€38m million funding boost for natural sciences and engineering research

12 Jun 2015

The Academy of Finland has granted a total of some 38 million euros in funding for research projects in the field of natural sciences and engineering.

Granted in the form of Academy Project funding and by the Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering, the funding was awarded to 85 projects that will run for primarily four years. The average sum granted was 444,000 euros per project. Of all funded projects, 38 per cent were part of a research consortium. In total, the Research Council processed more than 500 applications for Academy Project funding.

Funding to advance the quality and renewal of Finnish science and research

All funded projects were of excellent scientific quality and showed much promise in terms of research impact. The researcher mobility involved in the projects, the new initiatives and the support to early-career researchers all serve to promote the renewal of science and to strengthen scientific quality. The projects cover a wide range of topics, such as internal combustion engines, biorefinery processes, advanced battery technology and sensors to measure and analyse human movement:

Senior Research Fellow Ossi Kaario (Aalto University) conducts research into dual-fuel (DF) combustion using state-of-the-art techniques, such as the flamelet-generated manifold approach. DF combustion means that two fuels burn simultaneously. The reason for the interest in this combustion technique is that by burning natural gas in a diesel engine, it is possible to achieve very low emissions and at the same time very high efficiency. The project, an international research undertaking, will involve research into both the physics and the chemistry of DF combustion.

Docent Mari Kallioinen (Lappeenranta University of Technology) and Researcher Matti Reinikainen (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd) head a consortium project developing a membrane whose catalytic activity decreases lignin-originated fouling in biorefinery applications. Today, fouling caused by lignin significantly limits the use of polymeric membranes, for example, in treating wood extracts and black liquor. The results of the project can promote the development of cost-efficient biorefinery processes and be utilised in all processes treating ligneous compounds.

Professor Vesa-Pekka Lehto (University of Eastern Finland) is developing Li-ion batteries with both high energy and high power density. Thanks to its high theoretical capacity, silicon is regarded as one of the most promising negative electrode materials. The main issue, however, is the pulverisation of the silicon electrode upon charging or discharging the battery. Lehto’s project aims at developing an advanced yet commercially sound hybrid material intended to withstand the large dimensional changes and to ensure adequate electrical conductivity and Li-ion diffusion rate.

Professor Robert Piche (Tampere University of Technology) and Professor Taija Juutinen (University of Jyväskylä) are working together to develop a new generation of
small, inexpensive sensors with which to measure and analyse human movement in a natural environment. The new sensor technology will form the basis for new motion analysis methods in kinesiology that can bring improvements to athletic performance and fitness training. The solutions developed in the project can be applied to swimming, rowing, running and other activities.

More information:

  • list of funded projects
  • Science Adviser Outi Oila, tel. +358 295 335 086
  • Science Adviser Sami Heinäsmäki, tel. +358 295 335 045
  • Science Adviser Samuli Hemming, tel. +358 295 335 024

emails: firstname.lastname(at)

Academy of Finland Communications
Vesa Varpula, Communications Specialist
tel. +358 295 335 131

Last modified 12 Jun 2015
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