Mikko Alava and his team are developing waterproof foams that can be used to replace plastic.


The Finnish Cultural Foundation has announced the allocation of over €30 million in grants to support a thousand researchers, artists, and projects across Finland. This funding aims to foster a sustainable, pluralistic, and diverse society by enhancing the country's scientific, artistic, and cultural landscape.

In its October 2023 application round, the foundation saw a record-breaking number of over 10,000 applications, with a success rate of one in ten.

This reflects the growing demand for support in these crucial fields. The grants were distributed across 90 municipalities, underscoring the foundation's commitment to nurturing talent and initiatives nationwide.

Susanna Petterson, CEO of the Finnish Cultural Foundation, emphasized the organization's role in ensuring the availability and accessibility of scientific, artistic, and cultural experiences throughout Finland. The October round notably focused on balancing support between the arts and sciences, with 43% of the funds directed towards the arts and 57% towards scientific research.

The foundation highlighted the significance of full-time grants, which enable recipients to dedicate themselves entirely to their work. Among the notable recipients are Aalto University professors Harri Lipsanen and Zhipei Sun, who received €250,000 for their pioneering work on neuromorphic electronic components. Doctor of Theology Sini Mikkola and her team at the University of Eastern Finland were awarded €242,000 to explore the evolution of masculinity within a Lutheran context.

In addition to funding individual projects, the Finnish Cultural Foundation has taken significant steps to support non-fiction literature, with approximately €900,000 allocated to the production of books on a wide range of topics. This initiative addresses the funding challenges faced by non-fiction authors and contributes to fostering critical discourse and curiosity.

The foundation has also committed to supporting the Finnish Romani language and culture, with plans to invest up to a million euros by 2030 to prevent the language's extinction. The first grants in this initiative have already been awarded, including to MA Mirkka Salo for her research on metalanguage in online Romani conversations and MMus Anette Åkerlund for her poetry book in Romani.

Efforts to understand and incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into various fields have also been recognized, with significant grants awarded for AI-related research. Professor Mikko Alava's team at Aalto University received €200,000 for their work on developing waterproof foams through biomimetics and AI-based methods.

The Finnish Cultural Foundation's substantial investment in science, the arts, and culture highlights its dedication to nurturing Finland's intellectual and creative capital. By supporting a diverse range of projects and initiatives, the foundation plays a pivotal role in enhancing the country's cultural richness and scientific advancements.