Both new flagships were granted over €8 million in funding from the flagship programme of the Academy of Finland. Photo: Aki-Pekka Sinikoski
Yesterday the Academy of Finland selected the Finnish Centre for Artificial Intelligence (FCAI), to be funded under its Flagship programme. FCAI is a competence cluster made up of Aalto University, Helsinki University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
Aalto University additionally is part of the Photonics Research and Innovation flagship that was also granted funding. The flagship is led by Tampere University and comprises also the University of Eastern Finland and VTT.
Finally, Aalto University’s and VTT’s flagship FinnCERES, which concentrates on developing new biomaterials, was selected to be funded earlier in the spring of 2018.
"We are really glad and proud that our expertise, and that of our partners, has again been rated to a very high standard. Thanks to the flagship funding, we will achieve significant results together in solving current challenging questions," says Ossi Naukkarinen, Vice President of Research in Aalto University.
Photonics, which is a technology based on light, has a central role in almost all areas of life. Photonics is being utilized in communication and biomedicine as well as in energy and environmental technology, production technology and consumer products. The field has a huge growth outlook, and it has been estimated it will create million new jobs in Europe by 2030. In Finland only there are already over 200 companies specialized in photonics.
Zhipei Sun, Professor of Photonics in Aalto University, says: "This is great news for Aalto and Finland, as photonics is a critical key enabling technology of the future. The prestigious flagship investment will significantly boost photonics research and innovation in Finland. In Aalto, the recognized photonics activities will continue concentrating in Micronova where the world-class infrastructure and our strong collaboration with VTT and the other flagship partners create a unique R&D environment for making a difference in the international scale."
The funding for FCAI ensures effective coordination of the expertise in artificial intelligence that’s currently spread across in Finland. According to Samuel Kaski, the leader of FCAI and Aalto University’s professor, the flagship status enables involving researchers from different disciplines to do research for a joint agenda. This way FCAI can provide artificial intelligence for the benefit of other disciplines, society and business.
"The flagship status is a strong message from the society that artificial intelligence research is considered important," Samuel Kaski says.
Academy of Finland’s press release on Flagship funding
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The Academy of Finland’s Flagship Programme
The Flagship Programme promotes excellent research and its versatile impact. The programme supports future knowledge and sustainable solutions to societal challenges; and advances economic growth by developing new business opportunities. By providing substantial long-term funding, the programme accelerates active collaboration between different partners and facilitates the development and expansion of systematic operations.