University of Vaasa receives more than €2.2 million in research funding

The University of Vaasa has received a substantial amount of funding for a number of different research projects. The new projects are related to microgrids, energy storage and packaging reuse, the development of a new biofuel, quantum technology education and food waste management concepts in schools, as well as enhancing greenhouse gas reduction in SMEs.

– Our researchers have done an excellent job in securing external funding for research projects. The funding will enhance and strengthen research at the University of Vaasa, increasing its impact, says Minna Martikainen, Rector of the University of Vaasa. 

Hannu Laaksonen, Professor of Electrical Engineering, has received funding of around €573,000 from the EU's Horizon Europe Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions programme for the IDEAL4GREEN project, which focuses on the development and integration of microgrids, which is crucial in managing the variability of renewable energy resources and achieving decarbonisation targets, and the creation of a comprehensive doctoral training network. In addition to the University of Vaasa, the four-year project involves other universities from several European countries and a large number of partner companies.

– The project will recruit 15 doctoral students, two of whom will come to the University of Vaasa. The doctoral students will also spend a significant part of their time in the partner company. The University of Vaasa's partner company in the project is Danfoss, says Professor Laaksonen. 

Associate Professor Ahm Shamsuzzoha has received €104,000 in Erasmus+ funding from the EU as part of the QUANTUM+ project led by the University of Vaasa, which will start in October. The three-year project aims to teach higher education students and business managers about the fundamentals and potential applications of quantum technology by developing a new course. The course will cover the fundamental aspects of quantum physics and quantum computing, and will also incorporate the direct feedback from the industry to explore potential applications. It also aims to create practical laboratories of programming with simulators. The project includes partners from Greece, Italy and Spain.

Interreg Aurora projects explore new biofuels and energy storage 

The Interreg Aurora programme has recently awarded funding to two new projects. Carolin Nuortila, Senior Researcher in Energy Technology at the University of Vaasa, is leading the FOR-BLEND project, which aims to develop a feasible process for managing forest-based residue locally and producing a sustainable fuel blending component. The University of Vaasa's share of the EU support is around €156,000. The project includes the University of Vaasa, the Swedish research organisation RISE and Åbo Akademi University. 

In the project, the University of Vaasa will analyse the properties of a new biofuel and find a blend share that would meet the current fuel standards. The new fuel blend, a combination of biofuel and fossil diesel fuels, is intended for non-road engines such as power plant engines, marine engines and off-road engines. The aim is to meet the EU's targets for advanced biofuels and partially replace fossil fuels. 

Another new project funded by Interreg Aurora is RESILIFY, which will study the needs for energy storage solutions and form an overview of the technical and supportive actors and networks that are available for the implementation of energy storage solutions. The University of Vaasa will carry out technical and economic feasibility studies, develop optimisation models and conduct case studies with pilot projects.

– We will lead the assessment of multi-energy and energy storage hybrid systems (MESHS) in remote Arctic areas and conduct comprehensive studies to evaluate their viability, considering factors such as energy demand, renewable energy potential, and environmental impacts. We are also contributing to the development of optimisation algorithms to minimise costs, reduce carbon emissions, and enhance energy resilience, says Xiaoshu Lü, Professor of Energy Technology at the University of Vaasa.

The project is led by Luleå University of Technology and involves the University of Vaasa, the University of Tromsø, the region of Västerbotten and companies. The University of Vaasa's share of the external funding for the project is approximately 314,000 euros.

In June, Professor Lü also received a €300,000 grant from the Research Council of Finland for DISCAS project with Aalto University. The multi-year research project will use building elements as part of a 6G indoor wireless infrastructure.

New projects contribute to sustainable development

The University of Vaasa has also recently launched a major research project, Reusify, in collaboration with VTT and 21 other organisations, to make Finland a pioneer in reusing packaging. Business Finland is the main funder of the project. The University of Vaasa will receive €450,700 of the external funding.

In August, the university will start the Nahistuneet naatit project, which has received ERDF funding of around €68 000. The project will develop a new approach and four tested and evaluated concepts for managing food waste in schools. The City of Lapua and the University of the Arts are also partners in the project. The MINCA project, which aims to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in companies' supply chains, will also start in the autumn.  The project will focus on SMEs, especially in the South Ostrobothnia. The University of Vaasa has received public funding of about 267,000 euros for the MINCA project.


Further information

Rector Minna Martikainen, University of Vaasa
tel +358 29 449 8611

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