Language selection
University homepage In English
University of Helsinki
 
Biocentrum Helsinki
General information:


HISTORY AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS

Biocentrum Helsinki was established in April 1994 by the University of Helsinki. Based on the evaluation by international experts 16 research groups were selected, and 5 new members were added in 1996. A new call for Biocentrum member groups was launched in 2000 and based on recommendations of a distinguished international panel 20 groups, including both old and new members were selected for the period of 2001-2006.

Professor Olli Jänne, currently the Director of Biomedicum Helsinki was the Chair of the Biocentrum Helsinki Board from its establishment in 1996 until the end of 2006, followed by Professor Irma Thesleff (2007-2010) and Professor Lauri Aaltonen (2011-2013) and the current Chair Professor Pekka Lappalainen.

During over 19 years of its existence Biocentrum Helsinki has played a major role in building up the Biocenters at the Viikki and Meilahti campuses: Viikki Biocenter and Biomedicum Helsinki were started in 1995 and 2001, respectively. These two Biocenters are now the biggest and most diversified Biocenters in the country and much due to the efforts of Biocentrum Helsinki and the Institute of Biotechnology the quality of science has been steadily increasing and the infrastructures are modern and well functioning.

During the coming years Biocentrum Helsinki will continue along the earlier lines and strategies. The most important key feature of BCH is the high quality of the research carried out in the member groups. This has been accomplished through the external evaluation processes, whereby only the very best groups working in the field have won a membership in Biocentrum.

Biocentrum Helsinki will continue to contribute to the start-up packages of foreign group leaders recruited to Meilahti and Viikki, as well as to support repatriating young scientists. This will also be an important means of new technology transfer.

Continuous emphasis will be placed on the development of state-of-the-art core facilities and on improving the infrastructure of the Biocenters.

Biocentrum Helsinki serves as an important bridge – a liaison organization – between the two campuses (Meilahti and Viikki) engaged in bioscience research and teaching. It is clear that investigators of the Biocentrum ought to continue having active and close international collaborative arrangements. And finally, closer contacts with industry need to be built during the next several years.

The joining of the Aalto University with Biocentrum Helsinki in March 2010 is expected to strengthen important areas of research such as bioinformatics, biological imaging and material sciences in both universities. Enhanced collaboration between scientists in the two universities will be fostered and this is expected also to lead to the establishment of new infrastructures and shared use of technology platforms.

As a member of Biocenter Finland, established in 2007, Biocentrum Helsinki will increasingly cooperate with the other Biocenters in Finland. It will participate in the nationwide efforts to support high quality research in biosciences, to build research infrastructures and to coordinate research training.