94480 maria-ahnlund 11020564c02cThe Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the largest private financier of research in Sweden, announced their decision on funding of infrastructures in Sweden. In total the foundation assigned 353 million SEK of which 220 million SEK will fund infrastructures within life sciences and medicine. A major part will go to KBC and its technical platforms for Metabolomics and NMR.

Metabolomics platform at UPSC
NMR platform at KBC
Press release from the Knut and Alice Wallenbergs Foundadtion (in Swedish)
Press release from Umeå University (in Swedish)

93445 vintertrad webbOn April 4-5th the Swedish television channel “Kunskapskanalen” (Knowledge Channel) is broadcasting lectures on the subject “The forest of possibilities”. Researchers from UPSC participates in these lectures.

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92969 gmoUPSC researcher Stefan Jansson has taken the initiative for a GMO symposium at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The symposium was sent online Mars 20, 2012.

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See symposium online (in Swedish)
field41 researchers, 90% of those funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) for basic research on plants – published on 1 October 2011 a debate article in Dagens Nyheter.

The scientists argue that it is absolutely necessary that the use of genetically modified plants is regulated in the same manner as the use of conventionally bred plants, both in scientific experiments and agricultural and forest management. The present legislation is obsolete and does not consider modern knowledge on genetic engineering and genetic variation.

The scientists also refute common prejudices, normally brought up by environmental activists to mobilize against breeding and cultivation of genetically modified plants. The plant scientists insist that a reform of the regulation and treatment of genetically modified crops is essential to meet food and energy needs of a growing world population with limited energy resources.

20 of the 41 scientists work at UPSC.
Researchers at UPSC are part of a research program on artificial photosynthesis that was recently granted by 'Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelser' with more than 40Mkr for 5 years. The idea is to try to understand exactly how plants absorb and use light energy and with this knowledge as a template create an artificial system that can harvest light and produce energy in a useful form for mankind, for example hydrogen, or other high energy compounds.

On Oct 1 2011, 41 Swedish scientists holding grants from Vetenskapsrådet published a debate article in Dagens Nyheter, (http://www.dn.se/debatt/kvasivetenskap-hindrar-ett-hallbart-jord--och-skogsbruk). The text can also be downloaded here, an English version here. 

Vetenskapsrådet supports basic science in all areas with granting decisions based solely on scientific excellence. 45 scientists (working within molecular biology, biochemistry biophysics, ecology, mathematic modeling etc.) hold for 2011 grants from Vetenskapsrådet for projects with main focus on plants and out of those, 41 signed. This means that 90 % of the leading plant scientists in Sweden claim that the basis of the EU legislation in this field – that the technique, not the properties of the plant determines whether or not a variety will be put under strict control or not - lacks support by scientific evidence and is instead based on quasi-scientific arguments. Therefore, the legislation must be changed to allow for findings in publicly funded basic plant research to be applied as environmentally friendly agriculture and forestry.
Professor Gunnar Öquist at the Department of Plant Physiology, Umeå University and Umeå Plant Science Centre, is awarded the Höpken medal in gold 2011, for his "extraordinary contributions as Permanent Secretary at the Academy of Sciences during the period 2003-2010", by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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Plant scientist Markus Grebe is one of Europe’s most prominent young researchers. The European Research Council has awarded them with a total sum of 1,36 million Euro in research grants. On Wednesday they will be acknowledged at a reception held by the Swedish Research Council in Stockholm.

Press release English
Press release Swedish
UPSC researchers, headed by Professor Ove Nilsson, in collaboration with plant biotech company Syngenta, reports in the latest issue of Science, on an antagonistic pair of FT homologs that mediates the control of flowering time in sugar beet.

Press release (in Swedish)
News at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
News at Umeå University
Publication in Science
Professor Gunnar Öquist at the Department of Plant Physiology, Umeå University and Umeå Plant Science Centre, was awarded Honorary Doctorate at the University of Copenhagen, on November 18th.

News at Umeå University