Finland to gain new high-level expertise

Tekes will fund six new international research projects within FiDiPro – the Finland Distinguished Professor Programme. Finland will gain new high-level expertise in the fields of software development, vaccine development, polymer chemistry, elastomer materials, construction and the measuring technology of biorefineries.

The FiDiPro researchers will work in the universities of Oulu, Jyväskylä and Helsinki, the Tampere University of Technology and Aalto University. They will come to Finland from Spain, the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and Germany.
The portion of the project costs to be financed by Tekes is €5.9 million. The new FiDiPro projects are part of the implementation of Tekes strategy with the objectives of renewing business life, strengthening the capabilities required in innovation activities and promoting the well-being of people and the environment.

In-depth expertise in information technology 

"This time, the FiDiPro programme provides funding for example for research aiming to increase the productivity of software production with the help of a foreign top-level expert. The topic is central from the viewpoint of structural change in the field of ICT," says Kari Komulainen, Director, International Network.
"In the FiDiPro projects, Tekes places special emphasis on research networked with business life, so that the input and participation of companies in the projects is highlighted. This way, the new high-level expertise can be promptly utilised by companies," explains Senior Adviser Hanna Rantala from Tekes.
So far, Tekes has funded 64 FiDiPro projects through which 52 FiDiPro professors and 14 FiDiPro fellows have come or are coming to Finland.
FiDiPro, the Finland Distinguished Professor Programme, is a joint funding programme of the Academy of Finland and Tekes, which provides Finnish universities and research institutes with the opportunity to recruit foreign or expatriate top researchers to work in Finland for a fixed period of time.
Further information:

Hanna Rantala, Senior Adviser
Tel. +358 (0)50 557 7797

Kari Komulainen, Director, International Network
Tel. +358 (0)50 557 7842

Descriptions of the new FiDiPro projects

FiDiPro Professor Natalia Juristo, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, School of Computer Science, Software Engineering, Spain

Research project: Operational Excellence in Industrial SW and Application Development with Empirical SW En
This project will help companies to achieve operational excellence and transparency in their software development. These two objectives will be reached by empirical research that will help in gaining thorough understanding and knowledge on their software development processes.
The project will run experiments to gather knowledge about the behavior of software technologies in different environments. Participating companies will learn more about the variables influencing their software development process so they will be able to control the identified variables to improve their process and make them more predictable.
As a result of this project, decision makers in industry will no longer rely on intuition, but they will be supported by a body of empirical knowledge obtained from the experiments. This will allow companies to make better trade-offs in decision making on software construction, since they will have an understanding of the benefits and risks of using certain software technologies in certain situations. This will lead to a more effective and efficient software development process and global competitive advantage.
Finnish host organization and contact person: University of Oulu, Department of Information Processing Science, Professor Markku Oivo


FiDiPro Professor Francoice Winnik, Université de Montréal, Faculty of Pharmacy and Department of Chemistry, Canada

Research project: Bioconjugated polymeric nanomaterials for industrial applications
Controlled synthesis and self-assembly of polymer-based bioconjugates will provide  broad array of novel materials for industrial applications (drug delivery, imaging, diagnostics, sensors, cell biological research tools). Despite its vast potential the technology of bioconjugated polymers and nano materials is under-developed field in Finland that needs to be improved. The project will generate an industrially applicable technology platform of bioconjugated polymeric nanostructures. The research involves versatile synthesis and testing of the nanomaterial libraries. The program will be carried out in close collaboration with industrial partners and special attention is paid to the generation of relevant IPR. The project will be linked also to the academic community in Finland beyond the project participants. This project will generate a platform of new polymer-based bioconjugated nanomaterials and relevant test methods for industrial applications. Companies from various fields are integral participants in the project.
Finnish host organization and contact person: University of Helsinki, Department of chemistry, Professor Heikki Tenhu


FiDiPro Professor Holland Cheng, University of California, Molecular and Cellular Biology, USA

Research project: Novel methods for vaccination and virus detection
The aim of this collaborative FiDiPro project is to develop novel oral vaccines against enterovirus infections. These new vaccines will give optimal immune response and give thus hope for fighting against acute as well as chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma. This project brings together crucial Finnish vaccine-oriented companies and top experts in both international and national level on vaccine development, microscopy algorithms, computing, biological imaging and on developing novel tools for sensitive and quantitative identification and tracking of viruses in cells and tissues.
Finnish host organization and contact person: University of Jyväskylä, The Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University lecturer Varpu Marjomäki and Tampere university of technology, Department of signal processing, Professor Ulla Ruotsalainen


FiDiPro Fellow Amit Das, Leibniz- Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden e.V., Germany

Research project: Bio-Inspired Elastomeric Composites
In nature, tailored, strong and ductile polymers are abundant. The project work at hand will develop active materials behaving like muscles. This goal will be met by utilizing the special mechanical properties of elastomeric materials and modifying their electrical properties by additives and fillers. The outcome is to have electrically controllable deformation in the material. The applications of such materials include micro-pumps, robotics, tactile interfaces, loudspeakers, medical prosthetics, sensing, and energy harvesting.
Finnish host organization and contact person: Tampere University of        Technology, Department of Materials Science, Professor Jyrki Vuorinen


FiDiPro Professor, Lauri Koskela, The University of Salford, School of the Built Environment, England

Research project: Building information modeling for lean construction
The BIMforLEAN project aims at strengthening the Finnish research capability in integration of lean construction and building information modelling. The overall objective of the project is to identify, demonstrate and expand the positive synergies between building information modelling and lean construction as well as to develop novel practical solutions leveraging such synergies. Project research will specifically focus on three areas: linkages between building information modelling and lean construction; mobile computing for construction; and interaction between commercial, organizational and design/production system arrangements in construction projects.
Finnish host organization and contact person: Aalto University, Department of civil and structural engineering, Professor Juha Paavola


FiDiPro Professor Dominique Richon, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées, Paris, France
Research project: Phase Equilibria for Biorefineries
The FiDiPro-PEQBIO project will improve the measurement capabilities at the Aalto University Chemical Engineering research group in the field of fluid phase equilibria, by providing two novel equipment: one suitable for measuring high temperature and high pressure gas liquid equilibria, and another of the dilutor type to be utilised for measuring the behaviour of organic solutes in water containing systems. All of the systems to be measured are related to bio-refineries. One goal of the project is to establish co-operation with MINES ParisTech CEP/TEP laboratory. In addition to Prof. Richon one post doc and one post graduate student will be hired.
Finnish host organization and contact person: Aalto University, Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology, Professor Ville Alopaeus

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