Stockholm Resilience Centre’s research on food system sustainability will be further strengthened through a new professorship in 2020. The professorship is funded by the recently launched Curt Bergfors Foundation, and will focus on exploring and further developing the knowledge required to work towards a sustainable food system.

“I am very much looking forward to this collaboration and convinced this investment will strengthen our capacity to push the frontier in research on the future of sustainable food,” says Henrik Österblom, centre science director.

The new professorship’s main focus in research and teaching will be on how to build resilience in food systems and how to bring about large scale sustainability transformations of globally connected food value chains. The subject description of the professorship is: “interdisciplinary research on sustainable development, with studies of the interactions between ecological and social systems, and in particular how the food systems affect the biosphere and human health”.

As such, the new professorship will be closely aligned with the current research efforts at the centre focusing on one of the greatest challenges of our time: how to produce enough nutritious food for a growing world population while also decreasing the pressure on the planet’s climate and ecosystems. 

The intention is to recruit a new professor for the position during spring and be ready for formal installation this fall.

The foundation behind the professorship was established in 2019 with capital sourced from private assets of the Swedish food entrepreneur and philanthropist Curt Bergfors. 

“The professorship is a fundamental ingredient in the foundation’s overall purpose and mission. More interdisciplinary knowledge generation and innovative solutions are needed for us to successfully transition to sustainable food production over the next ten years,” says Lars Peder Hedberg, Executive Board Director of the Curt Bergfors Foundation.

In addition to the professorship, the foundation has recently also launched the Food Planet Prize, the world’s largest prize in the food arena that will award two $1-million prizes annually.