Research projects promoting green and digital transition receive funding from Academy of Finland

13 Dec 2022

The Academy of Finland has decided on funding for twelve consortia under the 2022 call for research on key areas of green and digital transition. The funding totals around 19 million euros. In accordance with the state budget, the Academy will support the projects with approximately 14 million euros from the 2022 budget authority and approximately 5 million euros from the 2023 authority.

The selected research projects will contribute broadly to the green and digital transition by developing new solutions to promote carbon neutrality and mitigate and adapt to climate change. The research topics relate, among other things, to the health effects of climate change, sustainable energy technology, forest management and environmental law.

According to Professor Johanna Myllyharju, chair of the deciding subcommittee, it was great to see consortia among the applications that innovatively bring together many fields of research relevant for the dual green and digital transition.

Myllyharju said: “The funding decisions now made support diverse research to address topical challenges. The decision-makers were delighted that the funded projects included projects led by early-career researchers and promising initiatives that could contribute to the development of new competence clusters.”

Examples of funded projects:

Christopher Raymond (University of Helsinki) heads a consortium that combines mobility modelling, participatory mapping and transformative governance methods. The aim is to enable transport mode shifts from car use to more sustainable options. In keeping with Finland’s national Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), the project will generate new knowledge about how people live in urban settings and how this local knowledge can be combined with urban policy, law and planning practice to enable rapid transformations towards carbon neutrality and climate resilience.

Ari Seppälä (Aalto University) heads a consortium that studies what environmental, economic and energy efficiency effects can be achieved by optimising energy systems through the use of novel materials. The research makes use of artificial intelligence. A major current challenge for utilising renewable energy resources is their intermittency in time, causing gaps between supply and demand. Efficient energy storages play a key role in resolving this problem.

The funding granted is based on the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and the Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland. The projects funded according to Finland’s national Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) will form part of the Academy of Finland’s programme package that includes other projects and research infrastructures that have been granted RRF funding.

In the decision-making, the subcommittee ensured that the projects comply with RRF criteria. The criteria include the ‘Do No Significant Harm’ principle, whereby the projects must not include activities that cause significant harm to European environmental targets.

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