Brunel last week fired the starting gun on £343,000 plans to cement and grow its energy, health and artificial intelligence work with Finland’s Tampere University.
It is one of eight UK universities to share £3.6 million from Research England’s International Investment Initiative 13, to scale up existing global ties between universities.
“For Brunel, it provides a great opportunity for us to exchange staff and students with a world-class research intensive university,” said Prof Geoff Rodgers, Brunel’s Vice Provost of Research. “It will open new opportunities for exciting research programmes across a range of disciplines.”
For the next five years, Brunel and Tampere, in southern Finland, will join forces on six projects. Work has started already on the first three, in materials and manufacturing, light metal engineering and structural integrity. Others in digital technology, water research and ageing and wellness start in the next two years.
“International funding is important for us,” said Juha Teperi, Tampere’s Vice President of Research. “We need fuel for our science and we will help each other. It’s about mobility for researchers at various career levels.
“With the I3 funding, we can significantly expand the collaboration to new research areas, and have a concrete action plan over the next five years. The project will also provide important exchange opportunities for our doctoral students.”
The funding will also help strengthen the universities’ work with business and industry, something both Brunel and Tampere value highly, he said.
“By joining forces, we can provide more expertise for our industry partners and be more attractive in the acquisition of collaborative research funding. I am confident that our joint projects will increase the impact of our universities in both the United Kingdom and Finland,” Teperi said.
Brunel first started working with Tampere in 2015.
“Since then, we have widened the collaboration by regular visits and joint funding applications,” said Tampere’s Provost Jarmo Takala. “Now we have multiple connections across faculties, five collaborative EU projects, and the first joint publications are out.”
There are also plans to work with Tampere on teaching, Takala revealed: “Our possible education collaboration could be an example to all.”
More information on Research Finland’s I3 funding is available at https://re.ukri.org/research/international-investment-initiative-i3
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