The UT Development Fund Focuses on Enhancing International Competitiveness of UT’s Key Projects
The UT Development Fund decided to support all five applications that had made it to the last selection round with 50,000 Euros this year. The goal is to help these applications develop into consortia that would be able to co-ordinate international projects.
Five applications, each in a different field, reached the final selection round in 2012. The experts who evaluated the applications noted the high quality and strong content of each one of them.
- Centre for nanosafety research and education (Prof. Ergo Nõmmiste, Insitute of Physics);
- Centre for Host Pathogen Chemogenomics (Prof. Andres Merits, Institute of Technology;
- Collegium for Cultural and Biological Diversity (Prof. Art Leete, Institute of Culture Sciences and Arts, and Martin Zobel, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences)
- Centre of Advanced Materials (Prof. Enn Lust, Institute of Chemistry);
- Estonian Children Personality Behaviour and Health Study (Prof. Jaanus Harro, Institute of Psychology).
The Development Fund decided to support all applications, taking into account that the fields of the applications overlapped with key topics and problems identified in the next EU framework program Horizon 2020. and the fact that all applicants have thus far been successful in carrying out international co-operation projects.
Marco Kirm, UT Vice-Rector for Research, noted that thorough preparations need to be made to ensure that our most successful research groups will be able to co-ordinate applications for and fulfill leading roles in the EU framework program.
“Targeted search for strong international partners, participating in international think tanks, and organizing international events – all this helps us to put together a competitive international team. Also, the support from the Development Fund makes it possible to incorporate international scholars who have the required competence. In case of success, the funding of the UT from abroad would increase by approximately 1–3 million Euros, not to mention that we would become more visible and influential as a coordinator of successful research projects on the international arena.“
The experts pointed out that the statutes of the Development Fund should be much more exhaustive, to better meet the important goals set by the University. The activities supported by the Development Fund should transcend traditional scientific disciplines or development projects, being a lot more resonant, and their realization should have an impact on the University as a whole.
The applications for funding from the Development Fund were evaluated by: Toomas Kiho, a member of the UT Council and editor-in-chief of the journal Akadeemia; UT Professor of Innovation Politics and Management of Technology Rainer Kattel, a member of the council of the European Science Foundation and the Evaluation Committee of Estonian Research Council; Jyrki Räisanen, a Finnish member of the committee of materials, physics and nano sciences of the EL COST programme, Professor at the University of Helsinki; Indrek Tammeaid, an expert advising international research and development collaborations and business relationships at the University of Tartu, and a former manager of business relationships at the University of Helsinki; and UT Vice-Rector for Development Erik Puura .
Additional information: Marco Kirm, UT Vice-Rector for Research, phone +372 53 427 170, e-mail marco.kirm [ät] ut.ee