Björn Carlsons Östersjöstiftelse, also known as BalticSea2020, was established in 2005 through a donation of SEK 500 million by Björn Carlson (1935-2021). In the 15 years since its formation, the Foundation has funded measures and development projects that actively support a healthier Baltic Sea, as well as research that has broadened or enhanced knowledge of the Baltic Sea and its catchment area. The Foundation has influenced EU fisheries and agricultural legislation, initiated nearly 100 projects to promote a healthier sea, and been instrumental in conducting numerous important scientific studies and publishing their findings. The Foundation has also supported public awareness initiatives and film projects, with the aim of raising awareness about the Baltic Sea environment among decision-makers, the general public, and students.
Since the Foundation began its work in 2005 through to 2020, the board has allocated grants of approximately SEK 650 million to projects in the fields of Fishery, Eutrophication, and Information.
In 2020, the Foundation began reviewing its environmental work as part of efforts to switch its focus from a research foundation to a prize and research foundation in 2021. The Foundation has accordingly established a prize that recognises research that has made a valuable contribution to improving the Baltic Sea environment. Björn Carlsons Östersjöpris will initially provide annual prize money of SEK 3 million (financed by returns on the Foundation’s endowment). Building on Björn Carlson’s fundamental idea to actively promote a positive development for the Baltic Sea, the Foundation aspires to utilise the prize to recognise research that has made a valuable contribution to improving the Baltic Sea environment and to support the continuation of existing efforts to ensure a healthier Baltic Sea. The prize will be awarded annually beginning in the spring of 2022.
Alongside the Foundation’s work with the Björn Carlsons Östersjöpris, funding will continue to be allocated to Living Coast (II). This project has been led by Stockholm University since 2019 (the project started in 2011) in close collaboration with the Foundation, its initiator and main sponsor. The Foundation will also continue its investment in educational materials for teachers and students, with the aim of raising awareness about the challenges and opportunities facing the Baltic Sea. A collaboration has been initiated with Stockholm University’s Baltic Sea Centre, which will produce digital educational materials about the Baltic Sea’s living coast. The Foundation has already produced educational material entitled ‘Östersjön – vad vi bör veta’ (The Baltic Sea – Lessons to Learn), linked to Folke Rydén’s documentaries about the Baltic Sea. More information is available from the website ourbalticsea.com, where it is also possible to stream the films and download the associated educational materials in PDF format.
Additional information about the 15 years of environmental work and projects financed by the Foundation is available on the Foundation’s former website, www.balticsea2020.org.
In the 15 years since its formation, the Foundation has funded nearly 100 projects to promote a healthier sea.
Björn Carlson (1935-2021)