From Science|Business reporting
Finland begins to build its arm of pan-European biomedical infrastructures
Construction of the Finish part of the pan-European biomedical research infrastructures has begun, funded by a national programme.
Finland has begun to build its contribution to the proposed pan-European biomedical research infrastructures, through a national programme Biomedinfra, which will link up with EU-level initiatives to develop shared biobanking, bioinformatics, and translational research infrastructures.
Funding for 2011 of €4 million has come from the Ministry of Education and Culture through the Academy of Finland, with a further €1 million from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) at the University of Helsinki, CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd and the National Institute for Health and Welfare, the research institutes that are involved in the programme.
This investment follows the three year pan-European planning phase, and a Finnish €2 million pilot project for Biomedinfra, completed in 2010.
Biomedinfra will focus on three related pillars:
- Improved biobanking infrastructures for epidemiological, biomedical and clinical research;
- High-performance computing infrastructure for facilitating next-generation biomedical data analysis needs;
- Translational infrastructure focusing on the application of biobanks to advance diagnostics and personalised medicine.
Olli Kallioniemi, Director of FIMM and coordinator of Biomedinfra, says, “We are delighted about the opportunity to start building biomedical infrastructures that help Finland to contribute to the European ESFRI infrastructures. Therefore, even though these funds are still modest in the European scale, they represent significant new funding on top of a strong existing scientific base and in some cases decades of national investment.”
Tommi Nyrönen, who leads the development at CSC, says, “Importantly, the new funding will also enable us to develop technologies and policies to ensure that distributed biomedical data can be managed and used efficiently and securely. Research institutes should be able to access supercomputing resources easily and securely.”