Five-year funding granted for digitalisation in water research

The DigiVesi makes a significant leap possible for all Finnish water engineering with regard to information management and programming expertise, thus also strengthening the sector's international competitiveness.
Aalto-yliopiston kampus

Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki has awarded the DigiVesi project of the Aalto University Water and Environmental Engineering research group five years of funding, a total of 290 854 euros, with the aim of making use of new digitalisation opportunities in both the group's research and education.

'Our goal is to be among the world's best in utilising opportunities borne by digitalisation and in developing tools of the future. Through the DigiVesi project we will be able to offer our students and researchers the best possible knowhow and support in service of that goal. The level and impact of our research will simultaneously be enhanced, as will the professional skills of our students,' said Professor Matti Kummu

Water research is increasingly based on the processing and analysis of vast sets of data. A wealth of open data applicable to water research, such as statistical and geographic information, is available in Finland and around the world, and being able to use that data more efficiently than before is important when estimating the effects of climate change, for example.

Digitalisation to change water engineering research

Digitalisation brings new possibilities to both research and education. It makes it possible to use and produce larger sets of digital data, to increase the efficiency of water engineering-related calculation and to share information and practices openly with other scientists as well as end users.

'We analyse these data sets with our own code, which can easily be shared among researchers, students and the scientific community. This funding will allow us to add a staff scientist to our team to conduct long-term work on building a unified software infrastructure and, by supporting our researchers, enhance programming and data processing skills for the entire group', Kummu adds.

Digital databases and researchers' modelling and analysis code are critical infrastructure for the field and thus they must be developed and, importantly, continuously maintained.

'DigiVesi is creating a new opening and strengthening soft digital infrastructure, which is also applicable to the other fields of study represented in the Department of Built Environment', said Professor Harri Koivusalo, the deputy head of the department.

'The project enables a significant leap in information management and programming expertise for the entire Finnish water sector, which will also strengthen its international competitiveness', Koivusalo added.

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