Nordic Centres of Excellence

November 6, 2002

Brussels, 05 Nov 2002

Four units have been selected to take part in the first Nordic Centres of Excellence programme.

The initiative was launched with a view to raising the quality standards of Nordic research and increasing its international visibility. The programme is due to run from 2003 to 2007 with annual funding amounting to 1.35 million euro. It aims to connect centres of excellence and graduate schools in order to strengthen the quality of Nordic researcher training through international cooperation.

The Nordic Centres of Excellence Programme is focused on basic natural science in the field of global change, specifically on atmospheric processes, oceanographic processes and ecosystem processes in climate change. It is supported by Nordic Research Councils for the natural sciences, the Environment and Engineering and the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The four Centres of Excellence are:

A Centre of Excellence concerned with studying ecological systems in climate change. Consisting of research teams based at the Universities of Oslo, Helsinki and Lund, the unit is expected to increase understanding of the impacts of climatic fluctuations upon ecosystems.

A Centre of Excellence concerned with studying the impacts of climate change upon the biosphere, the region of the Earth's surface occupied by living organisms. The unit involves several teams from Finnish, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish universities and research institutes.

A Centre of Excellence concerned with studying carbon dioxide and methane exchange between the climate system and Nordic ecosystems. Large amounts of organic carbon are stored in Nordic ecosystems, which means they play a key role in containing climate change. The unit consists of research teams from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.

A Centre of Excellence that specialises in luminescence dating. The Centre will be working to develop luminescence dating methods that can help to improve the accuracy of estimates of sediment age. The unit has two research laboratories, one at the University of Aarhus and one at the Risø National Laboratory.

The Secretariat of the Nordic Centres of Excellence is based at the Academy of Finland which hopes that 'units involved in the Nordic programme will also be in an excellent position to compete for Networks of Excellence funding within the Sixth EU Framework Programme. The aim here is to encourage closer cooperation between European centres of excellence.'

For further details, please contact:
Janica Ylikarjula
Tel: +358 9 7748 8297
E-mail: janica.ylikarjula@aka.fi

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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