The Swedish Consortium for Artificial Photosynthesis - past, present, and future

Stenbjörn Styring

The Swedish Consortium for Artificial Photosynthesis was founded in 1993 by Stenbjörn Styring, Mats Almgren, Sten-Eric Lindquist, and Björn Åkermark. Stenbjörn Styring was the permanent chairman of CAP from the start until 2017. In the early years, CAP was spread over three universities in Sweden (Lund, Stockholm, Uppsala). The main body of CAP is now located at Uppsala University, with affiliated groups at Umeå university and at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. 

CAP has been a multidisciplinary platform from the beginning, developing artificial photosynthesis and photobiology for the production of solar fuels and chemicals. The unique component in CAP is the synergistic interactions between researchers of very diverse fields focusing on development of novel techniques for solar fuels. Over a 10-year period, between 1994 and 2004, CAP collected necessary expertise in a diverse range of areas: from biology, biochemistry ad biophysics, to organometallic synthetic chemistry, to physical chemistry and advanced spectroscopic methods. 

In 2006, the collaboration took a leap forward when we created a new scientific environment at the Ångström laboratory at Uppsala university. The idea was to form a physical research centre, with strong interactions between different research areas rather than divided into traditional disciplines. By focusing to a physical location we could integrate all parts of our science, and create a platform for new collaborations. In 2017 Leif Hammarström took over the chairmanship as Stenbjörn Styring retired. 

In 2021, the consortium reached a new stage of life, and finally became a formally recognized research centre. More groups from the Ångström laboratory joined, a new board was formed. The centre now takes up almost four floors in House 7 at the Ångström laboratory, as well as parts of the Department of Materials Science, and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Our consortium continues to grow as more young scientists join our operation for shorter or longer terms.

FysKem laser 1
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