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Academy of Finland supports scientific risk-taking with purpose-made funding

2 Sep 2015

The Academy of Finland has launched a funding trial to support particularly innovative and high-quality projects confirmed to involve promising risk-taking in terms of research. The Academy has granted around 1.7 million euros to ten projects in the health research field for a period of 16 months, after which the Academy’s Research Council for Health will decide on follow-on funding for the projects.

The risks contained in the projects could involve new approaches, methodology, promising multidisciplinarity or further development of preliminary results. This is a separate funding opportunity available to applications hand-picked by the Research Council or Health from applications submitted to the Academy in September 2014 for Academy Project funding, funding for research posts as Academy Research Fellow and funding for research posts as Postdoctoral Researcher.

The projects were reviewed by international panels alongside other reviews carried out by the Research Council for Health. In their reports, the international reviewers gave the applicants feedback and ideas for the further development of the risk elements in the projects. Projects in receipt of funding will be re-evaluated after one year, based on which follow-on funding will be granted to the most promising projects.

Science is in need of renewal

The Academy of Finland’s funding is competition-based and its objective is to realise scientifically ambitious projects. The high-risk funding by the Research Council for Health is aimed at renewing scientific research: high-risk funding can encourage bold approaches to research that are needed if scientific breakthroughs and the renewal of scientific activity are to succeed. Professor Tuula Tamminen, the Chair of the Research Council for Health, notes that funding can easily become focused on established research as competition intensifies. “We’re now attempting to develop high-risk investments as a renovator of science through ten challenging spearhead projects that involve controlled risk-taking. The spectrum of projects also reflects the diversity of the scientific risk involved,” Tamminen says.

The funded projects have been internationally reviewed as excellent and come from all over Finland. They represent various disciplines such as cellular and molecular biology, pharmacy, neuroscience and nursing and dental science.

More information

  • list of funding decisions
  • Science Adviser Antti Hautaniemi, tel. +358 295 335 006, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
  • Professor Tuula Tamminen, tel. +358 3 3551 6673, firstname.lastname(at)uta.fi 

Academy of Finland Communications Anna-Riikka Oravakangas, Communications Specialist tel. +358 295 335 056 firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi

Last modified 2 Oct 2015
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