The Swedish-Norwegian Foundation for Equine Research was established in 2004, based on contributions from the Swedish equine and agricultural industries. The Swedish Research Council Formas has provided 50 per cent funding since 2006.
During 2009 funding increased due to the addition of contributions from the Norwegian equine industry and the Norwegian Research Council for research funding. In conjunction with this the name of the foundation was changed to the Swedish-Norwegian Foundation for Equine Research.
The Foundation administers approximately MSEK 21 annually for the funding of research projects.
The Foundation is based on the tenet that at the same time as the number of horses in Sweden and Norway has increased considerably, the use and function of horses in society has changed towards a more recreational – even rehabilitational focus – and more urbanised status, including the horse as a prerequisite for sports and competition.
This provides new business opportunities, but also to potential new welfare problems and environmental conflicts.
The main purpose of the foundation is to contribute to creating value for horses, for the equine industry and for humans and society; to increase the understanding and profile of the role of the horse in society; and to improve the health and welfare of horses and humans. In addition the research should contribute to identifying new business areas in the horse industry and in horse based agriculture.
The research that is funded should therefore be applied research of very high scientific quality that can contribute to the previously named goals.
One of the strategic goals of the foundation is to support the Nordic equine industry in its endeavours to become world leading – initially by joint collaboration between Sweden and Norway and subsequently also by the participation of other three Nordic countries in the world leading Nordic equine research collaboration entitled ‘Nordisk hästforskning – ledande i världen’.
The research programme is divided into three main category areas:
- Equine health, performance and welfare.
- Equine reproduction, breeding and feeding.
- The role of the horse for humans, society and the environment.
In addition, data for all projects could be accessed via the website of Stiftelsen Lantbruksforskning (SLF) – The Swedish Farmers’ Foundation for Agricultural Research – (SLF supplies the electronic application system also used by SHF) where the panel could gain access to a summary of the application, a summary of the results, and to the final research project report for each granted application.
This information is also accessible to the general public.
In 2011 the board of the Swedish-Norwegian Foundation for Equine Research (SHF) commissioned the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas) to review the research funded by the SHF.
In general the panel found the research funded to be of high scientific quality, high relevance and in most cases also well disseminated. Read more in:
Assessment of projects funded by the Swedish-Norwegian Foundation for Equine Research (SHF) 2004-2011.