InFLAMES Flagship granted continued funding – first instalment €6.5 million
The joint InFlames Research Flagship of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University received €6.5 million in continued funding from the Research Council of Finland for 2024–2026. It is the first instalment of the continued funding as the Research Council has announced that it is prepared to fund the Flagship with altogether €10.4 million by summer 2028.
The share of the University of Turku of the granted first instalment is approximately €5.36 million and Åbo Akademi University’s share is approximately €1.16 million.
The InFLAMES Flagship started its operations in 2021. The Flagship aims at identifying new targets for drug development and engaging in actual drug development together with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. InFLAMES also develops diagnostics so that targeted therapies could be designed for individual patients.
In addition to InFLAMES, the Research Council of Finland has granted continued funding to three competence clusters that are part of the Finnish Flagship Programme. The Research Council’s funding for the Flagships comes to €42 million in 2025–2028. A mid-term review was conducted on the Flagships and it found their activities excellent. The Flagships have been very successful in their first two years and their future plans are promising. The review was carried out by an international panel, which also interviewed representatives of the Flagships.
Director of InFLAMES, Academician Sirpa Jalkanen thanks the Research Council for a wise decision.
“Drug and diagnostics development is long-term effort, and it can take 10-15 years to develop just one original medicine. When successful, the invention brings both health and economic benefits to society as a whole. Therefore, this funding that secures the continuation of our research and development is very important,” says Jalkanen.
The University’s Vice Rector responsible for research Kalle-Antti Suominen is satisfied with the Research Council’s decision.
“InFLAMES is strategically important to the University’s research and impact and has a key role in the development of RDI activities. We hope that InFLAMES will be given the resources it needs in the upcoming infrastructure decisions and that it is also strongly present in the new doctoral training pilot,” says Suominen.
Reko Leino, Vice Rector of Åbo Akademi, also welcomed the Academy’s positive decision.
“I am extremely proud of our InFLAMES Flagship, which we run together with the University of Turku, and thankful for all our top-level researchers that have contributed to the application and the ongoing inflammation research. Naturally, I am also most happy about the funding decision from the Finnish Research Council, that gives us an outstanding possibility and necessary support to further develop one of our strongest research environments.”
The Finnish Flagship Programme includes 14 competence clusters. The Research Council of Finland’s total funding budget for the programme is close to €300 million. The Flagships represent an effective mix of close cooperation with business and society, adaptability and a strong commitment from host organisations. They create future know-how and sustainable solutions to society’s challenges, promoting economic growth by, for example, developing new business opportunities.