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Monday 15 January 13:53

Global collaboration for sustainable development

There is rapidly growing interest in research and innovation as global keys to development, equal access to resources, eradication of poverty and, not least, to address the unprecedented challenges of climate change and global warming.

There are several hundred researchers and other staff at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg who, in one way or another, are engaged in collaboration with partners in low- or middle-income countries. They are engaged in a rather broad and diverse exchange.

Chalmers-LMIC coauthored articles by subject

GU-LMIC coauthored articles by subject

The diagrams are taken from a survey that GSF conducted in 2021 on collaborative activities and interests involving low- and middle-income countries at Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg.

Larger initiatives

Below is a selection of ongoing projects at the two universities, together with initiatives that staff at the GSF secretariat is specifically involved in.

  • Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa

    Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa

    Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg is one of the supporting partners of the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA). The consortium is led by the African Population and Health Research Centre in Kenya, and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. CARTA aims to build a vibrant multidisciplinary African academy able to lead world-class research that makes a positive impact on population and public health.

  • Energy geography in East Africa: spatial dimensions of renewable energy transitions and sociotechnical change

    Energy geography in East Africa

    This project aims to understand the role of spatial dimensions of energy transition for rural transformation processes in the East Africa. Placed in the field of Energy Geography, the project contributes conceptually to analyses of spatial patterns of energy transitions and makes empirical contributions to deeper knowledge regarding trends in development of resources, flows of finance and knowledge, territorialities, actor networks and power dynamics as well as their effects on rural transformation in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.

    Research Project , 2020 – 2024

  • Environment for Development

    Environment for Development

    This is a global network of research centers solving the world’s most pressing environmental and development challenges.

    The programme pillars are:

    1. capacity development;
    2. policy-relevant research;
    3. policy engagement and
    4. institutional development.

    In 2021 the network encompasses more than 200 environmental economists and EfD centers hosted by leading local academic institutions in 13 countries (Chile, China, Colombia, Central America, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam).

    The network is coordinated by the EfD Global Hub, located at the School of Business, Economics, and Law at the University of Gothenburg.

  • Governance and Local Development Institute

    Governance and Local Development Institute (GLD)

    The Governance and Local Development Institute (GLD) is a research program based at the University of Gothenburg. GLD focuses on the local factors driving governance and development. The institute is dedicated to international collaboration and scientifically rigorous, policy-relevant research in an effort to promote human welfare globally. Findings are made available to the international and domestic communities through academic publications, policy briefs, public presentations, social media, and on-the-ground workshops in cooperation with local partners.

  • IDEA League - European universities of science and technology in African partnerships

    IDEA League Expert Working Group

    The IDEA League is a strategic alliance between five leading European universities of science and technology, of which Chalmers University of Technology is a member. The other four are TU Delft, Politecnico di Milano, ETH Zürich, and RWTH Aachen. Each of the five universities collaborate individually with universities and research institutes on the African continent. IDEA League has formed an Expert Working Group for collaboration with African universities to strengthen and expand collaborations with African universities. GSF is represented by Daniela Michael and Magdalena Eriksson.

    The goals of this group are very similar to those of the East Africa Initiative as well as of Global Sustainable Futures and several ideas, including joint EU-Africa projects, are being explored and conducted jointly. More info: Partnerships with African Universities and Institutions - IDEA League.

  • Inclusive and sustainable energy

    Understanding innovation practices for inclusive and sustainable energy services

    This project examines innovation practices in the context of developing sustainable and socially inclusive energy services for the public, households and small entreprises in Rwanda and the East African region. Based in critical theory approaches to innovation, technology, development and power relations, we ask who practices innovation and why, and what do these innovation practices lead to with regard to power relations and sustainable energy embeddedness?

    Research Project , 2020 – 2025

  • Inclusive green economy

    Inclusive green economy in practice

    Inclusive Green Economy in Practice is a capacity development program for civil servants in East Africa on economic policy instruments for achieving a just green transition. It bridges the gap between research and policy to get evidence-based practices.

    The program is led by Environment for Development (EfD) and key partners are universities and other actors in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

  • Research Training Partnership with University of Rwanda

    Research Training Partnership with University of Rwanda - Capacity Development in Sustainable Energy

    This Research Training Partnership aims to establish coherent and well-organised post-graduate research training in Sustainable Energy. The aim is to build research and teaching capacity within prioritised areas of engineering and interdisciplinary energy research.

    In this five-year programme, the focus is placed on one key theme: Smart electrification for rural development using locally available renewable energy resources appropriate to Rwanda. Expertise is built in bioenergy, solar, hydropower, flexible and adaptable grids, and on policy and finance preconditions, energy demand and entrepreneurship, and social and environmental impacts.

    GSF is represented by Daniela Michael.

    Research Project , 2019 – 2024


  • Sida Bilateral Research Cooperation

    Research programs

    Sida supports research in and by low-income countries to reduce poverty and build sustainable societies. They have bilateral research programs in seven different countries, whereof Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg are involved in six:

  • South Africa-Sweden University Forum (SASUF)

    South Africa-Sweden University Forum (SASUF)

    The overall aim of this network of 40 Swedish and South African universities is strengthening ties between Sweden and South Africa in research, education and innovation.The University of Gothenburg is one of the Swedish partner universities. GSF is represented by Marie Thynell.

    SASUF covers six thematic areas:

    • Theme 1: Climate change, natural resources and sustainability
    • Theme 2: Education for a sustainable society
    • Theme 3: Social transformation through change: Knowledge and social development strategies
    • Theme 4: Health - Understanding the burden of disease in Sweden and South Africa
    • Theme 5: Sustainable urbanisation, travel and tourism in the 21st Century
    • Theme 6: Digital technologies, big data and cybersecurity


    SASUF is hosted by Uppsala University and has current funding until 2024.


  • Southern African - Nordic Centre (SANORD)

    Southern Africa Nordic Centre (SANORD)

    The Southern Africa – Nordic Centre (SANORD) is committed to advancing strategic, multilateral academic collaboration between institutions in the Nordic and Southern African regions.

    The network provides a platform for benchmarking, exchange of experience, and partnership in research, education, and collaboration.

    The founding universities are: Aarhus University (Denmark), University of Bergen (Norway), University of Malawi (Malawi), University of Namibia (Namibia), University of Turku (Finland), Uppsala University (Sweden), and University of the Western Cape (South Africa).

  • Sustainable Development Solutions Network

    Global network of knowledge institutions

    SDSN is a global network of universities and other knowledge-generating institutions that works to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, through education, research, policy analysis, and global cooperation.

    Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg are members of the global network and are also the hosts of the Nordic node of the network, SDSN Northern Europe.

    SDSN has more than 1800 members all over the world and offers a variety of available resources to members. SDSN Northern Europe connects more than 60 members in the Nordic countries and anyone at Chalmers or the University of Gothenburg is welcome to engage.

  • Initiatives run by the GSF secretariat

    In addition to the initiatives led by Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, the GSF secretariat runs several collaborations.

    Sweden - Africa networks

    The emphasis on collaboration and international peer-to-peer learning processes is shared by many universities in both East and West Africa. GSF is the host of two Sweden-Africa networks.

  • Sweden-East Africa University Network (SWEAFUN)

    Sweden-East Africa University Network (SWEAFUN)

    This is a strategic joint initiative between Chalmers University of Technology and nine partner universities in East Africa, led by Global Sustainable Futures. Daniela Michael is the Project Manager.

    The initiative provides the opportunity to bring together researchers, teachers, and management of the partner universities to build new equitable partnerships with sustainability as common goal.

    SWEAFUN currently consists of six thematic working groups:

    1. Air Quality
    2. Data Driven ICT
    3. Food and Nutritional Health
    4. Sustainable Energy Innovations
    5. Fresh Water Quality
    6. Sustainable Transport



  • Sweden - West Africa Network for Education and Research Exchange (SWANEX)

    Sweden - West Africa Network for Education and Research Exchange (SWANEX)

    This is an initiative where Global Sustainable Futures coordinates a co-operation between four universities in Nigeria, Ghana and Sweden to develop a collaborative research and education programme and to lay the platform for a long-term exchange.

  • Thematic working groups

    The thematic working groups address matters of high relevance for sustainable development in a global perspective. The groups take a challenge-driven, inter- and multidisciplinary approach to the chosen theme. They work inclusively and welcome partners with complementary expertise to contribute, from Chalmers University of Technology, the University of Gothenburg, or universities in low- and middle-income countries.

    Two thematic working groups are currently in place, each focused around a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). One addresses the theme of water, essentially SDG 6, “Clean water and sanitation.” The other addresses SDG 8, “Decent work and economic growth.”

    Thematic working groups champion topics where particular expertise is available to contribute research, education and collaboration/utilisation of high impact and relevance, and where the collaborative constellations formed have the potential to attract external funding.

  • Thematic working group on SDG 6

    SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation

    The Water Network was launched and established during the spring of 2022. The purpose of the network is to gather water researchers, inform about how best to establish connections with partners for ‘inhouse’ collaboration and how to form research consortia for larger applications within the water area, to attract external funding. The network also makes it possible for water researchers to much easier connect with one another, share knowledge and experiences, identify research gaps, and find collaboration opportunities.

  • Thematic working group on SDG 8

    SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

    The SDG 8 Initiative is the University of Gothenburg´s commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 8 of the 2030 Agenda. The aim is to achieve sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.



Are you a student, teacher or researcher who wants to collaborate with low- and middle income countries? Get inspired by the already ongoing collaborations at our two universities or find a colleague in our research network!

We also welcome suggestions for new thematic groups and collaborative initiatives. Do not hesitate to contact us! We can help you getting started.

Find your research partner

Here are researchers with a particular interest in international collaborations.

How does bilateral collaboration work in practice?

Learn from the experiences of Swedish and African researchers.

Page Manager: Webbredaktionen|Last update: 3/1/2023

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