Companies create new growth through the expertise of PhDs

PoDoCo program spring application round attracted a record number of applications

The Post Docs in Companies program, which unites PhDs and companies, funded 19 new doctoral and company cooperation projects in the spring application round. The applications emphasized regional diversity.


The Post Docs in Companies program, which unites PhDs and companies, funded 19 new doctoral and company cooperation projects in the spring application round. The applications emphasized regional diversity.

The Post Docs in Companies program (PoDoCo) funded 19 new doctoral-business collaborations in its spring application round. Already 187 doctors have supported the renewal of companies through the PoDoCo program, which started in 2016.

“A record number of PoDoCo applications, 39, arrived this spring. The last time we got such a vast number was in 2016”, says Dr. Seppo Tikkanen, the leader of the PoDoCo program at DIMECC Ltd.

The number of applications implies that companies are ready to invest in new growth and business ideas with the help of doctoral expertise. The regional coverage of the applications was wide for both the universities of the PhDs and the partner companies.

“The University of Eastern Finland received more applications than ever before. Four of these applicants will receive a PoDoCo grant. Many of the applications were medical-focused,” says Tikkanen.

Half of the PoDoCo applications came from students with a foreign background, and the proportion is the same in approved applications. Most of these applicants have defended their dissertations in Finland, but in this spring round, there was an increase in applications from abroad.

“Seven applications came from PhDs from foreign universities, which indicates that PoDoCo succeeds in attracting high-level experts to Finland.”

Domestic and environmentally friendly dog ​​food

Dr. Siru Salin, who completed her doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences last autumn, concentrates in her PoDoCo collaboration on more efficient use of slaughterhouse fractions in pet food. The research aims in obtaining scientific research data on the nutrients of raw feeding and lightly cooked dog food.

“Alternatives to high-processed, carbohydrate-rich dry dog ​​foods have interested me for decades and have influenced my own dog feeding choices,” says Siru Salin.

Interest in dog feeding research has influenced her choice of academic career path.

About 80% of the pet food sold in Finland is imported as dry or canned food. However, pet owners are increasingly appreciating domesticity and saving the environment, and respect these in pet food as well. The target of the research is to introduce a new kind of complete food for Snellman Lihanjalostus Oy’s product range.

The collaboration with the company began when Salin contacted the pet feed business director and proposed research collaboration.

“I am glad that Snellman Lihanjalostus Oy wants to utilize my expertise in developing high-quality, domestic, environmentally friendly dog ​​food. Through cooperation, my own interest naturally combines with the company’s product development,” says Salin.

Purifying waters by plasma oxidation

Flowrox Oy from Lappeenranta and Dr. Alexander Sokolov are studying plasma oxidation in their PoDoCo collaboration. Plasma oxidation is a new, energy-efficient water purification solution suitable for example process water disinfection. Flowrox has already commercialized the first industrial solution. Research data is however scarce on sizing plasma oxidation for microbial control, so the PoDoCo project has both scientific novelty value and a decisive impact on commercialization.

“Flowrox has very good experiences with PoDoCo and Dr. Sokolov is already the second doctor from LUT University that joins us via the program. Sokolov has a perfect background for the task and the research topic addresses a relevant part of an agile sales process, which is imperative in commercialization of such a novel technology,” says Dr. Petri Ajo, Head of Flowrox Environmental Technologies.


 PoDoCo program

The PoDoCo fall application round takes place September 15 – October 30, 2021.

There are no limitations regarding the branch of science or branch of industry.

PoDoCo program is funded by Finnish Cultural Foundation, Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki ry, Svenska Kulturfonden, The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland (SLS), Finnish Foundation for Technology Promotion, Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation, Foundation for Economic Education, KAUTE Foundation, The Paulo Foundation and Helsingin Sanomat Foundation. The total funding is up to million euros every year, which enables around 35 PoDoCo grants each year.

Contact: seppo.tikkanen(at)


PoDoCo-ohjelman kevään 2021 apurahat myönnettiin seuraaville henkilöille.






Project name

Sokolov Alexander Flowrox OY Plasma oxidation sizing factors in disinfection.  Plasmahapetuksen mitoitustekijät desinfioinnissa.
Han Xu Hydroline Oy Consolidate the foundation of electro-hydraulics to facilitate future green and smart heavy-duty mobile machinery (RE-Hyd)
Heinonen Esko Elisa Oyj Distributed energy storages and their mathematical optimization problems
Shakun Alexandra Nokian renkaat oy Enhanced tyre durability by self-healing sacrificial networks
Philip Anish Picosun Oy Metallic thin films via ALD
Wettenhovi Ville-Veikko Planmeca Oy Fast low-dose iterative reconstruction in cone beam CT imaging
Tavakoli Shirin Bayer Oy Active targeting of drug delivery systems for ocular and cancer therapy with biologicals
Dirbeba Meheretu Jaleta Valmet Technologies Oy Role of feedstock impurities in novel pyrolysis based technologies for low-grade biomass and waste feedstocks
Talwelkar Sarang Orion pharma Targeting the Hippo Pathway to Overcome Cancer Therapy Resistance
Lucenius Jessica Teraloop High-performance wood-based carbon  fibres and soft magnetic materials for  energy storage application
Moriam Most Kaniz SciTech-Service Oy Repurposing Finnish forest industry: Investigating the industrial processability of the cellulosic raw materials for ecofriendly textile production
Adnan Syed Oy Arbonaut Ltd Predicting tree diameter distributions in direct airborne laser scanning detected forest structural type
Korvenlaita Nea Orion Pharma Improving clinical predictivity of new treatments and biomarker research: translational human disease models for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Salin Siru Snellman Lihan-jalostus Oy Teurassivujakeiden tehokkaampi hyötykäyttö lemmikkieläinten rehuissa – kevyesti kypsennetty koirien täysrehu Snellman Lihanjalostus Oy:n tuotevalikoimaan
Wester Niklas Canatu Oy Industrial production of integrated carbon nanobud-based electrodes for electrochemical point-of-care diagnostics
Brelsford Craig Yield-Systems Securing food for the future: Plant science to validate novel next-generation phenotyping measurements
Yousefvand Amin Bonne Juomat Oy Adding value to Bonne Juomat products
Ashraf Muhammed Waqar Orion Pharma Model informed tools for the characterization of Dose – Exposure – Response relationships
Kivioja Ville Polar Night Energy Oy Computational methods to optimise heat flow in a heat storage system and to improve sizing algorithms