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Aalto University to launch an energy programme

Aalto University sets up an interdisciplinary programme that will boost energy research and teaching at the university. In the Aalto University strategy, energy was included from the very beginning and all Aalto schools study and teach energy issues.

Finding sustainable energy solutions is one of the greatest challenges of the human race. In the next 20-30 years, energy saving and the intensification of energy production and use will form the most potential areas for affecting the sufficiency of energy and reducing adverse impacts. Research is needed in the versatile development of both energy technologies and the operating environment, and this calls for involvement from all disciplines at Aalto University.

The energy programme will be implemented by following the excellent practices of the ongoing MIDE programme. Named after the ex-rector of TKK, Matti Pursula, the “Matti Pursula Chair” professorship is directed at the programme’s domain, and steps will be taken to seek a top-level scientist for the professorship, preferably someone inspiring with specialisation in managing extensive research programmes.

The programme will focus on research that could produce solutions which significantly improve energy efficiency, with a wide scope. The goal is to launch ambitious multisectoral research projects as soon as the autumn of 2012. The plan is to continue the programme until 2019.

For the projects taking place in 2012, approx. EUR 1 million of Aalto University’s own funding is available, and in the coming years, up to EUR 4 million per year. The strategic funding from the University will ensure a good basic funding level. Other Finnish and international research funding will also be sought for the programme.

The President of Aalto University has invited Professor Yrjö Neuvo as the Chairman of the programme’s Management team. The other members of the Management team include Professor Pekka Pirilä and Professor Risto Nieminen. Elina Karvonen is the Assistant to the Management team.

The Management team prepares the selection criteria for the projects and the call for application. Groups interested in the programme should prepare for the application by seeking challenging research themes in which top-class results necessitate the formation of multisectoral research groups.

The projects for the programme will be selected through a two-stage application process. The instructions for the call for research initiatives in the first application round will be published on 15 February. The brief project descriptions needed in the call for research initiatives are to be submitted to the address elina.karvonen@aalto.fi by 15 March 2012.

For the most promising project proposals, more detailed plans will be requested in April 2012. The projects that best meet the application criteria will be launched as soon as the autumn of 2012. A new application round is likely to open in January 2013.

The Management team will organise a briefing session and an ideas forum in Keilaniemi Life Science Center on 28 February 2012 from 9 am to 1 pm.

Further information: Professor Yrjö Neuvo yrjo.neuvo@aalto.fi or Assistant to the Management team Elina Karvonen elina.karvonen@aalto.fi.