Key Project funding has advanced research collaboration and use of research evidence

11 Sep 2018

The Academy of Finland’s Key Project funding scheme, “Forging ahead with Research”, has effectively increased opportunities for research collaboration and contributed to the utilisation of research results. This is the conclusion drawn in interim reports submitted by the funded researchers. The Academy of Finland has compiled the reports into an aggregated report and analysis.

Based on the researchers’ reports, the additional funding made available through the Key Project funding scheme has helped give rise to new collaboration both within and beyond the scientific community. The researchers reported that the results of their projects had had and will have broad and versatile impact. The projects have also extensively made use of research infrastructures.

The Academy’s Key Project funding scheme is part of the Strategic Programme of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Government (Finland, a Land of Solutions). The funding is designed to support the work of early-career researchers and reinforce the collaboration between those who conduct research and those who use its results. The Academy distributed a total of 30 million euros to 101 research projects through the Key Project funding call, “Forging Ahead with Research”, in 2016.

The projects funded through the call had been rated scientifically high-quality in previously organised peer reviews. The call was open to projects that were ongoing in 2016 and that were headed by early-career researchers. The call was open-themed and open to all scientific disciplines.

The funding scheme was a new experiment in the Academy of Finland’s funding palette. It provided a new, researcher-driven way to further the broad-range utilisation of excellent scientific research in society.

Riitta Maijala, Vice President for Research, said: “It’s been great to see how active the funded projects and researchers have been. As a whole, the 101 projects reported having forged connections with nearly 500 new collaborators. The funding has clearly inspired the researchers to engage in impact-promoting collaboration. It has also proven to be an effective incentive for fine-tuning the results and a bridge to applying the results together with collaborators.”

For the interim reports, the researchers were asked to describe the societal impact of their research from different perspectives: world views, culture and understanding, public services and societal functions, economy and commerce, health and wellbeing and the environment and natural resources. The researcher also had the opportunity to account for impact in other areas. Most impact was reported in the areas of economy and commerce, and health and wellbeing.

Key Project results showcased at Finlandia Hall seminar

Researchers of the funded Key Projects will present their results on 18 September at 12–17 at Finlandia Hall. The event is open to all interested parties, to collaborators and other end-users of research evidence.

Summary of Key Project funding interim reports (PDF)

Original Finnish text by Aino Laine

Last modified 11 Sep 2018
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