EUR 8 million in Academy funding to research within Strategic Centres

12 Nov 2012

The Academy of Finland has decided on the funding for research within the Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation. The funding totals 8 million euros. The funding is granted to six research consortia and eight research projects. The call, which was open in April 2012, attracted a total of 106 applications: 28 were from consortia and 41 from individual projects.

The Academy had pre-defined two research areas to which the funding was to be allocated: 1) Novel control methods and user interfaces; and 2) New bioeconomy chemicals, materials and production technologies based on innovative forest biomass use.

The aim is to increase the number of high-level researchers involved in the work of the centres with a view to further strengthening the scientific expertise at the centres. The consortia and projects that will receive funding are affiliated with the thematic areas of five strategic centres: Energy and the Environment (CLEEN), Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster (FIBIC), Metal Products and Mechanical Engineering (FIMECC), Built Environment Innovations (RYM) and Information and Communication Industry and Services (TIVIT).

Examples of funded projects:

A joint research project between Lappeenranta University of Technology and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health is developing customer solutions, firm control systems and their interfaces for business companies and their value networks. The project will explore, among other things, the cognitive costs of inconsistency, such as unnecessary load, errors and waste of time, and look at which dimensions of systemic consistency improve cognitive ergonomics and human performance. The research is associated with the strategic centres FIMECC and TIVIT and is headed by Jukka Hallikas.

Antti Koponen is consortium director for a research project investigating the forming of paper-like structures using foam. Focusing on foam-based forming, the project will explore the structure and inner interactions of fibre-laden foams. The research consortium involves researchers from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Jyväskylä. The research is associated with the strategic centre FIBIC.

Researchers at Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland are developing high-performance, fibre-like materials from nanocellulose and silk-like proteins. The fibres can be tailored with special characteristics using self-organisation of molecules. The research is associated with the strategic centre FIBIC and is headed by Markus Linder.

Kaisa Sere heads a consortium that is researching various means to model future resilient control systems capable of measuring a wide set of observables including inexact ones derived from the environment. The research objective is to provide reusable solutions and to improve the development of industrial processes for future resilient control systems. The consortium includes researchers from Åbo Akademi University and the University of Eastern Finland. The research is associated with the strategic centres TIVIT, FIMECC and CLEEN.

Reijo Miettinen from the University of Helsinki heads a project focusing on the specific uses of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in three critical social interfaces during the construction process: 1) between designers and customers/end-users; 2) between designers from different disciplines; and 3) between designers and constructors. The goal is to develop new ways of collaborative uses of BIM in each of these interfaces together with key stakeholders of the building process studied. The research is associated with the strategic centre RYM.

Sari Mäkelä’s (University of Turku) project aims to create the necessary knowledge base for the development of products or interventions based on selected wood polyphenols to be used for breast cancer prevention. For instance, Mäkelä will investigate the effects of wood compounds in combination with antioestrogen therapies on breast cancer growth and development. Mäkelä and her team expect to identify wood compounds with potential for breast cancer risk reduction as functional food ingredients or as drug therapy adjuvants. The research is associated with the strategic centre FIBIC.

Riitta Smeds from Aalto University heads a project studying project-specific multiparty networks that apply ICT for innovation and for efficiency. This double role is analysed from three theoretical domains: collaborative innovation; coordination and integration; and inter-organisational learning and knowledge roles. The research is associated with the strategic centres RYM, TIVIT and FIMECC.

Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila from Tampere University of Technology heads a research project how co-located interactions of people can be supported through social mobile devices. Social mobile devices are smart phones that can proactively initiate interactions with other devices and their users, depending on contextual factors and user profiles. The research is associated with the strategic centre TIVIT.

The Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation provide a cooperation platform for innovative business companies and research teams. They form a new kind of network for intensive and long-term collaboration with a view to achieving jointly set goals. The aim is to achieve globally significant breakthrough innovations that can result in growing businesses and social wellbeing. The research projects carried out at the centres are funded by business companies, universities, Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, and the Academy of Finland.

More information:

Senior Science Adviser Ritva Taurio, tel. +358 29 533 5115, ritva.taurio(at)

Academy of Finland Communications
Riitta Tirronen
Communications Manager
tel. +358 29 533 5118

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