The Academy of Finland has launched a new research programme called Pandemics and Other Crises – Response and Preparedness (RESILIENCE). The aim of the Academy Programme is to support and accelerate research into the Covid-19 pandemic and other crises and ultimately to put the results of this work to good use in society. A further aim is to support research concerned with questions of crisis preparedness and with how to mitigate the effects of crises and so to improve the resilience of societies, their ability to cope, manage and adapt.
Research projects that received funding in 2020 to address the Covid-19 pandemic are also incorporated into the RESILIENCE programme. The Academy announced its first Covid-19 research funding call in April 2020. The purpose was to reorient ongoing research and shift its focus to the epidemic and the mitigation of its effects. Under this call, funding was awarded to 44 research projects by 12 different organisations in a number of different fields. Expert opinions on the applications were solicited from ministries, the Confederation of Finnish Industries, Technology Industries of Finland and Business Finland. The total amount of funding awarded came to 8.45 million euros. Projects were selected based on their ability to quickly realign and refocus their research efforts to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A summary linked below (in Finnish) provides an overview of the current status of the projects funded through the first call. It describes how the teams concerned have expanded their earlier research projects to incorporate Covid-19 themes and how the results of these projects can be used. Three of these projects were described in more detail to the press on 27 May; the corresponding press releases are posted on the Academy of Finland website.
Riitta Maijala, Vice President for Research at the Academy of Finland, is keen to stress the key role of research in tackling emerging challenges and in strengthening the capacity of society to manage and cope with crises as well as their capacity of foresight: “The Covid-19 pandemic has brought home the importance of high-quality research and expertise to welfare and to society as a whole and highlighted how investments in research have contributed to building future expertise. This is why when the pandemic struck, scientists and researchers from various fields were able to respond so quickly and turn their focus to finding ways of breaking out of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
- Riitta Maijala, Vice President for Research, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 002, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
- Sara Illman, Programme Manager, tel. +358 295 335 119, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
- projects participating in programme
- summary of projects receiving special Covid-19 funding (in Finnish)
Academy of Finland Communications
Leena Vähäkylä, Communications Specialist