Tekes’ FiDiPro funding brings top scientists to Tampere, Oulu, Jyväskylä, Helsinki and Otaniemi

10/30/2014
The new FiDiPro research projects will advance the development of industrial internet and bioeconomy.

Tekes has decided to fund 12 new FiDiPro research projects. FiDiPro - Finland Distinguished Professor Programme provides competitive grants to projects recruiting highly merited scientists, who are able to commit to long-term cooperation with a Finnish university or research institute.

Tampere University of Technology and the University of Oulu were the most successful applicants in this round of funding. Tekes will also provide funding for FiDiPro Professor and FiDiPro Fellow projects for the Jyväskylä University, Tampere University, Helsinki University and Aalto University.  

”In the future, we will emphasise even more the exploitation of research results and concrete cooperation with companies,” says Director Kimmo Kanto from Tekes.   

The next Tekes FiDiPro application round will close at 26th February 2015.

More information

Hanna Rantala
Senior Adviser
Tel 050 5577 797
hanna.rantala(at)tekes.fi
www.tekes.fi/fidipro

The FiDiPro research projects funded by Tekes in the 2014 application round

FiDiPro Professor Shuvra S. Bhattacharyya, University of Maryland, College Park, USA
Host organization:
Professor Jarmo Takala, Tampere University of Technology, Department of Pervasive Computin
Research project: FiDiPro - Advanced Dynamic Stream Processing for Networking and Big Data

Many of the current applications in the networked world are effectively performing stream processing. Many big data problems requiring real-time response call for dynamic stream processing solutions, where the functionality and computational structures can be adapted flexibly in response to changes in data characteristics and operational requirements. The main objective of this project is to develop new algorithmic foundations and associated computational models based on the paradigms of dataflow and spatial programming. The project develops corresponding software tools for systematic design and implementation of power-efficient parallel heterogeneous systems for embedded signal processing applications and large scale, dynamic stream processing systems. The project will provide new computing structures and approaches to be used in low-power embedded systems, cloud computing, and high-performance scientific computations.

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FiDiPro Professor Gang Xiong, The State Key Laboratory of Management and Control of Complex Systems, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.
Host organization: Professor Ilkka Kauranen, Aalto University, School of Sciences
Research project: Social Manufacturing

The emergent phenomenon of social manufacturing is disrupting industries all over the world. People are increasingly engaging in socio-economic systems built around sharing of human and physical resources, leading to new end-user experiences and new value-creation logics for companies. It includes the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organizations. Examples of already disrupted industries include transportation and hospitality: the fastest growing taxi company in the world, Uber, does not own any of its cars, and AirBnB quickly grew into the largest hotel chain without ever owning a single room. The social manufacturing project seeks to unravel the forthcoming paradigm shift within the manufacturing and energy industries, integral parts of the Finnish economy, and thereby to identify new sources of competitiveness ex-ante, so that the Finnish companies would be prepared, or even drive the global disruption. Social manufacturing project facilitates industrial renewal and the creation of new global leaders with the specific aim of raising Finnish clothing and energy companies among the fastest growing companies in their respective industries.

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FiDiPro Professor Yaochu Jin, University of Surrey, UK
Host organization: Professor Kaisa Miettinen, University of Jyväskylä
Research project: Decision Support for Complex Multiobjective Optimization Problems (DeCoMo)

Innovation, short product design cycles and efficiency of processes have become increasingly important for industries due to globalization and need of resource-efficiency. Multiobjective optimization can be used as a powerful tool for product innovation and improving processes by finding better designs and balancing between conflicting objectives efficiently and effectively. However, multiobjective optimization problems in industries are often complex, involving a large number of objectives and are computationally expensive. In addition, supporting human decision makers and involving them in optimization have rarely been considered in complex multiobjective optimization problems. In this project, we develop novel optimization methods for decision support in solving complex multiobjective optimization problems by combining modern meta-heuristics and machine learning techniques. The output of this project will be a prototype of an intelligent decision support tool that can make advanced multiobjective optimization methods available for industry, thereby significantly enhancing the innovation capability and competitiveness of the Finnish industries.

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FiDiPro Professor Emilia Mendes, School of Computing, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden
Host organization: University of Oulu, Professor Burak Turhan
Research Project: FiDiPro - VALUE – ImproVing decision-mAking reLated to software- intensive prodUcts and sErvices development

The software industry’s current decision-making relating to product/project management and development is largely done in a value neutral setting, in which cost is the primary driver for every decision taken. However, numerous studies have shown that the primary critical success factor that differentiates successful products/projects from failed ones lie in the value domain. Therefore, to remain competitive, innovative and to grow, companies must change from cost-based decision-making to value-based decision-making where the decisions taken are the best for that company’s overall value creation. This is a three-year research project with focus on the building of tangible models and a fully-fledged tool for value-based decision making under uncertainty within the context of software product/project management and development for the ICT and digital services.

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FiDiPro Professor Hiroshi Mamitsuka, Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Japan
Host organization:  Professor Samuel Kaski, Aalto University, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT
Research project:  Machine Learning for Augmented Science and Knowledge Work

As most fields of science, engineering and society are becoming data-dependent and even data-driven, it is becoming clear that a core common success factor across the fields is the ability to harness the ever more complex big data to form hypotheses and make inferences for actions - this is the motivation of machine learning research. The objective of this project is to advance the current cutting-edge machine learning techniques beyond standard data tables to structured data, found in many modern applications, such as personalized medicine and bioinformatics. More generally, the objective is also to augment knowledge work across a multitude of fields. The revolutionary potential of machine learning lies in the fact that the developed methods are applicable, with minor modifications, across superficially different fields. The results of the developed machine learning techniques will be applied to personalized medicine, ultimately to tailor treatments for specific patients by predicting effectiveness, identifying biomarkers, and characterizing treatments of disease subtypes. Furthermore, in the context of bioinformatics this project deals with the enhancement of crop breeding given the changing climate and toughening environment conditions to bring new economic opportunities for agriculture. Moreover, the developed techniques shall be deployed to information seeking in text documents by using widely available information sources. A machine learning interface will be developed to capture the core factors as well as crucial personalized, contextual, and task-tailored information to knowledge workers.

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FiDiPro Professor Serge R. Mordon, French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), France
Host organization: Professor Mircea Guina, Tampere University of Technologly
Research project: Photodynamic Therapy and Selective Photothermolysis Based on Novel Semiconductor Lasers

The goal of the project is to establish a strong bridge between the leading-edge developments of novel laser technology in Tampere and high impact medical applications of lasers. The project will benefit from the transfer of skills and expertise of Prof. Serge Mordon (FiDiPro) in biomedical applications exploiting lasers. The FiDiPro  will bring direct links to leading clinicians globally and will conduct experiments concerning new medical applications based on lasers. The work plan targets two research areas where lasers can be used to solve major health issues: i) Photodynamic Therapy, which has an interesting method in cancer treatment, and ii) Photothermolysis based on yellow lasers, with major application in dermatology. The most valuable expertise to be gained is concerned with light-tissues interaction, development of medical instrumentation based on light sources, and clinical trials.

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FiDiPro Professor Kristiina Oksman, Applied Physics and Mechanical Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
Host organization:  Professor Jouko Niinimäki, University of Oulu
Research project: Novel high-performance wood and cellulose biocomposites

Biocomposite materials are mixtures of polymers and reinforcing fibres that result in tailored material characteristics such as the combination of good mechanical properties and low weight. A large variety of potential applications can be recognized from high-tech products to bulk consumables. Biocomposites promote the economically, environmentally and socially viable use of natural resources by increasing added value of the production chain, both in local and export markets. Due to the ever-increasing environmental awareness of consumers about limited natural resources and the risk of climate change, there is a continuously increasing demand for new high performance biocomposites for applications in packaging, construction, furniture, electronic appliances, biomedical materials, and the transport industry, for instance.

Novel high-performance wood and cellulose biocomposites FiDiPro research project is expected to lead to: Development of new solutions for forest and biomass-based composite materials with enormous economic potential, yielding products with a performance equal to or better than those materials in use today. Customer-oriented novel technologies for processing biocomposites with controlled morphology and properties to be used as high value export products for the Finnish bio-based industries. Research excellence, and the strengthening of the academy-industry network for bio-based composite materials in Finland. Resource efficiency by generating value-added products from the local wood waste and side-streams of the wood and cellulose-based industries.

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FiDiPro Professor Paul Berger, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Physics, Ohio State University, USA
Host organization: Professor Donald Lupo, Tampere University of Technology, Department ELT
Research project: FiDiPro - Printed, energy Autonomous UniversaL platform for multifunctional wireless sensors and devices (PAUL)

It has been recently predicted that by 2021, there will be 200 billion connected devices which should all operate and integrate smoothly with the Internet but also provide a vast spectrum of services in e.g. healthcare, smart homes, industry automation, and environmental monitoring. As the “Internet of Things” (IoT) or “Internet of Everything” (IoE) continues to grow, the number of connected objects will grow at explosive rates.

The ambition of the FiDiPro project PAUL is to deliver the technology to enable this paradigm shift. Advances in energy harvesting and storage will improve the ability to harvest energy from a variety of sources such as light, radio waves and motion and store it in printed supercapacitors that are non-toxic and unproblematic at end of life. The exploitation of tunneling  devices  and novel devices combining Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and printing will make possible a new generation of  low-power and high-speed circuits for power management, data storage, computation and wireless communication. As a result, successful completion of the project will open the path to a true Internet of Things that will cost very little, be placeable anywhere, and deserve the description “environmentally friendly”. These objects will be energy autonomous, battery free, be able to sense, process and analyze environmental, body and other information and transfer it by acceptable wireless protocols to networks of the user’s choice. Because they will be manufactured by low temperature, low cost mass manufacturing processes, they will be ultra-low cost and able to be put on thin, flexible carriers that make them able to be truly put anywhere. Industrial applications and relevance to Finnish industry are seen in manufacturing and technology sectors as well as for Finnish product development companies in the packaging, smart identification and sports and adventure sector.

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FiDiPro Professor Peter Dendooven, KVI–CART (Centre for Advanced Radiation Technology), University of Groningen, the Netherlands
Host organization: Professor Paula Eerola, University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Physics
Research project: Novel instrumentation for nuclear safety, security and safeguards (NINS3)

The project “Novel instrumentation for Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards” (NINS3) is run by a consortium of Finnish companies, academia and competent authorities. The project is led by the FiDiPro Professor Peter Dendooven from the KVI-Center for Advanced Radiation Technology (KVI-CART) at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Three important topics relevant for the Safety, Security and Safeguards fields were selected for research and development: 1) Passive tomography of spent nuclear fuel, 2) Alpha radiation threat detection and imaging from a distance and 3) Active neutron interrogation of unknown objects. The project links directly to the national reorganization of radiation protection research, i.e., it is an integral part of the National Radiation Safety Research Program.

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FiDiPro Fellow Malin Flodström-Tullberg, Center for Infectious Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Host organisation: University of Tampere, Professor Heikki Hyöty
Research project: THERDIAB

Enteroviruses are among the most common viruses affecting humans. They cause a wide range of diseases, and recent studies indicate enteroviruses being responsible for type 1 diabetes. This project will develop novel diagnostics, vaccines and therapies for the prevention and control of type 1 diabetes and other enterovirus-induced diseases.

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FiDiPro Fellow Vassil Palankovski, Technical University of Vienna, Austria
Host organization: Professor Juha Kostamovaara, University of Oulu
Research project:  Development of semiconductor devices for optical and sub-THz/THz pulsed time-of-flight radars

The project researches active pulsed time-of-flight THz radars that similarly to optical radars could measure distances of objects but also recognize the various objects under illumination due to the unique spectral properties of THz radiation. Specialized simulation software, suited both for accurate physics-based description of the underlying phenomena and for predictive design of novel device structures will be developed and employed within this project. This project is directly related to other research on millimeter-wave pulsed imaging and on navigation and remote sensing technologies and laser scanning.

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FiDiPro Fellow Richard Cuthbertson, Oxford Institute of Retail Management, University of Oxford, UK
Host organization:  Professor Arto Lindblom and professor Lasse Mitronen Aalto University, School of Business, Department of Marketing, Mika Skippari, University of Jyväskylä
Research project: Red Queen Effect: Strategies for an Innovative Landscape

The retail sector is experiencing technological disruptions that have implications for the competitiveness of established retailers. In particular, the Finnish retail sector is facing new forms of competition by retailers that leverage the online channel in novel ways. Further, the online channel enables new entrants to expand without incurring heavy investments in brick and mortar stores. Retailers need to incorporate technological changes into their strategy work, or fall victim to them. The goal of this project is to advance our understanding regarding new strategy implementation during technological disruption by analysing and comparing experiences and experiments in two retail sectors: the United Kingdom and Finland.

This project is divided into three distinct themes. Firstly, we will examine the nature of technological change in the retail sector. Secondly, we will address the impact of technological change on competitiveness and consumer behaviour. Thirdly, we will turn our attention inside organizations and analyse their routines, practices and processes in order to understand how retailers implement their strategic change programs.

Eeva Landowski