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Renewal of skills gives hope for the future

The green transition was the theme of the Sweden Indo-Pacific Business Summit organised in Singapore in early December. As usual, it was noted that the threats to the climate are clearly verified in research and that the emerging threats require a transition at a faster pace than before.

The theme of the discussions was how research, innovation, education and talent hunting can, or must, contribute to the transition. As usual, all of us who attend these conferences say the right things, show an awareness of the problems, and then go home with the wrong priorities because there are so many other short-term problems on the agenda.

However, one hope for the future is that the younger generation, which was also represented, has a much stronger feeling and higher level of ambition regarding the need for change than the older generation as a whole. It is also encouraging to see how successful research actually contributes to the transition here and now and how innovative educational programs create the conditions for the gradual renewal of skills in society to work with broader systemic issues of importance to the climate. A lot is actually happening at the universities, not least KTH, which is of crucial importance for the future. Research and education are truly a factory of the future.

Climate is important, but the transition also involves many other things that are important for the sustainability of society. Energy efficiencies, new materials, new digital solutions and sustainable urban planning contribute in many different ways to conserving the planet’s resources and contributing to the green transition.

In addition to the high-level meeting, with a few hundred participants from Sweden and Southeast Asia, we also visited Nanyang Technical University (NTU) and A-Star in Singapore. NTU is an important and strategic partner to KTH and, like many Swedish companies, Singapore can serve as a hub for many other collaborations in the region. Our hope is to be able to expand the already successful postgraduate education cooperation with NTU and to also develop forms for a deeper collaboration with A-Star’s research lab, which in many respects has similar development agendas as we have.