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Strategic research areas (SRA)

Since 2010, KTH has been responsible for five strategic research areas (SRAs). The current investment will be evaluated after the year 2021. KTH's research support office (RSO) creates conditions for each SRA to be developed in the best possible way and where KTH at a strategic level benefits from the investment. RSO assists in the assignment through advice, coordinating evaluations, managing knowledge transfer, and handling ongoing matters.


Strategic research areas (SRA) shall contribute to excellent science that is of strategic importance for Sweden as a knowledge nation and enable the emergence of new areas of competence where Sweden excels with solid research environments and eventually new job creation. This can be accomplished when, e.g.:

  • Conditions for robust research environments of the future are created
  • Graduation of next-generation excellent researchers (and leaders)
  • Collaborations and start-up creation that would not otherwise have taken place
  • External communication on state-of-the-art research increasing public interest and uptake of research

In order to create the best conditions to achieve expected results as above, KTH's management has decided that each SRA prepares a strategic business plan for the period for approval by KTH's principal and an outcome report every two-year for follow-up of the strategic business plan. The next outcome report will be produced in 2021.

Strategic plan 

The strategic plan must clearly state how the activities meet the three evaluation criteria that formed the basis for the Government's prioritisation of the strategic research areas: 

  • Research that, in the long term, has the potential to be of the highest international quality. 
  • Research that can contribute to significant societal needs and that can solve critical societal problems. 
  • Research in areas relevant to the Swedish industry. 


Continuous evaluation of SRAs creates good conditions for KTH's management to provide strategic support to the management function at each SRA that benefits quality, impact, and excellence. The evaluation must follow the template provided by the KTH Research Support Office. The template is based on the external evaluation carried out by the Swedish Research Council in 2015 with the following five core questions: 

  1. How has the research been planned and managed ("strategic management")? 
  2. What has been the quality, results and effects of the research? 
  3. What has been the strategic significance of the investment for society and business? 
  4. What has collaboration with other universities and societal actors looked like? 
  5. What has the connection between strategic research and education looked like?