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Out now: Finland’s strategy and roadmap for research infrastructures 2014–2020

14 March 2014

The Finnish Research Infrastructure Committee (FIRI Committee), a body appointed by the Academy of Finland, has today published Finland’s first national research infrastructure strategy as well as an updated infrastructure roadmap. The publication covers the years 2014–2020. The roadmap is a plan for key research infrastructures in Finland that are either under development or that will be newly required over the next 10–15 years. Research infrastructures form a reserve of research facilities, equipment, materials and services. As such, they are essential instruments for research.

The research infrastructure strategy lays out a vision for Finland in 2020. By then, the strategy says, Finland will have gained further recognition for its world-class science and top-tier research infrastructure, facilitating the regeneration of education, society and the business sector.

Also included in the roadmap are significant international infrastructures such as CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, and BBMRI, the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure, which are of key importance to Finnish research.

The roadmap includes a total of 31 research infrastructures as well as two projects with potential to become significant infrastructures. The research infrastructures were selected in a two-stage international review using three main criteria: the project’s significance to the Finnish scientific community as well as to the research strategy of the host organisations; the quality and scope of the potential user community; and the commitment by the participating organisations to the project. All of these criteria were interpreted from Finland’s perspective. The goal is to update the roadmap every five years.

The projects selected to the roadmap are expected to further increase the international integration of Finnish research, reinforce networks of top-level expertise and create new business ideas and jobs.

“The strategy and roadmap will be of great benefit to Finland’s higher education sector and research institutes as they continue developing their research environments. We also hope that the publication will contribute to strengthening the quality and impact of research and to promoting international collaboration,” said Professor Marja Makarow, Vice President for Research at the Academy of Finland and Chair of the FIRI Committee.

In order to fulfil the vision set out in the strategy, Finland will need to invest in the long-term development of all research infrastructures, improve the openness and collaborative use of research infrastructures, and shore up the funding base. The roadmap will provide a solid foundation for this systematic development of research infrastructures.

More information:

  • Vice President for Research Marja Makarow, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 002, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
  • Director, Riitta Maijala, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, tel. +358 295 330 388, firstname.lastname(at)minedu.fi
  • Science Adviser Merja Särkioja, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 111, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
  • Research Infrastructure Strategy and Roadmap 2014-2020 (NB! The publication is in Finnish; the English version is due later this spring)

Academy of Finland Communications
Communications Specialist Vesa Varpula
tel. +358 295 335 131
firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi

 

Examples of research infrastructures included in the roadmap for 2014–2020:

FinELib, the Finnish National Electronic Library, is a research infrastructure consortium maintained by Finnish universities, polytechnics, research institutes and special and public libraries. FinELib acquires both Finnish and international electronic resources for the needs of research, education and learning and promotes the availability and use of high-quality information throughout Finnish society.

The micro- and nanotechnology research infrastructure in Otaniemi, Espoo, is focused on competitive research into nanoscience, nanotechnology and quantum engineering. The research infrastructure provides a wide range of production processes and equipment for the manufacturing of micro- and nanostructures. The infrastructure consists of three parts: 1) a nanomicroscopy centre providing services for many different types of microscopy and for research into soft, hard and biomaterials; 2) a cryohall for research into ultra-low temperatures and nanoelectronics; and 3) Micronova, a research infrastructure for micro- and nanotechnology with cleanrooms for the fabrication and manufacturing of micro- and nanosamples, quantum devices, chips for microsystems and microfluidics, micro- and nanosensors, photonics systems and optoelectronics devices.

ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) is a European distributed research infrastructure made up of national measuring stations and a coordinating, European-level organisation, whose headquarters will be based on the University of Helsinki Kumpula Campus in Helsinki in spring 2014. The distributed network of measuring stations involves more than 100 atmospheric, ecosystem and ocean observation sites across Europe. The stations measure both atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) and the carbon and nitrogen cycles and exchange between the ecosystem and the atmosphere. ICOS provides standardised, long-term, coherent and highly precise datasets on greenhouse gases for the needs of research and for purposes of mitigating and monitoring emissions.

 

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