Oliver Zendel (AIT)  and Helena Henno (VTT) were the two winners of 2015 YEAR Award.

Oliver Zendel won one of the two 2015 YEAR Awards for his project idea “Towards an Open Peer-Review Process”. After the successful kick-off at the YEAR Annual Conference the group around Oliver found a suiting EU call (H2020-GARRI-2015-1) and decided to join forces with a leading consortium that was already applying for this call. This was necessary to meet the extent and scope of the call which included other open science topics like open data, alternative metrics, and alternative dissemination. The year 2016 started with great news: the team’s project proposal succeeded among 20 competing entries and was accepted for funding! Oliver is excited and looks forward to implement his project idea: “The ideas and inputs I got from discussions at the last YEAR conference in Espoo really improved our proposal and made it more focused and clearer when compared to its original form. An even bigger impact was meeting all these great people from the different institutes of Europe. The network and the contacts allowed me to join a great consortium  and  together  we  now  have  the  opportunity  to  put  open  peer  review  to  the  test! Many thanks to everyone at YEAR for their input and support.

Also Helena Henno (VTT), who won the second 2015 YEAR Award for her project idea “Fluvoid”, gained a lot through the YEAR workshop. The YEAR Award was noticed at VTT and team Fluvoid was encouraged to apply for VTT’s internal project funding to take the idea further. So they did and already in September the Fluvoid project was in full speed. During autumn, Ville, Lauri and Helena negotiated with two companies, created a demo version of the app, and presented it to the National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL). Following to that they prepared a funding application to Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation – to carry out a pilot study and further evaluate the business potential of the idea.

We are thrilled that the YEAR Awards visibly helped the individual young researchers to successfully kick-off their project ideas. We wish Helena’s team all the best for the application and warmly congratulate Oliver for the successful integration of his project idea into a European project!