Aerogels are ultra-light but very strong materials. They are studied for example as thermal insulators, controlled release for drugs, and templates for cell cultures for tissue engineering.
The European Union has granted funding for AERoGELS, a network of aerogel researchers with 36 participating countries. Finland is represented in AERoGELS by assistant professor Kirsi Mikkonen from the University of Helsinki and associate professor Henrikki Liimatainen from the University of Oulu.
AERoGELS is one of the EU-funded COST Actions and it provides funding for networking.
”Our meetings are scientific seminars where we present our research findings to other partners, learn about their work, and have the possibility to plan for potential future projects together. AERoGELS provides all aerogel researchers in Finland an opportunity to network with international experts, collaborate, and benefit from infrastructures offered by the partners”, says Kirsi Mikkonen.
She says that one of the greatest benefits of COST Actions is the funding provided for “Short Term Scientific Missions”, i.e., research visits between partner countries. “It was a wonderful opportunity for me already during my doctoral studies to visit and conduct part of my research at top international laboratories. Later, I have encouraged the doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers of my group to use this great advantage provided by COST Actions.”
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