Mistra Sports and Outdoor: A Unique research and collaboration programme in sport, outdoor recreation and environment

Tue 15 Dec 2020 11:33

Mistra Sport & Outdoors is a Swedish research and collaboration programme, led by Mid Sweden University, aiming to generate knowledge and solutions to increase sustainability in sport and outdoor recreation.

Sport and outdoor recreation involves lots of people. One in three Swedes are sport or outdoor association members, and all Swedes participate by large to some form of sport or outdoor recreation. Finding solutions to the environmental challenges facing sport and outdoor recreation could potentially have a significant impact.

Some 30 researchers from seven Swedish universities and about 20 partner organizations from different fields are now going to work together for four years, generating knowledge and solutions to increase sustainability in sport and outdoor recreation.

Six themes in sport, outdoor recreation and environment

Mistra Sport & Outdoors consists of six research themes:

Many participate to find knowledge and solutions

­One of the key characteristics of the programme is the cross-cutting co-creation process involving researchers, non-governmental organisations, public authorities and the sport and outdoor sports industry.

”The environmental issue is big and complex and a single stakeholder or sector could hardly address the challenges and make significant change on his own. This is why researchers from different disciplines and universities are working together with partners from sport, outdoor recreation, companies and authorities,” explains Peter Fredman, Programme Manager, Mistra Sport & Outdoors and professor in Tourism Studies at Mid Sweden University.

Start a movement for sustainability

The programme’s starting point is the environmental challenges we face, and its objectives are to create world-leading research, start a movement for sustainable development in sport and outdoor recreation and cooperate to establish a network-based development centre for sustainability within sport and outdoor recreation.

”Mistra Sport & Outdoors will support Sweden to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030. We will also reach out to the broader sport and outdoor recreation communities,” says Peter Fredman.

Mistra Sport & Outdoors is led by Mid Sweden University with participating researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), the University of Gothenburg, Malmö University, Dalarna University, Chalmers University of Technology and Stockholm University. The partners in the initiative are key organisations in sport and outdoor recreation, such as the Swedish Sports Confederation, the national Association for Outdoor Organizations, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the national Society for Nature Conservation, the Scandinavian Outdoor Group, as well as experts on sustainable education field.

From ETOUR, the following researchers are involved:


The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, Mistra, is financing the initiative with SEK 56 million (€5,5 million),  plus a partner (including participating universities) contribution of SEK 14 million, making a total of SEK 70 million (€6;9 million) over a four years period. Whith a possibility to extend the programme by another 4 years.

Mistra research, as a foundation, promotes the development of strong environmental research environments in Sweden with the aim of creating a good living environment for all. The investments Mistra makes are also intended to assist in enabling companies, public stakeholders and users to develop new products, services and working methods with a view to meeting society’s environmental challenges. Another simultaneous aim is for the initiatives to strengthen Swedish competitiveness.


The page was updated 1/21/2021