5 Oct 2008

Indo-Finnish Diagnostic Research Centre

DBT has increasingly emphasized the importance of strategic partnership with the Scandinavian countries. The cooperation with Finland has particularly been strong and successful in this contexts. The MoU with Finland was signed in July, 2005 following which 12 projects were funded in the areas of medical, agriculture and environment biotechnology. Finland put in Euros 3 million while DBT contributed another Rs. 7.50 crores to support these projects. Emergence of a vibrant collaboration between the two countries involving an exchange of scientists, researchers and students led DBT to moot the idea of setting up an Indo-Finnish Diagnostic Research Centre.

To this effect, a meeting hosted by Academy of Finland, was held in Helsinki and Oulu on 26-27th May, 2008. A DBT delegation led by Dr. M. K. Bhan, Secretary, DBT with Dr. S. Natesh, Sr. Advisor and Dr. Shailja Gupta, Joint Director attended the meeting. The participation on the Finnish side included almost all stake holders. These included, Markku Mattila, President, Academy of Finland; Esko Aho, President, Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund; Petri Peltonen, Director General, Ministry of Employment and the Economy; Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara, Director
General, Tekes; Elina Kalkku, Director General, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland; Erkki Leppävuori, CEO & President, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland; and Riitta Mustonen, Vice President Research, Academy of Finland. The final recommendations of the two-day meet were:

  • Agreement on the desirability of the Indo-Finland Diagnostic Research Centre as proposed with was an excellent idea and that the "virtual model" is best way to start the centre.
  • A study to be undertaken to clarify the content of activities, focus, forms of participation, organizational model, funding alternatives as well the possible links to ongoing Innovation Centre project. Tekes and Finpro, Finland agreed to conduct the undertake and complete by end of September, 2008.
  • Indo-Finnish Diagnostic Centre to have a dual focus on business as well as research. Apart from developing the field of diagnostics it should also seek to diagnostics products targeted at the Indian market and operate in close cooperation with universities, higher education institutes, research institutes, university hospitals, clinical laboratories and industry.
  • A strong educational and training programme should be associated with the centre.

Source : BiotechNews India

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