13 September 2023

Cross-border collaboration and interdisciplinarity are gaining importance in our society. This is something that Ingemar Ingemarsson wants to support. With his new large donation, he is setting up a foundation to award a prize for interdisciplinarity at Linköping University.

Portrait of man (Ingemar Ingemarsson)
I feel very strongly about Linköping University, says Ingemar Ingemarsson. Anna Nilsen

Ever since coming to Linköping in 1971, Ingemar Ingemarsson has played an important role in the university’s development.

“I’ve been involved in building up LiU, and have possibly also been influential. But above all, I’ve enjoyed being part of its progress, and I feel very strongly about this university.”

Paying tribute to creativity

After 35 years as professor of information theory, Ingemar Ingemarsson in 2017 instituted Sweden’s largest teaching award at LiU. He is now making another large donation that is more focused on significant achievements in research.  Ingemar Ingemarsson pays tribute to creativity and has always enjoyed creating and making things himself. Broad thinking and collaboration between research disciplines are key, in his view.

“I want to support interdisciplinarity and people who have shown that they can work effectively with other faculties.  Research and higher education, like all other development, have to fit in with society, and if you become too specialised in your subject you may lose the wider perspective.”

Strong tradition of interdisciplinarity

Two men in front of an audienceAnnouncement of Ingemar Ingemarsson's new, large donation. Vice-chancellor Jan-Ingvar Jönsson with Ingemar. Photo credit Anna Nilsen LiU has a strong tradition of interdisciplinary work, and the Department of Thematic Studies was born in 1980. Ingemar Ingemarsson highlights an even earlier collaboration success.

“As a provider of excellent medical as well as technical education, the university found it only natural in the 1970s to teach also medical technology, which has turned out to be a real success.”

“The Ingemar Ingemarsson Interdisciplinarity Prize” is planned to be awarded for the first time in 2025, and will be managed by an independent foundation. The donation from Ingemar Ingemarsson consists of Sectra shares worth SEK 20-25 million.  Sectra is the medical technology company he co-founded in 1978. The prize money will be around SEK 500,000. The exact size of the prize money, to be awarded every two years in connection with the Academic Celebrations, will depend on the current yield on capital.

Opens up for new contacts

”With the teaching prize, my idea was that it would provide an opportunity to take a year-long sabbatical. Now it’s more open, but I take it for granted that people who dedicate their lives to collaboration with others will continue to do so, and hopefully the prize can be used to open up for new contacts,” says Ingemar Ingemarsson.

Sven Stafström chairs the board of the new foundation. He is happy about the large donation, the mission and the intention behind the prize.

Man outsideIngemar Ingemarsson on Campus Valla. Photo credit Anna Nilsen “This is a very generous donation. It’s simpler and safer for researchers to stay within their disciplines, but interacting with others is a step you must take to find and convey new knowledge, and it’s important to support this”, Sven Stafström says, and continues, “In addition to rewarding individuals who have made major interdisciplinary achievements, this award, which is an individual award, may be an incentive to others to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration.”

Translation: Anneli Mosell

Facts: The Ingemar Ingemarsson Interdisciplinarity Prize

An individual award given to one or several people who are making, or have made, a significant interdisciplinary achievement at Linköping University. The award is set up through a donation of Sectra shares worth 20-25 million by Ingemar Ingemarsson.

The award ceremony is planned to take place in connection with the Academic Celebrations, for the first time in 2025, and then every two years thereafter.

The prize is managed by an independent foundation, where the board appoints the winner or winners following nomination by an awards committee.

The board consists of Sven Stafström (chair), Mats Ulfendahl and Josefina Syssner. Two further members will be appointed by LiU’s Vice-Chancellor. 

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