research and partnerships with other interested parties in order to be able to expand the range at RISE. Society currently places high demands on the materials used, how they are used and how they can be recycled. 

- “The circular economy places demands on us, and I don’t believe disposable materials have a place in the future. It must be possible for things to be used a number of times, by several different users, and ultimately it will be necessary to recycle the material,” says Mikael.

He also points out that the search is ongoing for smart materials and design solutions that will enable us to use our forests effectively and develop a broader forest-based industry.

- “We must make use of the opportunities available and exploit one another’s skills. The greatest reward for a researcher is to leave your mark on society,” Mikael says.

Mikael Lindström works on materials, design and sustainability at RISE. 


Mikael Lindström
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