University of Oulu at record pace in winning EU research funding

The University of Oulu has been granted altogether €30 million funding from Horizon Europe, the most significant research and innovation programme in the EU. The funding will be divided into 49 projects. Horizon Europe programme opened up for the first applications a year ago in the autumn of 2021.

To date, 18 per cent of the project proposals of the University of Oulu have been granted funding, which is an excellent proportion in a competitive programme. In addition, a small percentage of applications are still waiting to be evaluated.

”EU funding forms an invaluable part of the university’s research funding. It strengthens the international research cooperation of the University of Oulu and the attachment of our researchers to the European research network,” says Taina Pihlajaniemi, Vice Rector for Research, University of Oulu.

Horizon Europe project consortiums typically consist of several dozen international partners. The projects promote interdisciplinary and cross-sectional cooperation between different actors and create solutions to major global challenges.

The granted funding highlights the University of Oulu’s strong expertise in wireless communications and 6G research as funding for 12 new projects was allocated to the 6G Flagship research programme.

”We can now proceed at an even wider front to create a competitive European digital industrial ecosystem and make Europe the global leader in 6G,” says Professor Ari Pouttu, Vice Director of 6G Flagship.

In addition to 6G and wireless communications, the projects coordinated by the University of Oulu relate to human-centric digitalization, cybersecurity of organizations, circular economy and sustainable mining.

The highly prestigious and competitive European Research Council funding, also under the Horizon Europe funding programme, has been awarded this year to two researchers at the University of Oulu. Yang Bai, specialized in energy harvesting and functional materials, received ERC Starting Grant and Caglar Elbuken, studying red blood cell distribution in capillary networks and vascular development, received ERC Consolidator Grant.

In addition, five MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships will bring skilled postdoctoral researchers to the University of Oulu on research themes such as environmental change and circular economy. Moreover, 25 international PhD researchers will be recruited for the new doctoral program, which has received MSCA COFUND funding.

Compared to the Horizon2020 programme, more projects at the University of Oulu have now received funding than in any previous year. The work carried out at the university’s research services to systematize the EU project preparation process and to support researchers, has contributed to the high quality of project proposals.

Horizon Europe projects coordinated by the University of Oulu:

  • Dynamic cybersecurity management for organisations and local/regional networks based on awareness and collaboration (CS-AWARE-NEXT), Juha Röning
  • Integration of Underutilized Ashes into Material Cycles by Industry-Urban Symbiosis (AshCycle), Tero Luukkonen
  • 6G eXperimental Research infrastructure to enable next-generation XR services (6G-XR), Ari Pouttu
  • Truly Sustainable Printed Electronics-based IoT Combining Optical and Radio Wireless Technologies (SUPERIOT), Marcos Katz
  • Sustainable exploration for orthomagmatic (critical) raw materials in the EU: Charting the road to the green energy transition (SEMACRET), Shenghong Yang
  • Agile Exploration and Geo-modelling for European Critical Raw materials (AGEMERA), Jari Joutsenvaara

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion for the years 2021-2027. It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth.