13 April, 2017

About AFSR


The French-Swedish research association, AFSR ("Association franco-suédoise pour la recherche") has since 1967 played an active role in the promotion and support of French-Swedish cooperation within research, innovation and higher education at an institutional as well as an individual level. Important tasks during the association’s initial decades were to initiate and participate in collaborative projects of strategic importance in areas such as space research, materials technology and life sciences. The association has also been involved in organizing seminars, conferences, study trips and exchange programs, and has hosted two technology foresights between Sweden and France.

An important activity in recent years has been AFSR's prize to younger researchers and doctoral students. The prize was offered from 2010 until the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Among themes for the prize can be mentioned: "Biodiversity and Human Health", "Transport and Sustainable Development", "New approaches and therapeutic methods for cancer research" and “The Smart and Sustainable Cities of the Future”. The prize has made it possible for some thirty younger French and Swedish postgraduates and doctoral students to conduct research and postgraduate studies at universities and research institutes in Sweden and France.

In connection with the resumption of activities after the pandemic, AFSR’s board of directors has decided to replace the Prize for Young Researchers with fellowships of different kinds. Further information about the different types of fellowships intended to be offered can be found in section 2 below.

AFSR’s organisation

AFSR is registered in France under the name “Association franco-suédoise pour la Recherche” and in Sweden as “Svensk-franska forskningsföreningen”.

Members of AFSR can be individuals, companies, public institutions and civil society organizations.

Key organizational units of AFSR are the General Assembly and the Board of Directors (“Comité Directeur”).

General Assembly
The General Assembly consists of the individual members of the association and representatives of the companies, public institutions and civil society organizations belonging to the association. The assembly meets at least once every year. A key task of the General Assembly is to designate the members of the Comité Directeur.

Comité Directeur
The Comité Directeur, which has a Swedish and a French section, appoints among its members the President and Vice-President of AFSR. The President shall be from the Swedish and the Vice President from the French section. In addition to the President and the Vice President the Comité Directeur consists of a Secretary General, a Treasurer, a Deputy Treasurer and up to four non-executive members. The Comité Directeur meets at least twice per year.

AFSR's accounts are audited by a lay auditor.

Since August 2023 AFSR's Comité Directeur has the following composition:

  • President: Coco Norén, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Uppsala University
  • Vice President: Marc Fontecave, Professor of Collège de France
  • Secretary General and Treasurer: Börje Svensson, former vice president of Linköping University
  • Deputy Treasurer: Claude Trink, engineer, chairman PPE
  • Board member: Charlie Gullström, research and innovation strategist, Sweco
  • Board member: Christophe Duwig, Professor, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

Lay auditor of AFSR: Olof Sandberg, former senior adviser at RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) and the Swedish Ministry of Education.

In the presentation below a more detailed presentation of the members of AFSR’s Comité Directeur can be found.

A closer look at the members of AFSR’s Comité Directeur

Coco Norén, President
Coco Norén was appointed President of AFSR in August 2023. She is since 2021 deputy vice-chancellor of Uppsala University and since 2011 professor of French at the same university. She is the president of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies and a member of the executive board of the Coimbra Group, a network of 41 European universities. She also chairs Uppsala University’s Steering Committee for ENLIGHT, an alliance of ten European universities.

Her field of research is argumentation, text linguistics and polyphony in modern French, in particular European parliamentary discourse and spoken practices.

Marc Fontecave, Vice President
Marc Fontecave, Vice President of AFSR since 2013, is since 2009 holder of the Chair of Chemistry of Biological Processes at Collège de France. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences since 2005 and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 2019. He is the director of the Laboratory of Chemistry of Biological Processes (UMR CNRS/Collège de France/Sorbonne Université). He is also the president of the “Fondation du Collège de France” and a member of the scientific councils of EDF, Veolia Water Technologies and Forvia. At an early stage of his career (1985-86) Marc Fontecave was a postdoc at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
His research focuses on the study of catalysts and biocatalysts, as well as of electrochemical devices for water splitting and the valorization of carbon dioxide as strategies for chemical storage of renewable energies (artificial photosynthesis).

Börje Svensson, Secretary General
Börje Svensson became member of Comité Directeur in 2013 and is since 2022 Secretary General of AFSR. He has held leading positions in industry and academia as well as at the UN agency UNIDO in Vienna. He holds a PhD in business administration from Linköping University of which university he was vice president 1994-96. He was an adjunct professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala 1999-2008, a senior adviser and acting vice president of the Stockholm School of Economics 2001-2004, and member of the management team of Karolinska Institutet Holding AB 2006-12 . He is since 2012 president of the Stockholm Male Choir.

Claude Trink, Deputy Treasurer
Claude Trink is member of Comité Directeur since 2005. He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique in 1974 and from Ecole des Mines de Paris in 1977. He is since 2008 chairman of PPE, a research center based in Saint-Avold, France dedicated to the use of hydrogen and advanced materials in various areas of production, transportation and energy.

He has worked in both the public and private sector in the fields of energy, food industry, environmental protection, and corporate and innovation financing through equity and mezzanine loans.

Claude Trink has also supervised reindustrialization programs in French regions affected by structural transformation (Lorraine, Picardie).

He is Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (France).

Charlie Gullström, board member
Charlie Gullström is member of the AFSR board since 2018. She is an architect with a PhD in architecture from KTH (the Royal Institute of Technology) and has a long academic background. She is currently Research and Innovation Strategist at Sweco, Europe’s leading architecture and engineering consultancy.

Her multidisciplinary research covers circular urban economy, the sharing economy, citizen participation and smart sustainable cities. She has an expert role in transition management and governance innovation for several cities involved in Viable Cities, the Swedish Strategic Innovation Programme, and in EU’s Cities Mission for 100 climate-neutral cities 2030.

Christophe Duwig, board member
Christophe Duwig became member of the AFSR board in 2023. He is a professor at the department of Chemical Engineering at KTH (the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm).

Christophe Duwig is a strong believer in collaboration and knowledge to transform society. His research area aims at clean air and clean energy with focus to understand the interplay between heat and mass transfer, multiphase flows and chemical reactions. He uses this knowledge to explore societal challenges with focus on decarbonization of industry and future sustainable housing.
Christopher Duwig also serves as vice-director of the KTH Energy Platform and as lead faculty at the KTH Climate Action Centre.