PlantLink is a research network platform for plant and food science in Southern Sweden. It was formed in 2011 as an alliance between Lund University (LU) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp (SLU Alnarp) with initial support from the Skåne Regional Council (Region Skåne). Our ambition is to strengthen the region’s plant and food science network by stimulating, uniting and promoting agro-food systems research. We aim to support education and innovation while bridging the gap between academia, industry and the general public. Through cooperation with Copenhagen University, PlantLink aspires to strengthen plant research in the Greater Copenhagen region.
At PlantLink, we communicate and educate. We publish 9 newsletters annually that are widely distributed and contribute to disseminating plant and food science-related activities in the region. Researcher in the Spotlight highlights progressive research activities of regional scientists and reflects possibilities for further developments in the agro-food system and new plant-based materials and energy solutions. Story of Success focuses on innovative science-based industrial organisations, which significantly contribute to the development and competitiveness of plant and food science in the region. By organising Industrial Mentorship Programs for PhD students and postdocs, PlantLink creates a viable meeting platform between students, industry and governmental/non-governmental organisations. Until 2022, MSc and PhD education, job fairs and similar activities initiated and supported by PlantLink have attracted more than 700 students, putting the region on the international map of plant research
The annual PlantLink Day and topical seminars bring together scientists from academia and industry at the cutting edge of research and development. We encourage multidisciplinary discussion of the most recent research topics in plant, food and material science, with a focus on innovation, sustainability, and resilience. Celebrating the Fascination of Plants Day, PlantLink promotes the debate of crucial societal topics, such as climate change, biodiversity and environment-conscious food production and consumption. Our goal is to have a greater impact as an interdisciplinary platform where various societal actors collaborate on the development of sustainable plant food systems.
PlantLink support has resulted in the formation of academia-company clusters such ScanOats and NordPlant, both of which are led from the region. International collaboration is further strengthened by memberships and engagements in Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society, European Plant Science Organisation and the Plant Biologicals Network. Moreover, PlantLink has supported 21 projects with a total of 10MSEK, which led to several high-impact publications in scientific journals and close to 100MSEK in additional external funding. This demonstrates the strength of the two universities’ research partnership.
PlantLink has a steering committee appointed by LU and SLU jointly that meets four times yearly.