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Stockholm trio university alliance

Karolinska Institutet, KTH and Stockholm University formed in 2019 the university alliance Stockholm trio with the aim of developing and highlighting the internationally prominent research and education environment that the three universities form in the Stockholm region.

Information om Stockholm trio på svenska

Karolinska Institutet, KTH and Stockholm University are prominent universities in their respective fields and together form a complete academic environment including the areas of medicine, technology, science, humanities, law and social sciences.


In-depth collaboration

Karolinska Institutet, KTH and Stockholm University conduct more than 30 percent of all academic research and postgraduate education in Sweden and host 15-20 percent of all students at the undergraduate and graduate level. Together, the universities have 5,200 doctoral students and SEK 12.4 billion in total revenues for research and research education and a total budget of SEK 17.3 billion. As a unified academic environment, Stockholm trio is among the strongest in the world.

The three universities have been collaborating for a long time in a number of scientific fields and also offer joint educational programmes. The alliance agreement provides new conditions for in-depth collaboration and facilitates new university-wide research and education.

Karolinska Institutet, KTH and Stockholm University play a crucial role for the City of Stockholm and the Stockholm region when it comes to research, innovation and competence supply. With 17,000 employees and 55,000 students, the universities of Stockholm trio constitute one of the region's largest employers and workplaces. The universities’ activities are mainly gathered on a cohesive campus attracting many international students, doctoral students, researchers and teachers.


Common objectives

The creation of the Stockholm trio university alliance gives Karolinska Institutet, KTH and Stockholm University better conditions for closer cooperation in research, education and outreach activities. Through the alliance, the universities become more competitive globally in order to foster new international collaborations, to recruit leading researchers, and attract international students. The universities can also become a stronger force regionally and nationally by engaging decision makers, authorities, businesses and industry together.

The agreement has three general objectives:

  • Create new conditions for developing university-wide research and education by taking advantage of a complete academic environment
  • Clarify the excellence and internationally outstanding academic environment that the parties represent together and strengthen the universities' capacity to act jointly, regionally, nationally and internationally with the alliance cooperation as the basis
  • Coordinate and build common functions for administrative support in order to promote long-term conditions, professionalization and development capacity.

Collaborative Sustainable Actions

The Stockholm Trio for Sustainable Actions is a collaborative effort to increase the capacity of the universities to contribute to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Karolinska Institutet, KTH and Stockholm University have previously collaborated within the Stockholm Trio university alliance. Now, the Trio is taking a more active role in addressing society's sustainability challenges. On 1 June 2022, at the conference "Sustainable planet, sustainable health - how science-based solutions can drive transformative change", the three universities launched the Stockholm Trio for Sustainable Actions. This collaborative effort aims to increase the capacity of the universities to contribute to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The Stockholm Trio for Sustainable Actions will create the conditions to increase collaboration and innovation for sustainable solutions, jointly and in collaboration with other actors. The initiative has a particular focus on climate and global health. By combining the knowledge and expertise of the three universities, complex societal challenges can be addressed from a multidisciplinary perspective. Working together, the higher education institutions can drive the sustainability agenda locally, nationally and internationally to achieve the necessary societal transformation.

The Stockholm Trio for Sustainable Actions will:
• Strengthen the Stockholm Trio itself as well as the individual universities in the area of sustainability.
• Strengthen the universities’ capacity to strategically contribute knowledge for the rapid, science-based decisions necessary for sustainable societal transformation.
• Enable new interdisciplinary research and education in close cooperation with the city, region, non-profit organisations and industry (inter- and multidisciplinary education).
• Strengthen society in terms of climate, health, innovation systems and entrepreneurship.

The Stockholm Trio for Sustainable Actions intends to offer:
• A single point of contact for external stakeholders
• Scientific support and advice
• Reports, policies, dialogues and conferences
• Improved links between people and structures within and between the three universities
• Tailor-made, interdisciplinary education linked to lifelong learning
• The universities will each invest SEK 1 million annually for four years.
• External funding is sought for various assignments and collaborations.
• Allocation of additional internal resources may be needed for specific initiatives and activities.
• The Stockholm Trio's sustainable development group is responsible for the establishment.

The Stockholm Trio's Working Group on Sustainable Development:
KI: Karin Dahlman-Wright and Göran Tomson
KTH: Per Lundqvist and Kristina von Oelreich
Stockholm University: Magnus Breitholtz and Karin Bäckstrand


The Presidents on the alliance

Sigbritt Karlsson, KTH, Astrid Söderbergh Widding, Stockholm University and Ole Petter Ottersen, KI
Sigbritt Karlsson, KTH, Astrid Söderbergh Widding, Stockholm University and Ole Petter Ottersen, KI

“With broadly speaking coherent campuses and a dynamic academic environment, our universities constitute an important prerequisite for not only research and education but also growth in the Stockholm region,” says Astrid Söderbergh Widding, President of Stockholm University.

“Together, we can use our resources in a more efficient way and promote interaction between different disciplines and thereby increase the quality of our research and education,” says Ole Petter Ottersen, President of Karolinska Institutet.

“We want to show the potential of this cooperation and how the strengthening of the overall academic environment in Stockholm will benefit the city, the region and Sweden,” says Sigbritt Karlsson, President of KTH.


Steering Committee for Stockholm trio

The Stockholm trio is led by a Steering Committee consisting of the university's presidents and university directors:

  • Astrid Söderbergh Widding, President of Stockholm University (Chair)
  • Sigbritt Karlsson, President of KTH
  • Ole Petter Ottersen, President of Karolinska Institutet
  • Åsa Borin, University Director at Stockholm University
  • Kerstin Jacobsson, University Director at KTH
  • Katarina Bjelke, University Director at Karolinska Institutet.

Coordination Secretariat

The Stockholm trio steering group has appointed a coordination secretariat to prepare and coordinate the work within the university alliance. The Coordination Secretariat consists of a coordinator and staff members from the three universities:

  • Christina Murray, Head of Office (responsible)
  • Anna Riddarström, investigator, Stockholm University
  • Micael Stehr, senior advisor, KTH
  • Radmila Micic, coordinator, Karolinska Institutet



Joint representation in Brussels

The Steering Committee has decided to establish a joint representation in Brussels for Stockholm trio. The main purpose of the presence in Brussels is to improve the opportunities for the universities to attract research and innovation funds and funding for education projects from the EU.

The representation in Brussels is under the authority of Karolinska Institutet and is co-located with the Stockholm Region EU Office in Brussels on Avenue Marnix 28.

Facts about the Stockholm trio

55,000 students. Corresponds to 16 percent of Sweden's total 349,000 students

KI: 7,600
KTH: 14,400
SU: 33,000

SEK 12.4 billion in total revenues for research and postgraduate education. This corresponds to 29 percent of Sweden's total SEK 43.2 billion allocated to research and postgraduate education.

KI: SEK 6,024 million
KTH: SEK 3,252 million
SU: SEK 3,134 million

More than 17,000 employees (individuals). This corresponds to 22 percent of a total of 76,000 employees at Sweden's higher education institutions.

KI: 6,140 
KTH: 4,680 
SU: 6,250 

Almost 5,200 doctoral students. Corresponds to 31 percent of all 16,800 doctoral students in Sweden

KI: 2,147
KTH: 1,711
SU: 1,307

Swedish Higher Education Authority’s (UKÄ) statistics database: Högskolan i siffror (Higher education in figures), October 2019.



Christina Murray, international strategist, KTH

Head of the Coordinating secretariat for Stockholm trio university alliance 


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