12 million euros from the Academy of Finland to strengthen the research profile areas at the University of Oulu

The Academy of Finland is supporting universities in strengthening their research profiles and has now granted PROFI funding for the years 2023–2028. The University of Oulu was granted 12 million euros to support its strong research areas, which are related to sustainable materials and systems, digitalisation and climate change in the northern environment.
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The University of Oulu received PROFI funding for three research themes: Hydrogen Future as a Climate Change Solution (H2Future), Hybrid Intelligence: Human-AI Co-evolution and Learning in Multi-realities (HI) and Frontiers Arctic and Global Resilience (Front). New research themes strengthen existing research profile areas and link them to new multidisciplinary topics.

The themes that have now received funding will receive matching funding from the University of Oulu for the amount of the Academy of Finland’s funding, as has been done with previous PROFI funding. With the matching funding, this amounts to 24 million euros.

The University of Oulu’s application was once again ranked at the top in the profiling application round, and it was rated to be the third best of all applications. The University of Oulu’s application was rated excellent by the international panel of experts. One research theme, H2Future, received the highest grade of 6/6. Hydrogen research is under great pressure and raises hopes of a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in different sectors. The University of Oulu’s emergence as one of the most important hydrogen research centres in Finland relies on a multidisciplinary research tradition. Research promotes clean hydrogen production methods, the utilisation of hydrogen in steel production and the development of hydrogen-resistant steels.

The Hybrid Intelligence theme (HI) combines the strengths of both humans and machines in ethical, responsible and productive ways. The multidisciplinary HI research links a number of excellence areas of University of Oulu, such as emotion AI, learning processes and perception engineering for AI-based solutions for example in education and nursing. The front theme aims to advance existing frontiers of knowledge on the systemic changes needed for resilience building, and to find solutions to wicked problems of sustainability. Front will take on a systemic approach to further our understanding of resilience in the context of global change with a strong focus on responsibility and sustainability.

The Academy of Finland’s PROFI funding has deepened the University of Oulu’s research in the profile areas and the 6G Flagship for years. Taina Pihlajaniemi, Vice Rector for Research at the University of Oulu, is glad for the granted funding.

“The funding demonstrates that we have succeeded in sharpening the university’s research profile and in developing the quality of Finnish research. The research topics and measures collected from our research groups are based on our established strengths, and they offer good opportunities for multidisciplinary expansion and combination of research topics. I want to thank all those involved in the preparation and in particular research theme leaders Marko Huttula, Sanna Järvelä and Jarkko Saarinen.”

The review panel praised the university for plans that promote societal impact and for national and international networks.

The purpose of the Academy of Finland’s PROFI funding is to support and speed up the strategic profiling of Finnish universities to improve the quality of research. Between 2015 and 2019, the PROFI call took place annually (PROFI1–5) for four-year funding periods. Starting from the sixth call in 2020, the call has taken place biennially for six-year periods. A profiling area is a well-selected research area or thematic research entity that the university intends to develop in accordance with its strategy.

The Academy of Finland granted a total of €100 million PROFI funding to nine universities. The granted sums range from 2.2 million euros to 30.1 million euros. The applications were reviewed by an international panel of experts, whose members consisted of heads of European universities.

The Academy of Finland’s PROFI funding enables regular high-quality recruitment in Oulu and Finland. Read about the professors who have recently started at our profiling programmes:

Thora Herrmann’s research is a marriage between science and art – the effects of environmental change on animal and plant species and the Indigenous peoples in the Arctic region

Interest in the nature drives medical researcher Ali Mobasheri toward new solutions for osteoarthritis – musculoskeletal biology

Professor Minna Isomursu’s mission: Technology for promoting health – the digitalisation of care pathways, health and technology, big data infrastructures

Read more

Academy of Finland news on profiling funding

Top research at the University of Oulu

Hydrogen future and sustainable steel

Last updated: 13.1.2023