Glittering Annual Meeting in the Golden Hall

Speeches, an awards ceremony for eight gold medallists, commemoration of the father of HVDC technology, presentation of new Fellows and handing out of scholarships – all of this in the glittering Golden Hall at Stockholm City Hall.

In the presence of the King and Queen, the Riksdag’s Speaker, cabinet ministers and 300 guests dressed for the occasion, IVA’s Chair Carl-Henric Svanberg opened his final Annual Meeting.

In his speech he emphasised that our most important joint task is to slow down or stop global warming. In order to achieve that we need more global cooperation, and new technology and the capacity to make use of it. Although the challenges are significant, Svanberg is optimistic about the possibilities.

“I’m an engineer and that’s why I’m an optimist,” he said.

His speech contained a trenchant geopolitical analysis. Europe is caught in between two superpowers. China is expanding and the USA is increasingly turning inwards.

“The EU has great potential, but as I see it, Europe is still too fragmented.

With more than a thousand highly qualified Fellows, IVA will continue to have an extremely important role to play,” he said.

This year’s commemorative address on Uno Lamm, the father of HVDC technology, was delivered by Doctor h.c. Bo Normark. He pointed out that Lamm was not only a brilliant engineer at Asea and an inventor, he also had the ability to take new technology into the market. With an interest in social issues, Lamm was also able to navigate his way through the political system.

Lamm wasn’t the only one being honoured in the Golden Hall. This year’s and last year’s recipients of IVA’s Gold Medals received their awards from the King.

Every other year IVA gives out a scholarship in memory of John and Margaretha Aspegren. This time Josefin Wangel was the recipient for her studies focusing on the future of urban sustainability.

As per tradition, the Annual Meeting ended with the President’s address under the heading “Progress in Research and Technology”. This year Tuula Teeri started by highlighting the significance of basic research in the record-fast production of Covid-19 vaccines. In addition to presenting the research and business news, she interviewed Mikael Dolsten, President of R&D at Pfizer and Saab’s Micael Johansson about the importance of collaboration between academia and industry. Jenny Larsson, CEO of Hitachi Energy Sweden and Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Vice-Chancellor at Luleå University of Technology, also had the chance to answer questions on the theme of talent.

The Annual Meeting then came to a close and the 300 guests went on to mingle for a while before sitting down to a banquet in the Blue Hall.

At the end of the banquet, which included speeches and musical interludes, the participants returned to the Golden Hall to chat for a while before going out into the Stockholm night and heading home.