The Swedish Research Council and the 2030 Agenda

Research forms an important part of the puzzle to ensure Sweden and the world achieve the global goals for sustainable development set for 2030. Here you can read about how the Swedish Research Council’s work contributes to the implementation of 2030 Agenda.

The 2030 Agenda with 17 global goals is the most ambitious agenda for sustainable development ever adopted by the countries of the world. To achieve these goals, the world will have to find solutions to a long list of challenges, at local, national, regional and international level. Many of the solutions are found through new knowledge, research and innovation.

The Swedish Research Council funds research in all scientific fields. Within each field, there are examples of research that in various ways can contribute to solving the challenges.

Image of the 17 global goals.

The 17 global goals for sustainable development. Illustration: FN/

Research that contributes to achieving the global goals

Below is a brief description of the research we are funding that contributes to achieving the global goals.

Development research has sustainability as the main focus

Development research is interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary and covers research in all scientific fields. The research we fund shall be relevant to the fight against poverty and for sustainable development in low income countries. One of the conditions for receiving funding is that the research shall be relevant to the overall goals of Swedish international development aid, and the Government’s policy goals for global development.

Development research also focuses on how the different goals within Agenda 2030 can be achieved, and how to measure goal achievement. Research into synergies and conflict areas between the global goals is important to enable the 2030 Agenda to be implemented.

Medicine and health

In this field, we fund research into areas such as understanding and finding cures for diseases, projects relating to public health, antibiotic resistance, healthcare on equal terms, and clinical studies.

Humanities and social sciences

Here we fund projects within peace and conflict studies, sustainable societies, policy issues, environmental engagement, societal effects of climate change, and research that can contribute to increased equality and gender equality.

Natural and engineering sciences

Here we fund research into areas such as sustainable energy, cleaner materials, climate change impact on species and ecosystems, and also climate modelling.

Educational sciences

In this field we fund areas such as research linked to good education for all, and the role of school and education for social inclusion, participation in societal development and sustainable development.

Artistic research

Here we fund areas such as tools for visualising the effects of climate change and research into forms of expressing transition to sustainable development.

Research infrastructure

Researchers may need advanced tools, known as research infrastructure, to conduct their research. The Swedish Research Council funds research infrastructure, both within Sweden and internationally, that enables large-scale research into important issues in areas such as society, environment and health. We also provide support to the major facilities ESS and MAX IV, which contribute tools for research in areas such as medicine, materials and energy – areas that are crucial for solving several of the challenges.

Collaboration with others

The global goals concern us all, and require collaboration between different actors and across national borders. Below are some examples of collaborations that the Swedish Research Council are part of.


GD-forum is a platform for collaboration between Swedish public agencies in the work with the 2030 Agenda goals. The public agencies have drawn up a joint declaration of intent and a sustainability barometer, which each agency can use to map its sustainability work.

About GD-forum on the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s website External link.

Belmont Forum and Norface

Belmont Forum is an international association of research funding bodies that issues joint calls focusing on global environmental changes and the 2030 Agenda. Since 2018, we are co-funding multidisciplinary research projects within sustainable development via the Transformation to Sustainability programme supported by Belmont Forum and Norface.

Belmont Forum’s website External link.

More about the Transformation to Sustainability research programme External link.

Global Research Council

The Swedish Research Council is part of a working group within Global Research Council, to develop a proposal for a joint international call within the framework for the 2030 Agenda.

Other joint call collaborations

The Swedish Research Council issues specific calls together with SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), Formas (Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development) and Forte (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare), which are largely motivated by the joint challenges in the 2030 Agenda. The theme for the calls is sustainability and development, and more specifically how low income countries can address environmental and climate changes. There are currently 25 research projects in progress funded under these calls.

The Swedish Research Council has a coordinator for 2030 Agenda issues

Our 2030 Agenda coordinator works on mapping, clarifying and communicating how the Swedish Research Council’s work contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The work also includes identifying any need for specific activities and initiatives linked to the global goals.

Contact: Dan Wilhelmsson,




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