10 February 2015

IIASA leadership visits Finland to intensify collaborations

Following the Finnish Government’s reform of state research institutions and research funding, an IIASA delegation visits Finland to enhance joint research activities.

Map of Finland

Map of Finland

In February 2015, an IIASA delegation led by Director General and CEO, Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat, visited Helsinki. The purpose was to introduce IIASA to the newly established Strategic Research Council and the Strategic Research Unit at the Academy of Finland.

The newly formed strategic research bodies were established in 2014 by the Finnish Government’s comprehensive reform of state research institutions and research funding. The goal of these reforms was to support evidence-based decision making by the government by financing “long-term problem-oriented and programme-based research that seeks solutions to the challenges facing society” and “to strengthen multidisciplinary, high-level research of social significance.”

Kabat demonstrated how IIASA for over forty years has been focused on conducting multidisciplinary research to find evidence-based, long-term solutions to global challenges facing countries at a discussion meeting with the Strategic Research Council, Strategic Research Unit and IIASA representatives. “IIASA’s horizontal approach that crosses sectors and disciplines along with its objectives and research priorities are almost identical to the new goals and priorities of the Strategic Research Council,” he said. “We can also provide Finland the latest insights from a global perspective and contact with IIASA’s global research network of some 2,500 experts and associates.”

Kabat also met individually with key collaboration partners in Finland including:

  1. Professor Heikki Mannila, President of the Academy of Finland;
  2. State Secretary Olli-Pekka Heinonen of the Prime Minister's Office;
  3. Professor Per Mickwitz, Chair of the Strategic Research Council and Research Director at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE);
  4. HE Aleksi Härkönen, Ambassador, Arctic Affairs, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland;
  5. Dr Riikka Heikinheimo, Executive Director of the Strategic Research Unit; and
  6. Professor Mats Gyllenberg, Helsinki University and IIASA Council Member for Finland.

“These discussions resulted in an agreement that IIASA would develop extensive collaborations with the Strategic Research Council and Unit as well as the foresight unit of the Prime Minister’s Office, which IIASA previously worked with on several projects including one on seven shocks and Finland,” said Kabat.

During the visit, IIASA researchers participated in a meeting of the Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX) which is a multidisciplinary study exploring how the arctic and boreal regions of Northern Eurasia can cope with global change. The University of Helsinki leads the study and IIASA is one of the partners. Kabat gave a plenary lecture on "The Value of Systems Science to Study Pan-Euro-Asian Futures" (see slides (pdf)) at the PEEX conference.

As part of the official visit Kabat awarded an IIASA Distinguished Visiting Fellowship to Professor Markku Kulmala, Director, Atmospheric Sciences Division, University of Helsinki—a world leader in atmospheric aerosol science and collaborator with IIASA’s air pollution experts

IIASA research scholars Leena Ilmola-Sheppard and Anni Reissell accompanied IIASA's Director General and CEO on the visit.

Images from the IIASA visit to Finland

Professor Dr Pavel Kabat, Director General and CEO of IIASA meets with State Secretary Olli-Pekka Heinonen of the Prime Minister's Office to discuss stronger collaboration between IIASA and Finland.

Dr. Riikka Heikinheimo, Director, Strategic Research Unit, Academy of Finland briefs participants of the IIASA-Finnish Partnership meeting about the new Unit.

Professor Dr Pavel Kabat, Director General and CEO of IIASA presents IIASA to the members of Finland's new Strategic Research Council and Unit, members of the previous IIASA Finnish NMO Committee and other key collaborators from Finland.

Professor Heikki Mannila, President of the Academy of Finland, presents the strategic priorities of the Academy at the meeting to strengthen the IIASA-Finnish partnership.

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Last edited: 16 February 2015


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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