Johan Edman, new collaboration manager at UU Innovation

27 November 2018

Johan Edman, formerly with Mistra, brings many years of experience with collaborative projects and external financing to his new role as collaboration manager at UU Innovation.

With his long-standing experience with research funding and work to increase the social impact of research, Edman is now reinforcing UU Innovation’s team of collaboration managers.

Edman was most recently with Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research. During his eight years with Mistra as a programmes director, responsible for investments in social scientific environmental and sustainability research. In addition to strong expertise in the field of sustainability, the years at Mistra gave him a wide network in the research funding world, which he is bringing with him to his new role. As collaboration manager at UU Innovation, he will support the University’s researchers, particularly within the humanities and social sciences, in matters related to utilisation and collaboration with businesses and other organisations outside academia.

“The years at Mistra were extremely worthwhile and enriching, but now its time to try something new. UU Innovation is an exciting place to work and I am happiest working in the intersection between academia and practice. As well, I thoroughly understand utilisation and how to achieve lasting results from research because those issues are integrated in all research programmes at Mistra,” says Edman.

As for Edman and Uppsala University, the new position represents a “third time is the charm” situation. He defended his doctoral thesis in sociology at the Institute for Housing and Urban Research in 2001, after which he worked with research funding at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. He returned to the University a few years later as a project manager for external relationships before moving on to Mistra. Research funding and collaboration have been a constant theme in Edman’s career. 

“Collaborating with entities inside and outside academia has been an integrated aspect of my work over the years, and every Mistra research programme can be described as a comprehensive collaborative project that includes stakeholders from both academia and practice. As a whole, that has given me a pretty good understanding of the potential and challenges of collaboration,” says Edman, adding that he thinks it is a good thing that requirements are clearer and there is greater emphasis on collaboration in academia now than there used to be.

Great potential for collaborative projects

Edman is working full speed ahead to further develop the internal network and touch base with stakeholders outside the University. He sees tremendous potential for new, mutually rewarding collaborations between research and practice.

“Uppsala University is in prime position with its strong research, internationalisation and impressive breadth. I believe the University can get even stronger through relevant collaborations while creating value in society,” says Edman.

Even as he is busy building networks at home, he is building a house in his spare time. The timber-frame house he is building on his own in Strängnäs is an old dream that is finally coming true. Bandy (aka floorball) is another of his passions. Sunday evenings in the sports hall at Eriksbergsskolan, an upper secondary school in Uppsala, are pretty close to sacred. He has been playing indoor bandy there ever since he  moved to town in 1994. And when he recently turned 50, his family gave him the best present he could imagine. Tickets to the Bandy World Championships.

“One of my requests when I was offered the job at UU Innovation was to be allowed to take annual leave in the first week of December so that I could go to the Bandy World Championships in Prague with my family,” says Edman, adding with a delighted laugh that has been given the time off.