03 May 2024

A donation of SEK 125 million enables the establishment of five new professorships in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Linköping University. The donation is directed to the subjects of economics, economic history, art history, political science, and history with a focus on modern history.

Charlotte Perhammar

For the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, this represents an unprecedented boost for the subjects concerned, according to Dean Ulf Melin:

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to develop operations at the departments in these important areas. It provides the opportunity to attract people who are good at their subject and give them substantial and long-term funding. We rarely get such long-term external funding for the research environments,” says Ulf Melin.

A rare type of donation

Spouses Catharina Högbom and Michael Cocozza are behind the donation, which strengthens their previously established foundation for research and culture in Linköping municipality. The foundation has previously contributed to the employment of two professors in history, who are now active, and also enabled a number of postdocs to be employed.


A man at his desk.
Ulf Melin, dean and professor at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.Magnus Johansson
“I realise that this type of donation to research is relatively rare in Sweden. Here, capital owners should look more to the USA and follow the tradition there. Capital taxes in Sweden are now so low that there’s room to donate to research. Knowledge and education are what contribute most to economic growth and increased opportunities to improve our society,” says Michael Cocozza, chair of the foundation.


Two professors in economics

He is particularly pleased that there are to be two new professors in economics - one of them in economic history - which he hopes will broaden the subject at Linköping University.

“I believe that the placement of a professorship in economic history within the economics research environment will enrich both fields of study. Internationally, the most interesting research in economic history is done by people with both theoretical economics and historical education. This combination is currently lacking in Sweden.

Jan-Ingvar Jönsson, Vice-Chancellor at LiU.
Jan-Ingvar Jönsson, Vice-Chancellor at LiU.Thor Balkhed
It also fits the interdisciplinary focus of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in Linköping.”

Once the professors are in place, their mission will be to build new research environments. Of course, the foundation expects good research to be produced, but also expects the results to be communicated to the public via seminars, articles or in other contexts.

This is in line with the expectations of the university, faculty and departments, according to Dean Ulf Melin, who has also been a member of the foundation’s Board for a month.

LiU Vice-Chancellor Jan-Ingvar Jönsson welcomes the large donation:

“Private donations provide significant support to our research and will be even more important in the future as government resources are limited. We are also proud to note that many private donors are seeking out LiU,” he says.


Catharina Högbom’s and Michael Cocozza’s foundation for research and culture in Linköping municipality

Catharina Högbom’s and Michael Cocozza’s foundation for research and culture in Linköping municipality was established in 2022 to support LiU’s research at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and to support culture in Linköping.
“By the end of this five-year period in 2027, the foundation will have such a large share of the research grants to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences that we will have reached what must reasonably be considered a ceiling. We will then look at the foundation’s other possible purposes, that is, medical research and culture in Linköping,” says Michael Cocozza.
The couple have previously established a foundation for paediatric medical research called the Joanna Cocozza Foundation for Children’s Medical Research. That foundation is now in its fifth year of operation.


On donations

Latest news from LiU

Sheet of glass with droplet.

Next-generation sustainable electronics are doped with air

Researchers at LiU have developed a new method where organic semiconductors can become more conductive with the help of air as a dopant. The study is a significant step towards future sustainable organic semiconductors.

physicians in a clinica setting.

Healthcare interpreters important for heart attack aftercare

After a heart attack, foreign-born people are less likely to attend a relapse-preventing Heart School than native-born patients. But with access to a professional interpreter, participation increases, according to a new study.

Battery om fingertip.

Eco-friendly and affordable battery for low-income countries

A battery made from zinc and lignin that can be used over 8000 times. This has been developed by researchers at LiU with a vision to provide a cheap and sustainable battery solution for countries where access to electricity is limited.