Profiling funding call and Flagship Programme call have progressed to panel interviews

Aalto University submitted applications to the Academy of Finland calls for the strategic profiling of Finnish universities and for the flagship programme in November.

The applications were carefully prepared and the first feedback indicates high quality: The chair for the evaluation panel in the profiling call has already said Aalto’s proposal to be of excellent quality and demonstrating commitment to Aalto strategy. In addition, both Aalto-coordinated flagship proposals were selected for the second round of the call.

– I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all, who participated in drafting the applications, for a sizable contribution in a very tight schedule. The extensive work resulted in comprehensive applications, which hopefully will be successful, and also serve us in our strategic planning, says Vice President Tuija Pulkkinen.

Both funding calls have now progressed to a phase where international panels interview the applicants. The Academy of Finland decides on the flagships in April and on the profiling funding in May.   

The second call under the Flagship Programme will open in May and close before Midsummer. The next profiling call is likely to take place in October-November. Aalto will prepare for these calls in spring by selecting the themes for the applications.

Competitive funding to strengthen university research profiles

With its application submitted in November, Aalto seeks funding to the ongoing profiling actions to support our potential to carry out reforms outlined in our strategy.

Profi4 application, now being in evaluation, focuses on disruptive technologies and changes in the society. The proposed four themes build on Aalto key research areas: (1) Quantum technology, (2) Smart mobility, (3) Future of work and (4) Experience design. Aalto applies funding to recruit academic personnel (fixed-term professor-level positions, lecturers, doctoral-level personnel to support infrastructures, postdocs, doctoral students) in these areas and to set up a new Experience Platform.

An international panel comprising professors, rectors and vice rectors of European universities, reviews the applications. The panel chair has already interviewed President Ilkka Niemelä and Vice President Tuija Pulkkinen. The whole panel will interview Aalto management representatives in February. The Academy of Finland decide on the funding in May.

Read the application (pdf).

The Academy of Finland has annually been allocated 50 M€ to be granted to 14 Finnish universities to strengthen their research profiles. The purpose of this funding opportunity is to support and speed up the strategic profiling of universities to improve the quality of research. This is the fourth profiling funding call. In the three previous calls, Aalto has been granted 36.4 M€:

  • With Profi-1 funding (2015-2019), Aalto strengthens its four core research areas: ICT and digitalization, Materials and sustainable use of natural resources, Arts and design knowledge building and Global business dynamics.
  • With Profi-2 funding (2016-2020), Aalto supports its three cross-cutting research areas: Advanced energy solutions, Human-centered living environments and Health and wellbeing.
  • With Profi-3 funding (2017-2021), Aalto focuses on developing research activities that support the growth of the Aalto innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurial activities. The three themes have potential to boost future economic growth in Finland: Digital technology ecosystems, Sustainable production and consumption, and a narrower but highly timely Marine and Arctic Technology.

Flagship Programme          

Aalto submitted two coordinated applications to the flagship program call in November. The Academy of Finland selected both of them for the second stage of the call:

  • Competence Center for the Materials Bioeconomy: A Flagship for our Sustainable Future, joint application with VTT, consortium leader Prof. Orlando Rojas
  • Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence, joint application with the University of Helsinki, consortium leader Prof. Samuel Kaski

In addition to two Aalto-led applications, Aalto participates in one proposal also invited to the second stage:

  • Flagship of Photonics Research and Innovation, coordinator: Tampere University of Technology, other partners VTT and University of Eastern Finland.

The Academy of Finland shortlisted the eight strongest applications based on the results of reviewer reports. Next, two international peer review panels will evaluate the applications and interview the applicants. One panel will focus on scientific quality, the other on research impact. The Academy of Finland will select the flagships on 18 April. The aim is to grant funding to 2–4 applications.

See all eight applications selected for the second phase.

This is the first call for the recently established Flagship Programme. The aim of the program is to pool together expertise from different fields in Finland to form high-level research and impact clusters that will further contribute to increasing the quality and impact of Finnish research. A flagship is an effective mix of cutting-edge research, impact in support of economic growth or society, close connections to the business sector and society at large, adaptability, and a strong commitment from host organizations. The Academy’s funding budget for this Flagship Programme call is 25 M€.

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