In December, the Finnish Government published their latest roadmap for Health Sector Growth Strategy for Research and Innovation Activities. Neurocenter Finland, which at the time of planning was still being founded, already is noted in the roadmap as a significant centre of neuroscience expertise.
The Roadmap for Health Sector Growth Strategy for Research and Innovation Activities has been updated for the years 2020–2023. The still emergent Neurocenter Finland was noted as a focal point of strengthening Finnish neuroscience research and innovation.
‘The cost of brain diseases to society is estimated at around 9 billion EUR per year. The need for neuroscience research and innovation is undeniable, which is stated once more in our national growth strategy for the health sector,’ says Mikael von und zu Fraunberg, Director of Neurocenter Finland since its founding.
Regional networks and national operating models
From the start, networks and operating models for neuroscience research and innovation have been diligently created throughout Finland.
‘Conceiving neuroscience innovations requires multidisciplinary collaboration. The most important concrete objective has been increasing connections between people in the university, medical and business worlds, so that cooperation between the different areas would become easier and more efficient,’ says von und zu Fraunberg.
Co-operation models have been built from the beginning and other concrete actions have been identified to promote research and innovation. For example, it has been deemed essential to properly take advantage of neuroscience data lakes and other neurodata used by the industry.
Cooperation with other fields
In addition to Neurocenter Finland, the kick-off and development of other national centres of excellence will play a key role in the national growth strategy. The roadmap highlights the centres of expertise in cancer research, genomics and pharmaceutical development, as well as the national harmonisation of biobanking.
‘We are actively working with the other centres of expertise too: we act as sparring partners, coordinate what we do and share best practices with each other,’ von und zu Fraunberg describes.
Neurocenter Finland will officially be instituted in 2021
Contractual negotiations between the founding members of Neurocenter Finland, the seven universities and five university hospital districts, are progressing as planned. According to the cooperation agreement, the institution of Neurocenter Finland as an official entity will take place in early 2021.
‘Based on the work done in our founding phase, we’re off to a promising future for Neurocenter Finland,’ von und zu Fraunberg sums up.
You can find the roadmap and national growth strategy for health research and innovation here:
https://julkaisut.valtioneuvosto.fi/handle/10024/162564 (As of writing, only in Finnish)
Director, Docent of Neurosurgery, Mikael von und zu Fraunberg,
University of Eastern Finland
firstname.lastname@example.org, +358 50 433 5008