The leading universities in Finland in cooperation

The University of Helsinki and Aalto University to launch life-science cooperation


The University of Helsinki and Aalto University will commence cooperation in the research of biotechnology and molecular biology.

Aalto University will join the Biocentrum umbrella organisation founded by the University of Helsinki in 1994. When the funding period changes at the beginning of 2011, Aalto University will join in with its own research teams, totalling half a dozen. Aalto University will cover the expenses and overheads of its own teams.

“This is a fine kick-off for cooperation, which I hope will further deepen from now on,” says Professor Irma Thesleff, the director of Biocentrum.

“Aalto University will increase its contribution to biotechnical research, and I find it natural that they are doing that in partnership with us. The cooperation also shows in the management of Biocentrum. From now on, the intention is to appoint two out of eight members of the organisation's board from among Aalto University's personnel.”

Biocentrum is the first new form of cooperation between the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, founded at the beginning of the year. Moreover, cooperation between Aalto University's former parts and the University of Helsinki will continue at the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the Helsinki Center of Economic Research (HECER), the Immaterial Rights Institute IPR University Center, and the Helsinki Institute of Information Technology.

The universities also have shared study programmes and they also cooperate at the university consortiums in Lahti and Mikkeli.

Thomas Wilhelmsson, Rector of the University of Helsinki, says that Aalto University is the most important Finnish cooperation partner of the University of Helsinki.

“Already before Aalto University was established, we cooperated extensively with the Helsinki University of Technology and the Helsinki School of Economics. With Aalto University, the cooperation opportunities will be even better.”

Wilhelmsson finds it natural that the two leading universities in Finland mutually cooperate.

“However, we both have our respective approaches and disciplines. We do not compete against each other, but provide mutual support,” he says.

Text: Juha Merimaa
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

Translation: AAC Global

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