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Building scientific collaboration between Finnish biocenters and selected Chinese Universities and Research Institutes has been one of the key components in the attempts of Biocenter Finland to promote internationalization of Finnish biosciences. Sino-Finn collaboration has currently three elements: Sino-Finn Life Science Forum, Summer School for Chinese students and Biocenter Finland International Visitor Program.
The collaboration is based on the activities of Graduate Program in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology (GPMB; previously Graduate School in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology, GSBM), University of Helsinki and Biocentrum Helsinki in China. In 2008, this collaboration was broadened to cover all Finnish biocenters, i.e Biocenter Finland.
Sino-Finn Life Science Forum
In 2008, a new Biocenter Finland activity was initiated in the form of an annual Sino-Finn Life Science Forum. The aim of the Forum is to encourage high standard research and research training collaboration in life sciences between China and Finland.
- The 1st Sino-Finn Forum was organized in Wuhan, Suzhou and Shanghai in October 2008. In Shanghai the prestigious Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences (SIBS) was the collaborating party. SIBS is one of the Institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
- The 2nd Sino-Finn Life Science Forum was organized in Finland in August 2009. Participants from China included both principal investigators and graduate students (organized concomitantly with Sino-Finn Summer School).
- The 3rd Forum, hosted by SIBS, took place in Shanghai in October 2010 with scientists from SIBS, Shanghai Jiaotong, Wuhan and Suzhou Universities. From Finland 13 Biocenter Finland principal investigators and the staff of Biocenter Finland participated in the Forum. The Shanghai Forum also marked a kick-off for the Biocenter Finland International Visitor Program .
- The 4th Sino-Finn Life Science Forum was organized in August 2011 in Turku and Helsinki. A total of 36 Chinese principal investigators, postdocs and doctoral students (Sino-Finn Summer School) attended the event.
- Wuhan University hosted the 5th Sino-Finn Life Science Forum, on October 20-21, 2012. Altogether 11 principal investigators from Finnish biocenters, the staff of Biocenter Finland and a representative of SalWe Ltd participated in the Forum. Institutions represented from Wuhan were School of Medical Sciences, College of Life Sciences and Zhognan Hospital of Wuhan University. Also representatives of Sun Yat-sen University and Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Huazhong University of Science and Technology participated in the Forum.
Participating Universities in China
The annual Summer School program was started already in 2005 between University of Wuhan and Biocentrum Helsinki. Annually 12-20 Chinese students have studied in Finland for approximately
one week and visited Finnish research groups. Nearly one third of the Summer School students have been recruited to the Graduate Program in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology (GPBM) to obtain their doctoral degree. Since 2010, Biocenter Finland has joined forces with GPBM in organizing and supporting the Summer School. In 2010, fifteen students from Wuhan and Suzhou visited Finnish biocenters in Helsinki, Tampere, Oulu, Kuopio and Turku. The 2011 event was organized in Turku and Helsinki with 16 students from Wuhan and Shanghai.
Agreement of academic cooperation between University of Helsinki and University of Wuhan
University of Helsinki and University of Wuhan have had an agreement of cooperation since 2003. In September 2011 University of Helsinki and University of Wuhan agreed to further strengthen their scientific and educational exchange and research collaboration in life sciences. Biocenter Finland was cosignatory to this agreement thus extending the academic collaboration agreement to cover other member biocenters, too.