How to start research in the glasshouses

The Head Gardener of the Instrument Centre of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry (daniel.richterich(at)helsinki.fi) coordinates the use of the glasshouses and the research field. The Instrument Centre collects fees from the users of the glasshouses based on the area used and the time spent. The use of the glasshouses and the research field must be planned well before any experiments can be carried out.

Terms of use for the glasshouses:

  1. The user is mainly a University unit but also exterior users are considered under certain conditions. Users from outside the University of Helsinki will conclude a license agreement with the Instrument Centre to use the glasshouse facilities.
  2. The fee for glasshouse units is determined based on the area of the room according to the rental prices listed by the University Centre for Properties and Facilities. In addition to this, users from outside the Helsinki University will be charged for indirect costs, and margin requirement. The Instrument Centre drafts a monthly reservation list for the glasshouse facilities and sends it to the relevant unit contact people for inspection. Placement on the reservation list is a binding agreement, as the Instrument Centre uses the list in its billing.
  3. The users of the glasshouses must participate in the costs of the shared equipment and instruments in the facilities proportionately to the area and period that they use. Any acquisitions are agreed on in the glasshouse steering group.
  4. Only entire glasshouse rooms are given for use, but a room maybe shared if users do agree so.
  5. The agreement will last at least one month at a time. The time of use is calculated from the beginning of the experiment to its conclusion and the cleaning of the glasshouse.
  6. Every unit or group which uses the glasshouses is responsible for the research or teaching conducted in the glasshouses or on the research field using its own or jointly hired staff, and is responsible for any fees accrued by their work. Every unit or group that carries out research or teaching work in a glasshouse facility or the research field area must appoint a person responsible for the use of the facilities. One person may be responsible for the affairs of several units, if the units or groups so agree. The duties of the person responsible for the use of the facilities are described under the section User guide lines.
  7. Any unit using the glasshouse facilities must announce the availability of the glasshouse unit one month before relinquishing the unit.

Administration, steering group

The glasshouses and protected research field have a steering group appointed by the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. The Faculty also appoints the chair from among the steering group members. The steering group comprises six members. The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry proposes three members, the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences proposes two, and the Institute of Biotechnology proposes one. The steering group appoints a vice chair from among its members.

The composition of the steering group is the following in 2014–2018:

  • Professor Kurt Fagerstedt, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, chair.
  • Professor Frederick Stoddard, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Professor Jaana Bäck, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
  • University Lecturer Kristiina Mäkinen, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Post-doctoral Researcher Airi Lamminmäki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
  • Study leader Ari-Pekka Mähönen, Institute of Biotechnology  

In addition:  

  • Senior Engineer Aarno Pelkonen, secretary, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Head Gardener, Daniel Richterich, expert, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry

An agreement or a license is done between each user unit of the facilities and the Instrument Center of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry of the Helsinki University (daniel.richterich(at)helsinki.fi). User unit, person in charge and project information is exchanged for the reliable running of the project. Every unit or group which uses the glasshouses is responsible for the research or teaching conducted in the glasshouses or on the research field using its own or jointly hired staff, and is responsible for any fees accrued by their work.

We introduce new users before starting a project in the greenhouses and on the experimental field. Our thread is to cultivate responsibly and hygienically. These are critical points while tens of projects are running next to each other in a definite space. We guide users about the rules of the house and general questions concerning cultivation. Climate and irrigation data can be collected in the greenhouse automation software and this data is available for the users on request. The measurements about the experiments are done and stored by the user groups themselves and using their own devices.

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry is responsible for the use of the Viikki campus greenhouses according to the University of Helsinki directives.

The price for greenhouse users outside the University of Helsinki is 35, 85 €/m2/month + VAT (year 2017).

The price includes user fees for the buildings, basic equipment and automation control of the greenhouses.