Academy of Finland appoints new committee for research infrastructures

The Board of the Academy of Finland has appointed the new members of the Finnish Research Infrastructure Committee (FIRI Committee).

The tasks of the FIRI Committee include monitoring and developing Finnish and international research infrastructure activities. The FIRI Committee submits proposals to the Board of the Academy of Finland on long-term research infrastructure plans, selects projects to be funded in Finland and monitors the projects. The Committee also takes care of other infrastructure tasks as assigned to it by the Board.

The chair and members of the Committee, appointed by the Academy for a three-year term, have wide-ranging experience of organisations and infrastructures that make up the Finnish research and innovation system. They are esteemed researchers or experts in science policy. In accordance with the Act on the Academy of Finland, staff members of the Academy’s Administration Office can sit on the Committee as the chair or as members.

Most of the members of the previous FIRI Committee continue as members also in the new Committee. This is a way to secure the continuity of the operations. The Academy consulted the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture before deciding on the composition of the new Committee.

The Committee is chaired by Professor Marja Makarow, Vice President for Research at the Academy of Finland. The vice chair is Director Riitta Maijala from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. The other members are:

• Professor Pauline von Bonsdorff (University of Jyväskylä)
• Professor Paula Eerola (University of Helsinki)
• Vice-Rector Keijo Hämäläinen (Universities Finland (UNIFI), University of Helsinki)
• Director General Lea Kauppi (Finnish Environment Institute)
• Professor Juhani Knuuti (University of Turku
• President Markku Lahtinen (Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences, Tampere Polytechnic)
• Industrial Counsellor Petri Lehto (Ministry of Employment and the Economy)
• Rector Matti Manninen (University of Jyväskylä)
• Director General Jussi Nuorteva (National Archives)
• Vice Rector, Research Taina Pihlajaniemi (University of Oulu)
• Executive Vice President (Strategic Research) Anne-Christine Ritschkoff, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
• Permanent Secretary Päivi Sillanaukee (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health)
• Professor Lea Sistonen (Åbo Akademi University)
• Director General Petteri Taalas (Finnish Meteorological Institute)
• Rector Tuula Teeri (Aalto University)

Counsellor of Education Petteri Kauppinen from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture was appointed as a permanent expert for the Committee.

In addition, the Board of the Academy of Finland allocated 10 million euros in 2014 budget authority for the FIRI Committee. The funds are intended for the upgrading of research environments, especially national and international research infrastructures. The Committee also received 8.5 million euros to distribute to research infrastructures in 2014.

Research infrastructures form a reserve of research facilities, equipment, materials and services. As such, they enable research and development at various stages of innovation, while supporting organised research, researcher training and teaching. They also support and develop research and innovation capacity. Research infrastructures consist of equipment, information networks, databases, multidisciplinary research centres, research stations, collections, libraries and related user services, where these are fundamental to research.

For more information, please contact the chair of the FIRI Committee, Vice President for Research Marja Makarow, tel. +358 295 335 002, firstname.lastname(at)

Academy of Finland Communications
Communications Specialist Leena Vähäkylä
tel. +358 295 335 139

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