Per Mickwitz on his new position as Director of the IIIEE
Per Mickwitz will be the new Director of the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE), during the period of 2019-2021.
Per Mickwitz is currently the Research Director of the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), where he is also a research professor. As of 1 January 2019, he will be Director of the IIIEE and he will be employed as professor of environmental policy.
- I feel very excited and glad to be on board the IIIEE team and work towards advancing sustainable solutions. We live in a world in which this Institute is more needed than ever before. At present there is a desperate need for knowledge that could trigger and accelerate private and public action for radical climate mitigation and resource efficiency improvements, says Per Mickwitz.
Professor Fredrik Andersson, Chairman of the IIIEE board and Dean at Lund University School of Economics and Management, has been leading the recruitment process of a new Director.
- I am very pleased that Per Mickwitz will join the Institute as Director for the coming years. Per Mickwitz knows the Institute and is known at the Institute. He has extensive experience from leading interdisciplinary research, and he is lauded for his communication skills. All this puts him in a very good position to lead the Institute. I am also proud that the recruitment process has been transparent and inclusive, thanks to the engagement and support from the board of the Institute, faculty and staff, and the University.
Professor Lena Neij has been Director at the IIIEE for the last nine years and is now ending her position as Director at the IIIEE by the end of this year.
- I warmly welcome Per to the IIIEE. He is well-known at the Institute and his recruitment has strong support from both staff and students. I look back with joy on my time as Director and the fantastic work provided by so many. Now I will focus on my professorship, research and international collaboration.
Contact for the text above:
Professor Fredrik Andersson, Chairman of the IIIEE board and Dean at Lund University School of Economics and Management.
Phone: +46-(0)46-222 8676 / sms: +46-(0)722-095540
Email address: fredrik [dot] andersson [at] ehl [dot] lu [dot] se
Short interview with Per Mickwitz:
1. Congratulations Per Mickwitz! How does it feel to soon start your position as the new IIIEE Director?
I feel very excited and glad to be on board the IIIEE team and work towards advancing sustainable solutions. We live in a world in which this Institute is more needed than ever before. At present there is a desperate need for knowledge that could trigger and accelerate private and public action for radical climate mitigation and resource efficiency improvements.
2. Why did you apply for this position?
We live in interesting times for research and education. Technologies, methods and data develop rapidly and new possibilities that we couldn’t even dream about a few years ago become available. There is no place where I would rather be to take part in, and even shape, this development than at the IIIEE.
I believe the IIIEE is in a good position to produce the knowledge that is desperately needed to advance sustainable solutions. First, the foundation is very good. The IIIEE has a strong reputation for both excellent education and research. This reputation is based on the quality of the content as well as the competence of the people.
Second, the IIIEE is part of a large university with a lot of possibilities for collaboration. Third, it is based in Sweden, which has several times been assessed the most sustainable country in the world. There are thus a lot of efforts to examine close by, although there is no need to focus just on Sweden.
The task – advancing knowledge for sustainable solutions – is serious, but let’s still have fun while we work towards it.
3. What is your background and how will you contribute to the IIIEE?
I have a master’s degree in economics from the University of Helsinki and a PhD in environmental policy from the University of Tampere. I have worked at three Finnish research institutes: the Government Institute for Economic Research, the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute and, since 1997, at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). I have done research on different aspects of policies, especially policy instruments, policy evaluation and policy integration and coherence. I have also examined system transformation, in particular energy and transport systems that are critical if we are going to tackle climate change.
During the last seven years I have been the Research Director of SYKE, a public research institute with close to six hundred employees. My work has thus been focusing on management, helping the researchers to obtain resources and enhancing the quality of the research.
In addition to my work at SYKE I have been active in the academia. Between 2013 and 2015 I was a member of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity. From September 2014 until the end of 2018 I have been the chair of the Finnish Strategic Research Council (distributing 55 million € annually). Since 2015 I have also been a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and since 2017 I have been the chair of the committee.
I think my education and my research background fits very well with the work that is done at the IIIEE. Through my work with research councils I have a broad experience of how successful researchers organize their projects and how they tackle topical challenges, e.g. in relation to methods, data, ethics and open science. I hope these insights will be useful when we plan new projects at the IIIEE. Through my work at SYKE and with the EEA I have a lot of experiences in making research policy relevant and developing it through co-production with stakeholders. I believe these experiences will be valuable for the IIIEE. I also think that my experiences in management will be an asset for the institute.
In addition, I am a curious person interested in learning new stuff and getting to know new people, I also think the IIIEE will benefit from my enthusiasm.
4. What is your vision for the IIIEE?
I don’t come with a program to revolutionize the IIIEE. I see no need for a revolution. I am very impressed with the work of the IIIEE and I like the chosen research themes and Master’s and doctoral programs. At the same time the need for research-based knowledge that could really enhance action towards sustainability is growing all the time. Thus, we have to consider if we can be even more successful in providing this knowledge.
5. You are from Finland, will you be moving to Sweden now?
Yes, I will move to Lund, or somewhere close by. For me this is a perfect time to experience living in another country than Finland, since both my sons are now studying at universities. My wife is hoping to find a solution where she could also partly work from Lund, but her main “base” will still be Helsinki. I have always liked Skåne and since I first visited Lund and the IIIEE I have always enjoyed it. I hope moving to Lund will give me opportunities to learn to know the surroundings and Skåne at large.