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1 © ACADEMY OF FINLAND Synchronized Calls Concept and Funding Stakeholders’ perspectives Marja Makarow Vice-President Brussels 15 January, 2014
2 © ACADEMY OF FINLAND Public research funding in Finland
3 © ACADEMY OF FINLAND Government research budget 2013 = 2 B€ Total R&D investment 3,6% of GDP, public 1% of GDP Source: Statistics Finland 2013
4 © ACADEMY OF FINLAND Academy of Finland The research councils of Finland – fundamental research Tasks: Funding of scientific and artistic research, researcher training, research infrastructure Enhancement of international scientific cooperation Provision of expertise in science policy Four research councils covering all disciplines Culture and society Natural sciences and engineering Biosciences and environment Health Annually, ~5,000 researchers benefit from Academy funding Admin staff of ~130 and decreasing
5 © ACADEMY OF FINLAND Funding instruments
6 © ACADEMY OF FINLAND International peer review Open competition, fixed-term funding >3,700 applications/year, for > €1.5 billion Success rate for key instruments < 22%; for CoEs 11% Decisions based on Science policy lines adopted by the Academy Board Concretized in “Criteria for research funding decisions” document Transparent decision-making process, equal treatment of applicants Independent peer review (excellence), 1000 international scientists/year
7 © ACADEMY OF FINLAND International evaluation of the Academy of Finland Published September 2013 Selected points, relevant for today’s theme Assessment, in-house High quality peer review and decision-making processes Extremely cost-efficient (admin costs 2.8%) Staff highly competent and trusted amongst scientific community Recommendations Definition of ‘high risk’/groundbreaking` research, motivation for funding it, modalities for how to fund it Clarification of motivation for research programmes, criteria and procedures for selection of the themes (evaluation criteria beyond excellence for added-value of a programme, impact & outcomes) Extension of portfolio to strategic research funding outside responsive mode
8 © ACADEMY OF FINLAND Novel challenge and opportunity: Governance and funding of research on societal Grand Challenges Strategic Research Council to be founded and based at the Academy of Finland Broad brush themes (societal GCs) to be proposed by the Council and ratified by Government – horizon scanning & foresighting Themes to be broken down to long-term research programmes by the Council Consortia from universities and research institutes to self-assemble and apply for funding - cultural change for fundamental researchers (Horizon 2020) Peer review using excellence plus relevance as criteria Research findings to be fed to end-users and political decision-makers – assessment of outcomes and impact Funding 70 M€/ year, 22% increase in Academy of Finland’s budget as of 2015
9 © ACADEMY OF FINLAND Academy of Finland supports the initiative Synchronized Call In order to estimate the value of an independent organisation providing peer review services according to the highest quality Academy of Finland has experience in international joint peer review since 2004 Bi- and tri-lateral joint peer review SE, DFG, NSFChina,CONICYT Chile, NSF, CNPq Brasilia, RAS/RFBR Multi-lateral: Nordforsk (5), Water JPI (10) >30 ERANets, article 185 actions, JPIs Main challenges mostly practical: different dead-lines, admin practices, times-to- decision Work load higher than for national call due to negotiations and discussions to overcome cultural differences
10 © ACADEMY OF FINLAND Academy of Finland supports the initiative Synchronized Call pilot Why such a service provider? To harmonize best practices in Europe – many countries shifting from RPOs/state academies to RFOs (research councils) To facilitate direct cross-border collaboration - mutual trust on common understanding of quality evaluation To relieve HR pressure – public admin staff being reduced while numbers of applications grow Discussion platform for funding criteria: high risk research, programmes, societal relevance, infrastructure, outcomes & impact Other potentially interested “clients” beyond RFOs and RPOs: private foundations Council of Finnish Foundations – 153 members – 210 M€/year for research Strong need for high quality peer review services
11 © ACADEMY OF FINLAND Academy funding 1997–2012 2013: 336 2014: 310 2015: 357
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