I gave an overall update of the ESS project status, explained the unique properties of neutrons and how they can be used for experiments in materials science. We discussed Southern Sweden’s vision to become Europe’s hotspot for science and innovation and how to improve interfaces where research data and discoveries can develop new knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship. I addressed the need of complementing the regional innovation system with also a proud culture where companies who become successful reinvest back into the region to help the growth of new start-ups.
In the parliament, Mikael Damberg is also serving as deputy chairman of the Committee on Education and he is experienced in the issues around research politics. The Swedish Social Democrats and their Chairman, Stefan Löfven, have emphasised the need to work out a more thorough innovation policy where Sweden can attract and facilitate the creative and knowledge based economy of the 21st century.
Mikael Damberg expressed his excitement over how Southern Sweden, with its location and development, can act as “a European interface” for Sweden, bringing in world leading competence through the establishments of the research facilities of MAX IV and ESS in Lund. He also issued the importance of increasing pedagogic work for material science in the education system to let the youth – our next generation of researchers, engineers, IT-developers, innovators and entrepreneurs – see how they could use our world leading infrastructure to experiment and tackle the grand challenges of science and society. Swedish education have a lot to win by capturing young peoples imagination, experimental curiosity and their desire to improve the world. Neutrons can be hot!