Formas has announced a call for proposals for Smart Built Environment: Digital Built Environment in Practice to contribute to the sustainable development of the built environment, through projects that centre around digitalisation and industrial processes. Applications can address processes, forms of collaboration, business models, technology or a combination of these.

The purpose of the call is to accelerate digital transformation through activities that involve stakeholders throughout the value chain, from planning to the long-term management of the built environment. The current pandemic has sparked the realisation that a swifter transition to a more sustainable society through digitalisation is achievable. At the same time, there is a tendency to focus on short-term solutions for coping with the current situation.

 Projects should leverage the capacity to quickly transform, as society has demonstrated, together with a focus on the long-term impacts of the solutions. The call therefore focuses on projects whose results can be implemented in the near future, are resource-efficient and scalable, and can be widely applied in spatial planning. Smart Built Environment specifically encourages projects that enable and incentivise new business or operational models, innovative forms of collaboration, and new or developed value chains. 

The projects considered for a grant award must:

  • Clearly contribute to Smart Built Environment’s impact logic, with a focus on the sector’s digital transformation.
  • Clearly promote the sustainability aspects of reduced climate impact and increased equality in the built environment.
  • Be scalable and applicable in different environments (for example, in municipal or regional planning and permitting processes or in construction and infrastructure projects).


Thematic Areas


Search for projects within the program's thematic areas:


  • Innovations and new applications
  • Value chains and business models
  • Information infrastructure
  • Knowledge and skills


Funding Information


  • Applicants for Innovation ideas can apply for 500,000 kronor. Project duration: maximum 12 months.
  • Research, development or innovation projects can apply for between 500,000 and 4 million kronor. Project duration: 12 to 48 months.


Eligible Activities


  • Innovation ideas: In this part of the call, they would like to see applications for the following:
    • Grants for a feasibility study of an idea
    • Tests of a previously developed solution in a smaller pilot or demonstration project
  • Research, development or innovation projects: In this call, they would like to see applications for the following:
    • Implementation and educational initiatives Examples include original ideas for awareness-raising and knowledgebuilding, activities that reach out to the many stakeholders and operators in the built environment sector. The project should preferably complement traditional education.
    • Test beds and demonstrations Examples include the creation of test bed environments – virtual or physical – and demonstrations of the results from research and development projects, such as results from previous projects within the programme. They particularly welcome applications for system demonstrators in which several previous results are demonstrated in a common environment.
    • Research and development projects Projects containing different levels of research and innovation, such as Ph.D. students or postdocs, or the development of research results for increased commercialisation.
    • Literature reviews and syntheses of completed projects Activities that complement the overall syntheses that are part of Smart Built Environment’s coordination efforts. This can include results and syntheses from two or more projects implemented in the programme or in other initiatives.
    • Miscellaneous The use of different forms of collaboration that improve the potential of the sector to benefit from digitalisation. An example of this is innovative competitions that aim to achieve disruptive innovations and increase the appeal of the built environment sector. Implementation of hackathons and crowd learning events are other examples of such activities.


Eligibility Criteria


  • The call is targeted to private companies, public-sector organisations, higher education institutions and research institutes. At least two parties must participate in the application. The project manager can come from a private company, public-sector organisation, a higher education institution or a research institute. At least one of the participating parties must work at a private company or a public-sector organisation.
  • Innovation ideas: This part of the call is aimed at companies and organisations that have an innovation idea and a need to test feasibility, which can lead to a larger development or innovation project. It is also aimed at companies and organisations that have developed an idea and need small-scale tests for implementation or scaling-up in daily operations. One of the parties should be an end user.
  • Research, development or innovation projects: This part of the call is targeted to consortia of organisations such as private companies, public-sector organisations, higher education institutions and research institutes. At least one of the parties must clearly be an end user who can test the solution within the framework of the project.
  • Smart Built Environment welcomes applications from all interested organisations and companies, preferably in collaboration with new partners. Especially interesting for this call are consortia with start-ups that can help to develop new work approaches, business models and technology as well as end users such as property owners, municipalities or construction companies.
  • Project participants from outside Sweden are welcome to contribute their time or other resources as a project co-funder. International project participants can also receive a limited part of the grant, according to the research funder’s rules. However, participants outside Sweden may not be project managers.
  • Smart Built Environment and Formas strive for an equitable, gender-equal and inclusive built environment. This means that grant applicants should design the project so that its results can benefit a diverse group of people and build a project team that takes into account gender distribution and different backgrounds. You should consider not only the number of people, but the distribution of power and influence in the project.

Post Date - 12-Nov-2020

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