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Closed call 2020-05-08: Research Pairs projects

This is a first call for Research Pairs collaboration projects within KTH Digital Futures in the area Technologies for a digital transformation. Initiation of other funding instruments such as demonstration-, partner innovation-, and education projects is planned for autumn 2020. KTH schools and Platforms, Stockholm University (SU) and RISE are encouraged to be active in the formation of these projects.

Important dates:

Call opens: 13 March, 2020
Call closes: 8 May, 2020, 14:00
The decision on the Research Pairs projects is planned for mid-June 2020.
The earliest start of projects is August 1.


KTH has been tasked by the government to establish a strategic research environment for interdisciplinary research on the future technology for digitization in the research policy (2016) and budget (2017) bills. According to those, a faculty funding initiative in digitization corresponding to 78 MSEK per year has been established in January 2020 under the name KTH Digital Futures. During the preparatory phase in 2019, several cross-disciplinary pilot research projects have been launched already on research related to e.g. digital assistants in care for the elderly, managing sensitive personal data, smart solutions for water distribution and programmable microscale robotic matter.

Purpose and eligibility

This is a funding instrument intended to foster collaboration between two young researches that have obtained their doctoral degrees not more than 10 years ago at the time of application[1]. The researchers in the pair should belong to either i) two different KTH schools, ii) KTH school and RISE/SU, or iii) RISE and SU. This instrument is aimed to identify new research collaborations that have potential to develop into a leading scientific activity over the next 3- 5 years, and therefore be a vehicle for supporting and promoting young scholars with the potential to become future digital leaders that substantially participate and contribute to various activities in KTH Digital Futures.

In this call, 4-6 projects are intended to be selected. The duration of the projects is two years. The projects will be funded with maximum of 2MSEK (1MSEK/year). Please note the KTH Digital Futures funding policy: Within KTH Digital Futures the funding per PI is limited to 1MSEK/year. Researchers can be involved in several projects under different instruments.

The projects should address cutting-edge research within Technologies for a digital transformation and should involve researchers that complement each other and conduct interdisciplinary research. Furthermore, projects with innovative concepts on digital transformation in engineering education and lifelong learning are also welcome.

The proposals shall address subject areas at the intersection of the Research matrix illustrated in Figure 1, and target specific areas as further detailed in the one-pagers describing the research content in the research matrix. The most relevant societal context and the most relevant scientific context shall be stated in the project proposal.

The applications should be sent to according to the project description template (docx 55 kB) . Questions can be directed to the same email address.

Figure 1. The three research themes Trust, Cooperate and Learn cut across the three societal contexts Smart society, Digitized industry and Rich and healthy life. One-pager describing each research theme can be downloaded here. (docx 1.2 MB)


  1. Scientific potential, originality, and degree of interdisciplinary of the research proposed
  2. Creation of new collaboration
  3. Potential, feasibility, and composition of the research pair
  4. Conformity to the scope of KTH Digifal Futures and eligibility as outlined above

The project proposals will be evaluated by an external expert panel.

Speed dating events supported matchmaking of Research Pairs

KTH Digital Futures hosted two “Research speed dating” events, open to all potential project applicants, to help with the creation of research pairs. The events took place online on March 25 and April 15.

– We had 12 researchers attending the first event and around 20 attending the second one. The feedback from participants have been positive, stating the format to be an excellent instrument to foster collaboration between young researchers. A majority of the participants appreciated the opportunity to meet new people from other schools that they would otherwise not have met, says Marina Petrova, Vice Director of KTH Digital Futures.


[1] The eligibility period set out above can be extended beyond 10 years for certain circumstances such as for maternity and paternity leave, clinical training, long-term illness or national service. Please indicate those in your CV.


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