The Swedish Consortium for Artificial Photosynthesis - past, present, and future
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. In 2017 Leif Hammarström took over the chairmanship.
From the beginning, CAP worked on a multidisciplinary platform, developing two parallel leads of research: artificical photosynthesis and photobiology for the production of solar fuels. Over a 10-year period, between 1994 and 2004, the Consortium assembled necessary expertise in a diverse range of areas, from biology, biochemistry ad biophysics, to organometallic synthetic chemistry, to physical chemistry and advanced spectroscopic methods. During the early years CAP was spread over three universities in Sweden (Lund, Stockholm, Uppsala). Despite the physical separation, CAP managed to keep advancing the solar fuels field continuously.
In 2006, the collaboration in the Consortium 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 center, with strong interactions between different research areas rather than dividing into traditional disciplines. By focusing to a physical location we could integrate all parts of our science, and create a platform for new collaborations.
A unique component in the consortium is the synergistic interactions between researchers of very diverse fields, all focusing on development of novel techniques for solar fuels. The main body of our consortium is located at Uppsala University, with affiliated groups at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and Umeå university. Our consortium continues to grow as more young scientists continue to join our operation for shorter or longer terms.