Academy of Finland grants €38m for research into natural sciences and engineering

10 Jun 2016

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 Academy’s Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering, the funding was awarded to 91 projects that will primarily run for four years. Of all funded projects, 31 per cent were part of a research consortium. In all, the Research Council processed 541 applications for Academy Project funding.

The success rate was 17 per cent and the average sum granted per project was around 420,000 euros. Over the past few years, the funding available through the Academy Project funding scheme has not increased at the same rate as the number of applications submitted. This has forced the Research Council to scale down its funding amounts.

The Research Council based its decisions primarily on scientific quality. In addition, it paid attention to the regeneration of science and the possible impact of the proposed research. The Research Council strives to support research in the natural sciences and engineering as widely as possible. The funded projects cover a broad range of topics, such as energy, the climate, bioeconomy and digitalisation.

Examples of funded projects:

Assistant Professor Mari Lundström (Aalto University) was granted funding for the NoWASTE research project, which is aimed at developing an economically feasible route for the recovery of precious metals from complicated and impure waste streams. Another objective of the project is to prepare high-quality functional surfaces (e.g. hydrophobic surfaces) directly from waste streams.

Docent Jussi Paatero (Finnish Meteorological Institute), Researcher Kaarle Kupiainen (Finnish Environment Institute), Docent Jarkko Tissari (University of Eastern Finland) and Docent Sirkku Manninen (University of Helsinki) were granted funding for a joint project exploring how increased economic activity in the Arctic region affects emissions of black carbon. For example, the project will quantify the contribution of the most important sources of black carbon observed in the Arctic atmosphere and snow, such as oil drilling, shipping and wood combustion. The researchers also intend to study how black carbon in the Arctic atmosphere and snow will affect the Arctic climate over the next 50 years. The knowledge produced in the project can influence negotiations of the Arctic Council as regards facilitating economic development in the Arctic without jeopardising the Arctic’s role in cooling the Earth’s climate.

Professor Tuomo Sainio (Lappeenranta University of Technology) was granted funding to study novel functional foods. Sainio’s project will investigate a new method to produce oligosaccharides from beta-glucan, a well-known dietary fibre, by applying advanced chemical reaction engineering methods. The goal of the research is to develop functional food ingredients to promote good health.

Professor Jari Saramäki (Aalto University) was granted funding to study the digital daily rhythms of individuals and populations with the help of a wide variety of datasets, such as anonymised data on mobile-phone calls. The project aims to improve our understanding of the various factors that drive people’s daily rhythms, such as communication and online activity at different times of the day. In addition, Saramäki will investigate different life rhythms in the countryside versus cities as well as the age dependence of sleep rhythms. The results of the research will be used to plan applications for personalised and digital healthcare. For example, algorithms that detect sudden disruptions in daily rhythms may be useful in clinical applications for monitoring mental health patients.

More information

  • list of funded projects
  • Science Adviser Sami Heinäsmäki, tel. +358 295 335 045
  • Science Adviser Timo Lehtinen, tel. +358 295 335 054
  • Science Adviser Outi Oila, tel. +358 295 335 086
  • Science Adviser Antti Väihkönen, tel. +358 295 335 140
    emails: firstname.lastname(at)

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

Last modified 10 Jun 2016
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