As 2021 is drawing to a close it’s a good time to briefly take stock of the past year and to look forward to what the future will bring.
In spring 2021 FRIF opened the second round of the Tandem Industry Academia call for proposals. As before, we received a huge number of quality applications for projects supporting and promoting the impact of joint industry-academia collaborations. FRIF awarded funding to 11 new joint projects. In October, the Board of the Finnish Research Impact Foundation decided to open the third call for applications in spring 2022.
In early 2021 we also came out with FRIF’s first report on the state and funding of industry-academia cooperation in Finland. The report immediately prompted lively debate that continued throughout the autumn. Later in the year the Parliamentary RDI Working Group submitted its proposal for a legislative act to increase funding for research and development. At the same time, a new updated version was released of the RDI Roadmap that was published in spring 2020 to create a more attractive environment and stronger incentives for long-term cooperation between academia, business and industry, and RDI professionals. These steps are critical in a climate of toughening international RDI competition.
During 2021 the FRIF Board also announced its new strategy for the 2022–2024 term. The strategy is built around the Finnish Research Impact Foundation’s core mission, which is to improve Finnish knowledge and expertise by supporting research excellence and by developing new, impact-enhancing forms of cooperation between industry and academic research.
In other words, FRIF is not a research funding agency in the most conventional sense of the term, but it is keen to find and explore new creative avenues. Unlike larger players that can sometimes be slow and cumbersome in their movement, FRIF has the agility to develop and test out new avenues and solutions. Our focus will be shifting towards identifying funding gaps and bottlenecks in order to find novel solutions through funding experiments, for instance. In 2022, we plan to engage our stakeholders more closely in this development process.
We also have plans in place to conduct further assessments and investigations – from a slightly different angle than before. Moreover, at the start of 2022, there will be a new board personnel joining our team – but more on these will follow later.
A warm thank you for your cooperation during the past year and all the best for the future!
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
On behalf of the Foundation,
Petro Poutanen, CEO