About Biocenter Finland

Biocenter Finland (BF) is a distributed national research infrastructure of seven biocenters in six Finnish universities: Biocenter Kuopio (University of Eastern Finland); Institute of Biotechnology, Biocentrum Helsinki and FIMM (University of Helsinki); Biocenter Oulu (University of Oulu); BioMediTech (University of Tampere); BioCity Turku (University of Turku & Åbo Akademi University).

BF provides research services to the entire Finnish research community, in academia and industry, and to a limited extent also to users abroad. All services are based on the concept of open access. Technology services are provided by BF infrastructure networks in bioinformatics; biological imaging; genome-wide methods; model organisms; proteomics and metabolomics; stem cells and biomaterials; structural biology and biophysics; translational research technologies; and viral gene transfer and cell therapy. Through its infrastructure networks Biocenter Finland is also actively involved in the development pan-European infrastructures on the ESFRI Roadmap.

BF has received earmarked funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture (OKM) since 2007, including a significant restructuring program (2010–2012) which boosted integration of BF activities and led to a nationwide organization of infrastructure networks and technology platforms serving the entire Finnish life science community. Earmarked funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture ended at the end of 2012, but BF activities continue in 2013-2016 under direct funding from the six host universities: All universities participating in BF have prioritized life sciences in their current strategies and have endorsed their support to BF for 2013–2016 based on an action plan presented by BF Board.

In 2013, Biocenter Finland was selected for the national roadmap for research infrastructures with excellent reviews. Finland’s strategy and roadmap for research infrastructures 2014–2020 (pdf, Academy of Finland).

Biocenter Finland statutes (pdf) (in Finnish)

Scientific Advisory Board

The technology development in all areas of life sciences represented in BF proceeds very fast. To stay at the cutting edge, BF closely follows international developments in instrumentation and technologies. All its activities are regularly evaluated by an international Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) allowing for dynamic changes in this rapidly moving area. Current compostion (-2016) of BF SAB is Carl-Henrik Heldin, Ole-Petter Ottersen, Marja Jäättelä, Matthias Wilmanns and Gunnar von Heijne.

Establishment

Biocenter Finland is an umbrella organisation of biocenters in six Finnish Universities (Helsinki, Kuopio, Oulu, Tampere and Turku, and the Åbo Akademi University). When established in the 1980's and 1990's, Finnish biocenters represented new types of multidisciplinary research organizations bringing together life scientists and biomedical researchers working in universities, research institutions, hospitals and industry. Establishment of biocenters marked the first stage in the restructuring of basic research; multidisciplinary research programs were initiated, research infrastructure was strengthened through joint core facilities, and researcher training and technology transfer were reorganized.

Establishment of Biocenter Finland in 2006 marked the second stage in the restructuring of biological and medical research infrastructure at the national level. Today the most visible activity of Biocenter Finland is providing research services to the entire Finnish research community, in academia and industry. The aim is to avoid unnecessary overlaps and invest into the newest technologies and equipment.

The founding charter of Biocenter Finland was signed by the Directors of the Finnish Biocenters at the 20th Anniversary of Biocenter Oulu on the 21st of August 2006 and formally accepted by the Rectors of Host Universities in February 2007.

The founding contract (pdf) (in Finnish)

Proposal for restructuring and development of biosciences in Finland in English and in Finnish (pdf).