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The Academy of Finland decided on the national roadmap for research infrastructures: SYKE to coordinate the new marine research consortium

Press release 2014-03-20 at 9:46

Merentutkimuksen resurssit on nyt koottu uuteen FINMARI-konsortioon. Kuva: Markku Viitasalo.
Finnish national marine research resources are gathered to FINMARI-consortium which is coordinated  by SYKE. Photo: Markku Viitasalo.

The Finnish Environment Institute SYKE will coordinate the consortium for Finnish Marine Research Infrastructure, FINMARI, selected for the national roadmap of research infrastructures. Comprising three of Finland's key universities engaged in Baltic Sea research, three research institutes and Arctia Shipping Ltd, the consortium is part of the national roadmap for research infrastructures, the composition of which was announced by the Academy of Finland on 14 March 2014.

After a detailed evaluation process, 31 national research infrastructures, representing all disciplines, were selected for the national roadmap for 2014–2020. The members of FINMARI are: the University of Helsinki, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University; the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the Geological Survey of Finland, and Arctia Shipping Ltd.

”The marine research resources of these organisations are mutually complementary and serve to strengthen one another,” says thedirector of SYKE's Marine Research Centre Mari Walls. ”The resource pool of FINMARI includes all of Finland's key marine research equipment and services, ranging from ships and laboratories to automated research facilities and university field research stations. Such comprehensive coordination of national resources is exceptional internationally, and nationally we are introducing a completely new approach.”

”The key goal is to enable a broad-based use of national resources and open access to information, thus enhancing the opportunities for creating goal-oriented partnerships both nationally and internationally,” says Walls.

All the member institutions of FINMARI are committed to the co-development of research resources with the goal of becoming international leaders. As the coordinator, SYKE is responsible together with the other members of the consortium for FINMARI's long-term resource planning and development and the organisation of resource use.

”The selection of marine research for the national roadmap by the Academy of Finland is a recognition of the importance of marine science in Finland and the high quality of Finnish marine research. Inclusion in the roadmap will enhance our research-related networking opportunities, especially in Europe. In the long run, this is necessary for continued research activities. National roadmaps will have a strong, long-term influence on the allocation of national and international funding,” says Walls.

”One concrete goal is to develop a common set of real-time, automated marine research tools for all institutions. This will help better serve marine research and the monitoring of the marine environment, which are necessary sources of information in environment-related decision-making,” says Timo Tamminen, research professor from SYKE's Marine Research Centre and head of the consortium for FINMARI.

A cross-administrative marine research infrastructure is based on the recommendations of the national coordinating group on marine research. The steering group for FINMARI will be composed of invited representatives from each related ministry (the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and the Ministry of Education and Culture). In addition, a multinational group of top scientific experts will provide guidelines for the consortium's activities.

The consortium for Finnish Marine Research Infrastructure, FINMARI, represents Finland in ESFRI, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, and is an active participant in various other emerging networks within the European marine research sector.

For more information, please contact:

Mari Walls, director of SYKE's Marine Research Centre
Tel. +358 295 251 722

Timo Tamminen, research professor, SYKE
Tel. +358 295 251 678

Aira Saloniemi, Communication Specialist SYKE
Tel. +358 400 148875

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