Neurocenter Finland has steadily expanded and the organisation is now represented in six regions around Finland.
The operations of Neurocenter Finland are becoming truly nationwide. In addition to Kuopio, there are employees also in Helsinki, Oulu, Turku, Tampere and Jyväskylä.
Each one will be commencing operations in their respective region by mapping their businesses, researchers, and other operatives and creating stakeholder networks.
‘We want researchers and businesses to have the lowest threshold possible when approaching their regional representative, who is the “face” of Neurocenter Finland in their own region’, tells Merja Jaronen, the Program Manager of the preparation and establishment phase.
The regional representatives are in charge of raising awareness of Neurocenter Finland and its services as well as engaging stakeholders and sparking collaboration between them, for example by organising local events.
‘The expertise of all regional representatives is also put to use in the planning and development of Neurocenter Finland services at a national level,’ says Jaronen.
Introducing, our Neurocenter regional representatives.
OULU: Anne Halonen, Customer Service Specialist
Anne is an expert in pharmacy and health sciences with a Master’s degree in both Pharmacy and Health Sciences. At a national level, she is a member of the Research Services and Networks and Pharmaceutical Industry R&D teams.
‘Closer research collaboration and the promotion of innovation play an important role in addressing the challenges posed by brain diseases. We want to encourage partnerships between the academic, private and third sectors. In particular, researchers play a key role in the development of neurosciences. I hope that no one will hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to find out how we can help. I also welcome feedback so that we can further develop our services and operations.‘
TAMPERE: Terhi Holappa, Account Manager
Terhi is an expert in health technology, digital health and regulation. Terhi has a Master’s degree in both health sciences and computer science. During her long career, she has worked in challenging professional posts in universities and polytechnics as well as as an entrepreneur.
Terhi coordinates the Collaboration of Health Technology Businesses team. She is also a member of the Innovation and Research Services and Networks teams.
‘Right now it is important to bring together the key players in the regional fields of research and to get them to work together towards national and international goals. Researchers are an essential link in the chain in neuroscience development. We want to strengthen the culture of innovation by encouraging researchers to collaborate with companies and by helping them to refine the ideas they have derived from research.’
TURKU: Sari Karppinen, Account Manager
Sari, who has a dissertation in molecular medicine, has recently returned to Finland from New Zealand. She describes herself as a ‘Savonian kiwi with the gift of the gab”.
Multidisciplinary research is especially close to Sari’s heart and she has a strong international point of view stemming from her 12 years of experience working abroad. Sari is in the BrainBreak, Research Services and Networks, and Pharmaceutical Industry R&D teams.
‘Because of my background as a researcher, I have a good understanding of the challenges around research, like the fragmentation of funding and the shocking amount of paperwork, as well as the siloing that occurs so easily in academia. That’s why I want to facilitate collaboration and networking between researchers on a grand scale by breaking these invisible boundaries and by opening a dialogue between the various parties.’
KUOPIO: Johanna Viiri, Customer Service Specialist
Johanna, the manager of the Northern Savo region, has a strong research background in molecular medicine and is also familiar with translational research.
Johanna has a doctorate in biomedicine and is also a pharmacist by education. Johanna, an active event organiser, leads the Research Services and Networks team and is also in the Collaboration of Health Technology Businesses and Pharmaceutical Industry R&D teams.
‘In my line of work, it is important to be able to identify synergies between companies and research. I am currently meeting primarily with researchers because we need to stay up to date on what kind of neuroscience research is being done in our region. I also organise meetings between researchers and businesses to make new forms of collaboration possible. We are assembling a co-creation consortium regarding applying for Business Finland funding, for instance.’
KUOPIO: Hannamari Sirkko, Communications Specialist
Hannamari manages and develops the internal and external communication of Neurocenter Finland. She liaises with various stakeholders and has a hand in organising events.
On a typical day, Hannamari will also produce content for social media channels, prepare press releases and update the internal communication system.
‘My goal is to make Neurocenter Finland visible and compelling, and most of all, welcoming to researchers. I also help stakeholders gain prominence through us and find the right contacts within our organization. Having worked in customer service, I’m always happy to help! There is no problem a can-do attitude can’t fix.
JYVÄSKYLÄ: Henna Väänänen, Account Manager
Henna Väänänen began her role at the beginning of September as the voice of Neurocenter Finland and a listener of stakeholders. Henna kicked off operations in Central Finland by identifying regional players and mapping out their needs and wishes. It is important to find common ground and objectives between Neurocenter Finland and regional players – conveying the message in the right way between different parties is essential.
Henna holds a Master’s degree in both psychology and organisational communication and a qualification as an occupational health psychologist. In addition, she has studied project management and solution-focused brief therapy. She has also picked up skills in marketing, social media and podcast production.
“I’m a creative relationship builder, and I’m always open to trying out new ways of doing things. That’s why I’m at my best when I’m creating and developing networks. As a communications expert, I excel at ideation, writing, and multi-channel management. The brain has been a passion of mine for a while now; I have worked assiduously on refining brain research for the past three years, so joining Neurocenter Finland felt more than natural!