University of Helsinki receiving millions of funding from the European Union

Over ten million euros of project money available to a total of 28 research projects.

researchers Finland received a total of 96 million euros in calls of proposals in the EU’s framework programme for last year. Most the funding, 41 per cent, went to universities.

Every fourth euro received by Finnish universities will end up in the University of Helsinki. All in all 28 projects are in the position to receive 11 million euros of funding. Final decisions require success in financial negotiations.

The University of Helsinki is coordinating a major joint research project entitled “Novel Consolidated Bioprocess Technology for Hydrolysis and Fermentation of Lignocellulose” (HYPE). The negotiations will be completed soon and the decision will be awarded in April.

“We are developing new biofuel raw materials that are used in bioethanol production. We can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut down production costs,” says Liisa Viikari from the Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, who acts as the head of the project.

The EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for funding international and multisectoral R&D cooperation was launched last year. The first calls for proposals attracted more than 1,600 applicants from Finland and almost 51,000 from the whole EU area.

The available funding ranges from some tens of millions to almost two hundred thousand euros. However, funding is only one of the benefits that the Framework Programme offers to research projects.

“It is important to be involved in developing new technologies and exporting and importing expertise. We already have in-depth biotechnology expertise but lack broad-scale optimisation and testing opportunities,” Ms. Viikari says about the benefits gained by her own project.

The University of Helsinki also runs two other projects coordinated by the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland. One of the projects concerns the ENGAGE researcher network for genetic epidemiology while the GEN2PHEN project involves the building of a gene information system.

There are constantly open calls for different disciplines in the EU’s Framework Programme. Further information on the Seventh Framework Programme

Text: Susanna Rautio
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro
Translation: Valtasana Oy

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