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"CONNECTING SCIENTISTS" VOL 1 (2011):

1) The call for research profile submissions was opened as scheduled at the end of April. In total, 85 profiles were received. Of those 52 were from UH and 32 from Aalto.

2) In addition to the possibility to learn about the research activities at these universities and look for possible collaboration partners from the web database, a concrete opportunity to meet and initiate discussions about joint projects was organized in a form of a networking event ( 1st of June 2011) in Dipoli, Otaniemi. Invitation was sent to the researchers who had submitted their profiles, and more than half participated to the event. Both universities were well represented; 21 and 29 researchers were from Aalto and UH, respectively, totalling 50 participants. The basis of the event was on short (~2 minute) presentations held by each participant. The purpose of these was to introduce oneself and to present the main expertise or main points of the studies. Emphasis was placed on the face to face discussions, scheduled after each presentation session. Additional presentations were held by principal investigators representing BCH, Aalto University and University of Helsinki (Lauri Aaltonen, Samuel Kaski and Sampsa Hautaniemi) aiming to encourage to interdisciplinary efforts. The invited speaker Otso Ovaskainen from UH finished the day by providing personal experience on combining technical and theoretical background with biosciences. In the evening, the discussions continued over a dinner.

The chosen format worked beyond expectations. The periods reserved for interactions between participants was filled with active discussions, and individuals who had given their two minute presentation faced queues of interested fellow scientists during the break. The event was extremely successful and proved the potential of the two universities to join forces on many fronts!

3) The call for grant applications was opened in August and in September the BCH board granted eight Aalto-University of Helsinki junior level projects.

The networking event was held in Dipoli, Luolamies meeting room. After each presentation session lively discussions took place. Additional material of the methods/projects was presented using personal laptops.

Agenda for the networking event