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Profiling areas at Tampere University

At Tampere University, we strengthen our research profile in strategically selected areas with competitive funding awarded by the Academy of Finland.

The Academy of Finland grants competitive funding, referred to as Profi, to Finnish universities to support their efforts to build stronger research profiles. The goal of this funding is to expedite the strategy-based research profiling of Finnish universities and improve the quality of research.

Tampere University has received more than €40 million of funding in the first six Profi calls launched by the Academy of Finland.

On-going profiling areas

PROFI7: Sustainable Security Practices (SUPRA)

This profiling area seeks to develop research on sustainable security practices.

We propose that sustainable security practices include several types of adept responses to the effects of multiple and complex, both natural and human-made disasters, conflicts and dilemmas. Such disasters currently range from the effects of climate change, energy supplies, pandemics, and financial crises to cyber-attacks and conflicts, and major war, including widespread international confrontation and nuclear threats.

While the ultimate goal of security is survival amidst multiple threats, the distinctive ethos of sustainable security practices is to maintain democracy, transparency, as well as the long-term development needs of society and respect for justice.

Related news: New event brings together peacebuilding professionals and peace researchers

PROFI7: Century-Long Lives (CLL): Individual, structural and cultural adaptation to longevity

Century-long Lives (CLL) profiling area concentrates on human longevity and its implications for societies from a multidisciplinary perspective.

An increasing number of people can expect to live a long life: approximately 50 per cent of those born around the millennium will survive well beyond 100 years. Thus far, longevity is understood as a societal challenge concerning care-dependency ratios or sustainability of pension systems, and as a development that only pertains to the end part of the life course. However, we need a more holistic view that investigates not only the sustainability of single societal institutions and structures, but also the ways in which the promise of a long live affect societies and individuals across the life course, particularly in a Nordic welfare state context.

Read more: Century-Long Lives (CLL): Individual, structural and cultural adaptation to longevity

PROFI7: System-on-Chip and Wireless Technology for Intelligent Machines

This profiling area concentrates on creating new communication and sensor technology and the corresponding advanced SoCs, with specific emphasis on the intelligent mobile working machine.

Working machines are typically large and complex, work in harsh environment, consume considerable resources such as energy and operator attention, move and manipulate material, and this sets them apart from the road self-driving car industry. Our aim is to make future machines increasingly autonomous, energy-efficient, cost-efficient, and safe.

Read more: System-on-Chip and Wireless Technology for Intelligent Machines

Related news: Developing increasingly efficient and safe autonomous mobile machines

PROFI7: Sustainable Biomedical and Toxicological Research (SUSBIO)

In this profiling area researchers are developing soft materials and their experimental and sustainable research methods in a multidisciplinary manner for biomedical and toxicological studies.

The aim of the profiling area is to find new ways to model human body, allowing deeper understanding of complex physiological processes, which will pave the way for the development of new therapies and diagnostics, and reduce the need for animal testing. In addition the goal is to reduce the accumulation of microplastics in different living environments in the long term with the help of new biodegradable functional materials.

Read more: Sustainable Biomedical and Toxicological Research

Related news: New soft materials reduce microplastics and animal testing

PROFI6: Health data science

Health data science promotes research that seeks to improve human health via a data-driven approach. This encompasses the collection and harmonisation of health data, data analysis, machine learning, and the testing and development of algorithms. The Health data science project involves researchers from medicine, health science, information science, social science and engineering. We carry out research into the prediction and prevention of diseases and work to find optimal personalised treatments. 

Our activities promote research collaboration between domain experts in data science and health across Tampere University and Tampere University Hospital. The profiling area also supports research through targeted recruitment activities and by sharing seed funding for research projects, developing training programmes and enhancing the international profile of the research area.

This profiling area is part of the PROFI6 programme and has received funding for the years 2021–2026.

Read more on PROFI6: Health data science

Related news: Health data science studies how machine learning and AI could help to treat diseases

PROFI6: Games as a platform to tackle grand challenges

Games as a Platform to Tackle Grand Challenges is a profiling area that aims to further strengthen Tampere University’s international position at the vanguard of research in games and gamification. Our researchers pursue further multidisciplinary breakthroughs and foster international collaboration and societal interaction in this field. Our activities build upon the University’s international reputation for research excellence in games, gamification and XR research and address global grand challenges through innovative game-based solutions.

Games as a Platform to Tackle Grand Challenges is a multidisciplinary undertaking that also involves, for example, the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies and the UNITE flagship.

This profiling area is part of the PROFI6 programme and has received funding for the years 2021–2026.

Read more on PROFI6: Games as a platform to tackle grand challenges

Related news: Sustainable game-based solutions to tackle the grand challenges of our time

PROFI6: TAU imaging research platform

Imaging encompasses and bridges the physics of light and other electromagnetic waves, optical materials and structures, sensors transforming light into electrical and digital signals, and comprehensive signal processing methods to enable computational image formation, restoration, and automated analysis and interpretation. The goal of this profiling area is to offer advanced imaging as a service across different disciplines and industries and effectively engage all individuals and units that make use of imaging and thus supercharge image-based scientific investigation at Tampere University.

The Imaging Research Platform supports projects that fall into two categories: advanced imaging as a service for Tampere University’s research community and research collaboration on “Light Transport”, which refers to coupling advanced photonics components with computational imaging algorithms and efficient computer graphics rendering. The aim is to accelerate the adoption of state-of-the-art in imaging and help scientists to stop relying on obsolete imaging and image processing methods.

This profiling area is part of the PROFI6 programme and has received funding for the years 2021–2026.

Read more on PROFI6: TAU imaging research platform

PROFI6: Sustainable transformation of urban environments (STUE)

The profiling area of Sustainable Transformation of Urban Environments (STUE) supports sustainable urban change by conducting multidisciplinary research, developing new concepts and promoting community involvement. The concept of urban environments is broadly understood in STUE and encompasses social, natural, business and physical infrastructures. The research focuses on three interconnected areas: 1) inclusive communities and practice-based politics, 2) urban environments for health and well-being, and 3) resilient infrastructures and business.

STUE supports research activities by fostering opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration between researchers and the wider society as well as by implementing a targeted recruitment strategy, sharing action grants and enhancing the profile of the research area.

This profiling area is part of the PROFI6 programme and has received funding for the years 2021–2026.

Read more on PROFI6: Sustainable transformation of urban environments (STUE)

Related news: STUE pursues urban sustainability breakthroughs through research and cooperation

Past profile building areas

PROFI5: Sustainable Welfare Systems

Sustainable Welfare Systems is a profiling area that provides a platform for research that cuts across the three priority areas of our University (health, society and technology) and connects researchers and stakeholders from different fields. We employ a systemic approach where health and welfare systems are analysed as one complex entity.

We have utilised and piloted platform- and ecosystem-based models by providing seed-funding and networking opportunities for researchers in the field of welfare systems. We have also initiated collaborative efforts with researchers and professionals from the field of health and social care to support the ongoing health care and social services reform in Finland. As of 2022, SWS continues as a part of the Transform research platform (Transforming Welfare Systems).

This profiling area is part of the PROFI5 programme and has received funding for the years 2020–2023.

Read more on PROFI5: Sustainable Welfare Systems

PROFI4: The Intelligent Society Platform (INSO)

The Intelligent Society Platform (INSO) is a profiling area that fosters collaboration on Tampere University’s strategy axis society– “technology”. The aim is to contribute to the development of sustainable and equal, or intelligent, society through interdisciplinary collaboration. INSO will identify the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence for societal development. INSO has been running a series of workshops for researchers in social and technological sciences to identify research topics and questions that are meaningful from the perspective of both disciplines.

Read more on PROFI4: The Intelligent Society Platform (INSO)

PROFI4: Tampere ImmunoExcellence (TIE)

Tampere University has a unique national position in the vaccine and immunomodulation profiling area. This is based on research conducted in the early stages of the vaccine and immunomodulation development chain (such as target discovery, vaccine immunology, pharmacology and toxicology, preclinical studies with advanced disease models) combined with an outstanding nationwide clinical vaccine trial network (Vaccine Research Center; 150 clinical vaccine trials). The University also has considerable expertise in infectious disease epidemiology and the study of the impact (effectiveness and herd effect) of vaccinations at the population level, which links the impact of vaccines and vaccination programmes to national health and the economy. This tradition has created a nationally unique and internationally competitive vaccine cluster at Tampere University.

Read more on PROFI4: Tampere ImmunoExcellence (TIE)

PROFI4: The University Platform for Circular Economy (UPCE)

UPCE promotes the implementation of circular economy solutions. UPCE’s mission is to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable circular economy through multidisciplinary research collaboration. Our leading research covers a wide variety of topical phenomena occurring in society.

Read more on PROFI4: The University Platform for Circular Economy (UPCE)

PROFI3: New Social Research (NSR)

New Social Research is a bold endeavour to create a new kind of interdisciplinary social science for the 21st century. NSR aims to address the complex array of new challenges, problems, issues and developments that are facing  Finland, Europe and the rest of the world. The New Social Research (NSR) programme brings together key stakeholders from several faculties and disciplines, both new hires and existing key staff, to work towards a more integrated research approach. NSR combines analytical and descriptive as well as solution-oriented and constructive research approaches in order to resolve complex societal challenges.

Read more on PROFI3: New Social Research (NSR)

PROFI2: Advanced Photonics Technologies

A range of actions were taken to reach critical mass in Advanced Photonics Technologies. Consequently, fourteen new tenure track professors were recruited with the help of Profi funding and the University’s own investments in 2016–2020, almost doubling the size of the research community. Tampere University has established itself as a leader in the national photonics community. The University coordinates the Finnish Flagship on Photonics Research and Innovation (PREIN) that is pushing forward the national photonics ecosystem, linking academic partners, research institutions and industry.

PROFI1 and PROFI2: Intelligent Machines

The main goal of this profiling area was to combine leading-edge research in signal processing with intelligent machines. The key measure was to hire two new members of tenure track staff. With the support of the University and Profi funding, a total of 10 new positions were established and filled in 2015-2019. In the first Profi funding period, the focus was on placed on intelligent machines, which was later expanded to include embedded systems in the second funding period. Several key initiatives were launched in the field of intelligent machines and embedded systems to accelerate the translation of research into practice, such as the RAAS (Rethinking Autonomy and Safety) interdisciplinary innovation ecosystem, the Sustainable Industry X (SIX) initiative, the AI Hub for Intelligent Machines, and the System-on-Chip centre of excellence.

PROFI1: BioMediTech

The former University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology established BioMediTech as a major joint strategic initiative following the Academy of Finland’s first Profi call. The undeniable added value of combining the complementary expertise of the two universities in the areas of biomedicine, biotechnology and biomedical engineering was probably the most decisive single argument leading to the university merger that resulted in the creation of Tampere University. The Academy of Finland’s Profi programme has therefore contributed to the largest transformation that has taken place in the Finnish university sector in the past few decades.