The Academy of Finland Board has announced a set of reforms to the Centre of Excellence programme. Future programmes will place greater focus on the objective of scientific regeneration. The CoE funding period will be extended from six years to eight. At its meeting on Monday the Board also took the decision to allocate funding to one of the Government’s key projects.
A Centre of Excellence is a research community of one or several research teams that are already at rather than striving for the international cutting edge of research in their field. With its CoE funding instrument, the Academy of Finland supports innovative and high-quality research environments that have considerable societal impact.
The Finnish CoE programme contributes to the renewal of science by supplying new research topics, new methods and approaches, and new research teams. Thanks to the long-term funding provided in collaboration with CoE host organisations, the funding instrument effectively works as an incentive for risk-taking and new initiatives in research.
Under the new scheme, the previous six-year CoE funding period will be extended to cover eight years. The centres will go through a midterm scientific review after the first four years. The results of the review will then determine the level of funding for the remaining four years – the funding may increase, decrease or cease entirely. The overall goal is to monitor the progress of the centres more closely than before, and to give host organisations a chance to prepare for and respond to changing funding levels. Furthermore, the Board decided that the number of CoE terms will not be limited.
The first call under the revamped CoE scheme is set to open in April 2016. The Academy will arrange an open briefing on the CoE scheme and the upcoming call in Helsinki on 16 February 2016.
Also in the pipeline: new Academy Programmes, ‘key project’ funding
The Academy Board has also decided to earmark funds for two new Academy Programmes, one focusing on bioeconomy and the other on health promotion. These new Academy Programmes will be included in the Academy’s April 2016 call.
In addition, the Academy is set to open a targeted call in response to the Government’s strategic key projects programme. The Academy will support the key project that concerns strengthening the cooperation between higher education institutions and business life to bring innovations to the market. The targeted call is especially geared towards early-career researchers and towards promoting their opportunities to conduct first-class research and utilise research results. The Academy of Finland and Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation will hold a joint information meeting on the new key project funding scheme on 3 February 2016.
Marja Makarow, Vice President for Research, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 118, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
Professor Heikki Ruskoaho, Chair of the Board of the Academy of Finland, tel. +358 50 448 0772, firstname.lastname(at)helsinki.fi
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