Research infrastructures are a fundamental requirement for research work. They support organised research and researcher education while maintaining and developing the University's research capacity. Typical components of research infrastructures include:
- Equipment, research and measuring stations, research vessels, specialised laboratories
- Research material collections and databases, archives and libraries
- Communication networks, high-performance computing centres, other IT capacity
- Infrastructure maintenance and upkeep as well as support services for users
More information on the University’s research infrastructures is available through the University of Helsinki research portal, where you can browse or search infrastructures based on topic or search term.
High-standard research infrastructures are a key success factor for the University
The University of Helsinki is Finland's most important provider of research infrastructures and a significant institution on the European scale. To maintain and further establish this position, the University develops its infrastructures and the related national and international cooperation constantly. The University of Helsinki Research Infrastructure Programme details the administration and development policy for infrastructures during the 2013–2016 strategy period (english version). In addition to the University’s own programme, important infrastructure documents include the national roadmap for research infrastructures from 2014 and the corresponding European roadmaps drafted by the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). The University is involved in 16 infrastructures on the ESFRI roadmap and 21 infrastructures on the national roadmap. In addition, the University provides access to several more international and national infrastructures.
Who develops the research infrastructures?
The development of and support for research infrastructures is primarily the responsibility of the units which use them for research – faculties, their departments and independent research institutes. Campus-specific infrastructure groups and the University's research infrastructure committee are in charge of drafting campus- ja University-level prioritisations and infrastructure policies. The University's research infrastructure committee features representatives from all campuses, and its chair is the vice-rector for research and education.
Funding and other resources
The University allocates considerable resources (funding, staff, facilities) to its research infrastructures every year. In addition, special funding is available for major projects on the national or international scale. The allocation of such special funding is decided through an evaluation process. The projects to be funded are selected by the research infrastructure committee on the University level on the basis of assessments conducted by specially appointed groups and committees on the campus and faculty level. The rector decides on all centralised funding. University-wide calls for funding applications will be announced in good time before the application period begins.
In addition to funding and facility resources, the University provides significant support to the infrastructures by promoting them through the TUHAT system and other channels. The host units’ websites are also an important form of publicity for the infrastructures, as they include descriptions of the infrastructures and the services they offer to the University and its partners. In addition to TUHAT, those infrastructures which are mentioned in the national roadmap are listed in the national open science infrastructures database (http://infrat.avointiede.fi).
Open science and research infrastructures
The University of Helsinki is strongly involved in creating and implementing the principles of Open Science also in relation to the research infrastructures. Openness and accessibility are an important aspect of UH research infrastructures and form central criteria in their classification. In addition to the national and UH level policy, each research infrastructure has own specific guidelines on how the infrastructure and the provided services are utilised.