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Funding for Finnish-US research collaboration in learning and education

(8 Jan 2013)

In September 2012, the Academy of Finland together with Tekes and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) launched a joint call for funding within the NSF’s SAVI programme (Science Across Virtual Institutes on Innovations in Learning and Education). The first Finnish-US research projects that have received funding will now start.

The research theme covers learning on a broad scale. The projects will explore learning both in and out of school. The common research problems and methods have now been defined and the distribution of work is settled.

“Together with our US colleagues, we’re now facing the same research challenges and we’ll work to solve them. Thanks to these collaboration opportunities, we’ll get closer to US business companies and be able to generate such knowledge that can later be commercialised and turned into business,” describes Director Jari Multisilta from the University of Helsinki. Multisilta coordinates this research collaboration.

“What I’m doing as a coordinator is to ensure that the studies will not become only a set of individual projects. The aim is to build up a virtual institute around mathematical and natural science topics and to develop and produce new solutions and methods for learning,” Multisilta says. In addition to his coordination tasks, Multisilta also plans a research project on the use of panorama videos in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning.

The activities of the virtual institute involve active research collaboration, exchange of early-career and teacher researchers, virtual and in-person meetings and joint demonstrations. A total of nine joint projects will be launched; six of them funded by the Academy and three by Tekes.

Academy funding totals EUR 1.34 million

The Academy will fund, for instance, Professor Heikki Lyytinen’s project (University of Jyväskylä). In his research, Lyytinen is researching the use comprehensive computer-based learning environments to support the acquisition of basic scholastic skills and STEM content learning.  

The Academy also decided to fund a consortium by Roope Raisamo, Mirjamaija Mikkilä-Erdmann, Ari Korhonen and Mika Kortelainen that is focused on developing and applying a next-generation design for dynamic digital textbooks for STEM education. Recent studies have shown that students have motivational and conceptual problems to learn STEM subjects. These problems could be addressed by new digital learning material.

For the Academy’s part, the funding cooperation is associated with the Academy’s forthcoming Research Programme on Learning and Knowledge in Media Society.

More information:

Academy of Finland

  • Academy funding decisions: http://bit.ly/UxBGAL
  • Programme Manager Risto Vilkko, tel. +358 29 533 5136, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
  • Science Adviser Kustaa Multamäki, tel. +358 29 533 5078, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi

Tekes

  • Director Eero Silvennoinen, tel. +358 50 5577 813, firstname.lastname(at)tekes.fi
  • Programme Manager Pekka Ollikainen, Learning Solutions Programme, tel. +358 50 5577 758, firstname.lastname(at)tekes.fi

University of Helsinki

  • Director, Professor Jari Multisilta, Cicero Learning, tel. +358 50 568 8593
    firstname.lastname(at)helsinki.fi

Vesa Varpula
Communications Specialist
Academy of Finland Communications
tel. +358 29 533 5131
firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi

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