The first part of the project started out as a centenary gift to Finland from Sweden comprised of 12 postdoc positions, each worth 2 million SEK. The calls for applications were administrated by KSLA, The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. The researchers will be active and alternate between Sweden and Finland 2019-2020.

When the call closed in 2018 72 applications had been received within the two thematic areas, sustainable forest management and new products and processes. The applications to Tandem Forest Values program were evaluated by the state-owned Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry KSLA. The two international evaluation committees, one for each thematic area, made a decision to grant funding for 12 high-quality projects.

Sustainable forestry management - Appointed researchers

Knowledge is needed, from basic and applied research, which can contribute to new methods of forest management that meet both existing and new needs and targets of forest owners and society. In order to understand the role of the forest in efforts to tackle the climate change, new system knowledge is needed to find out how the managed boreal forest landscape can contribute further, and what the effects of different measures are in the forest and in society.

Tuija Aronen, Luke, and Malin Elfstrand, SLU:

  • SOMAGENO – Potentials of combining somatic embryogenesis and genomic selection in Norway spruce

Åke Olson, SLU, and Juha Kaitera, Luke:

  • Production of healthy Norway spruce seeds: host specificity, pathogenicity and infection biology of T. areolata

Katri Kärkkäinen, Luke, and Harry Wu, SLU:

  • FutureGenes: Resilient future forests via genomics of adaptation to climate in natural forests and breeding populations

Gun Lidestav, SLU, and Teppo Hujala, University of Eastern Finland:

  • ValueConnect

New products and processes - Appointed researchers

The Swedish and Finnish forests have a huge potential to contribute to the bio-economic society, in which bio-based materials, products and processes are central to attaining the set climate targets. Therefore, knowledge, which can support development and breakthroughs of both existing and new sustainable products and production processes, is necessary. In addition, system analyses into how forest raw materials ought to be used to create the greatest benefit for society are needed.

Tapio Salmi, Åbo Akademi University, and Jyri-Pekka Mikkola, Umeå University:

  • Derivatisation of cellulose in novel switchable ionic liquid system

Emma Master, Aalto University, and Mats Sandgren, SLU:

  • Biocatalytic cascades for hemicellulose reassembly (BIOSEMBL)

Ilkka Kilpeläinen, University of Helsinki, and Lars Berglund, KTH:

  • Fusion Wood

Stefan Willför, Åbo Akademi University, and Lars Wågberg, KTH:

  • Renewing Biomedicine with Biopolymers: Engineering nanocellulose hydrogel scaffolds for delivery of bioactive cues in soft tissue engineering (BioforBio)

Martti Toivakka, Åbo Akademi University, and Fredrik Lundell, KTH:

  • SimNano – Numerical simulation of coating processes for nanocellulosic materials

Eero Kontturi, Aalto University, and Torbjörn Pettersson, KTH:

  • Strongly adsorbed polymer layers for modification of cellulose surfaces towards new functional materials (STRONGAD)

Kirsi Mikkonen, University of Helsinki, and Martin Lawoko, KTH

  • Role of lignin Carbohydrate complexes as Key to stable emulsions (ROCK)

Kristiina Oksman, Luleå University of Technology, and Henrikki Liimatainen, University of Oulu:

  • Hierarchical 3D-structured nanocellulose aerogels and networks for use in biomedical applications

Tuija Aronen, Luke, and Malin Elfstrand, SLU:

  • SOMAGENO – Potentials of combining somatic embryogenesis and genomic selection in Norway spruce

Criteria for applications first round in 2018

The project must build on, or lead to an active collaboration between research groups at universities or research institutes in the respective countries within any of the focus areas. The project must be of high scientific quality and over the short-term or long-term benefit the sustainable use of forests as a resource and a continued development of a bioeconomy. Each postdoctoral position must be associated with a host university or research institute in Finland or Sweden. During the two year period the holder of the postdoctoral position is expected to spend approximately equal durations of his or her work time, including a continuous period of at least six months, in each country.

  • The project must be a collaboration between Finland and Sweden.

  • The host university or research institute must be the principal investigator for the application.

  • The application must be prioritised and must be signed by the Vice-Chancellor or equivalent at the seat of the university or the research institute where the main applicant is employed.

  • The principal investigator must also confirm in writing that they will provide the remaining funding and resources needed for the project in addition to the funding granted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA).

  • The principal investigator guarantees that the postdoctoral researcher will be employed for the entire duration of his or her time in the project, i.e. a scholarship solution is not acceptable.

  • A project leader from each respective country must be named and his or her CV included. The project leader, who represents the principal investigator, i.e. the applicant, is responsible for the appointment of the postdoctoral researcher and for making sure that the project is carried out in the agreed manner, together with the project leader in the collaborating country.

  • The postdoctoral position must be designed to be attractive and accessible for all applicants, regardless of gender and cultural background. The principal investigator is responsible for ensuring that the appointed postdoctoral researcher has the competence required to perform the project.

  • The postdoctoral research position must begin no later than 31 December 2018.