This is Forte’s input and submisison to the Government’s research policy from 2021. In the input, we set out the value of the social dimensions of The Sustainable Development Goals. We highlight urgent knowledge needs in health, working life and welfare and propose research initiatives that can contribute to the transition to a more sustainable society.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda set out where we need to be heading in order to make the transition and ensure we have everything in place to attain sustainable societal development but despite greater awareness of the need for comprehensive transformation of society, the progress is slow. There are many inhibiting factors that have more to do with how our societies work and how people behave than with the need for technological advances and innovations. The social dimension of work to attain the SDGs therefore needs to be afforded greater scope in the public debate and politics, and in research and innovation initiatives.

People’s opportunities to earn a living and enjoy good health are fundamental to socially sustainable welfare – but at the same time there are societal challenges. The development of today’s society calls for further research investments to meet the extensive knowledge needs that exist. Forte has identified three such urgent initiatives that will be important complements both to ordinary calls for proposals in Forte’s fields of responsibility and to previously established national research programmes. We also propose a continuation and reinforcement of ongoing initiatives.