The final reports of the first projects funded through the Academy of Finland’s funding scheme to strengthen university research profiles (Profi) have been approved. The first Profi funding round was carried out in 2015. In the final reports, the universities made their own comments on the impact of the funding.
The universities reported that the funding had supported, for example, the development of new scientific results, strengthened the position of the universities as leading experts in their profiling areas and promoted multidisciplinary activities. The Profi funding had also played a role in increasing the appeal of the universities, which in turn facilitated the creation and strengthening of strategic cooperation also with business and industry. Between 2015 and 2019, the Academy of Finland allocated a total of 50 million euros to fund the strategy-based measures proposed by universities to improve the quality of their research.
Riitta Maijala, Vice President for Research at the Academy, said: “A key issue in the final reports was how Profi funding, together with the universities’ other funding, has supported the implementation of each university’s strategy in order to improve the quality of research.”
The final reports show that Profi funding strengthened key competence areas in accordance with the universities’ strategies and accelerated the allocation of additional resources to them. The funding helped to define and reinforce the national and international profile and visibility of the universities.
Maijala added: “The final reports also highlighted the importance of funding for deepening cooperation between different organisations both in Finland and internationally, including cooperation between universities and research institutes.”
Profi funding helps in managing long-term investments and choices
The final reports of the first Profi call show, among other things, that the funding promoted the identification of and response to research needs in Finland, Europe and globally. The university profiling areas have demonstrated strong societal relevance.
For example, the final reports show that the thematic approach and multidisciplinary cooperation supported by the Profi funding have produced innovative research projects for the universities. In addition, the funding pooled together platforms of research infrastructures, boosted interdisciplinary research and improved staff skills.
In practice, based on the universities’ final reports, the concrete effects of the Profi funding relate to the improved quality of research through recruitment, visit programmes and collaboration platforms.
- Riitta Maijala, Vice President for Research, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 002, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
- Anne Heinänen, Counsellor of Science, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 021, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi