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6.7.2020 9:23

FIRI 2020 Research infrastructures as collaborative platforms

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2-stage internal process: deadlines on 14th August and 2nd September 2020

The Academy of Finland has received a one-off increase of 81 million euros in its budget authority through the Finnish Government’s fourth supplementary budget. In accordance with the supplementary budget, the Academy will target funding to support the National Roadmap for Research, Development and Innovation and its objectives relating to solutions for a sustainable and developing society. With a view to supporting the implementation of the RDI roadmap, the Academy will open three calls for applications on 11th August 2020: a third call within the Finnish Flagship Programme, a call to support the use of research infrastructures as collaborative platforms, and a call to fund RDI partnership networks.

The aim of the ‘Research infrastructures as collaborative platforms’ call is to strengthen and develop the wide and versatile usability of research infrastructures and to support the establishment of competence centres. Through the call, the Academy of Finland seeks to support the development of research infrastructures, carried out in cooperation with the business sector, with the aim of creating a platform where research, education and innovation can intersect and evolve.  Prior and demonstrated cooperation between the applicant and at least one business partner is a requirement for being granted funding. The cooperation may also involve other actors. The call also implements the objectives set in the Strategy for National Research Infrastructures in Finland 2020–2030.

 

WHAT DOES THE FIRI FUNDING COVER?

The call’s funding budget is 20 million euros. The recommended minimum limit for the Academy’s contribution in an individual application is 200,000 euros. Correspondingly, the recommended minimum limit for the Academy’s contribution to a consortium subproject is 100,000 euros and 600,000 euros in the case of the whole consortium.

The funding period starts retroactively on 1st July 2020 and ends on 30th Nov 2021. The cost estimate should be drafted as follows: 50% of the total project costs in 2020 and 50% in 2021. For justified reasons and to start the project, the site of research may apply for an advance, which comes to up to 40% of the project’s funding. The advance must be applied for by 14th December 2020.

The funding to be granted is intended to cover the purchase of equipment and systems and the development of services, including the salary costs of persons developing these activities. The funding cannot be used for research infrastructure maintenance costs nor for salary costs of maintenance personnel. Permanent operating expenses should mainly be covered by funding from host organisations.

The Academy’s funding contribution comes to no more than 70%. Matching funding to cover 30% of the acquisition of equipment and systems, should be applied in the internal application given for the University’s prioritisation.

In this call, only research organisations may apply for and be granted funding. The potential funding or in-kind contributions of the collaborators cannot be included in the self-financing calculation of the research infrastructure.

 

INSTRUCTIONS HOW TO APPLY FOR FIRI FUNDING

The Academy’s deadline for applications is 2nd September 2020 at 16.15 local Finnish time. The non-negotiable call deadline also applies to consortia.

FIRI funding is applied by a research organisation. The management assigns the responsibility for application submission to a person of their choice. The person starts the application in the online services and will also submit the application to the Academy. The person may be the director of the entire research infrastructure or another person approved by the responsible organisation. Persons authorised by the person responsible for submitting the application may also participate in drafting the application. The authorisation is given on the tab ‘Authorisation’ in the online services. The person responsible for submitting the application must also authorise a representative of the host organisation to view or edit the application during the call.

If the research infrastructure is hosted by more than one organisation, the organisations may form a consortium. Read more in the guidelines for consortium applications.

 

INTERNAL PROCESS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OULU

An obligatory appendix in the calls is a prioritisation list from a research organisation or university that is for its part host to the research infrastructure. An application is eligible only if all of its host organisations have included it in their prioritisation lists. Applying host organisation can choose how to submit the prioritization list: 1) either submit the completed prioritization list in the application, or 2) by indicating in the obligatory appendix that the host organisation will be providing the required information to the Academy and supplement its application by submitting the completed appendix no later than 30th September 2020. The University of Oulu will provide the approved applicants a letter indicating that it will supplement the application with the completed prioritization list no later than 30th September 2020. This letter should be appended to the applications.

The University of Oulu will thus organise a two-stage internal process to prioritize its applications. The first internal deadline of the University of Oulu for the FIRI applications is 14th August 2020 at 09:00. All applicants should by then complete a Webropol questionnaire (https://bit.ly/2Z0lO4g ) with following information: 1) name of the research infrastructure and the directors of the RI, 2) whether the University of Oulu is the main applicant or a consortium partner, 3) consortium parties, business partners involved, other parties involved, 4) Budget: contribution requested from the Academy of Finland, sum for the 30% matching funding applied from the University, 5) brief description of the research infrastructure (max 2000 characters) 6) has the application been approved by the Dean of the Faculty / Head of Separate Unit.

A letter indicating the approved applications and that these applications will be supplemented with the completed prioritization letter will be sent to the applicants before the call deadline.

The second deadline for the internal process will be on 2nd September 2020 at 17:00. The action plan and the online application submitted to the Academy should be sent by then as a single Pdf file to kirjaamo@oulu.fi . The file should be named as FIRI2020_applicant’s lastname_firstname.

The Research Council will process the applications and the Management Group of Research will make the proposal of prioritisation to the Rector. The Research and Project Support Services Unit will send the Rector’s prioritisation letter to the applicants. The applicants should supplement their applications and add the prioritization letter signed by Rector as an appendix to the application in the online services of the Academy no later than 30th September.

Because the FIRI funding is applied by organisation, you should indicate the Vice-Rector for Research as the person giving the commitment of the site of research. However, before submitting the application to the internal procedure, the approval of the Dean of the Faculty or the Head of the Separate Unit should requested.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Call text

Academy of Finland’s funding terms and conditions 2020-2021 (in the event of inconsistencies between the call text and the terms and conditions, the text contained in the terms and conditions takes precedence)

Research and project support services, Research Funding Specialists

Internal process at the University of Oulu: Research Funding Specialist Suvi Hentilä, suvi.hentila@oulu.fi, 029 448 20 28 (during her holidays 14.7.-13.8. please, contact tutkimuksen.tukipalvelut@oulu.fi)

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