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Arto Koistinen.

Arto Koistinen appointed as UEF’s new Director of Research Infrastructures

Docent Arto Koistinen, PhD, has been appointed as the University of Eastern Finland’s new Director of Research Infrastructures. He is responsible for the overall development and strategic planning of the university’s research infrastructures, as well as for collaboration with stakeholders.

The four-year position is new at the university, and it is closely linked to the university’s implementation of its strategy. The building of modern and accessible infrastructures constitutes part of the university’s strategy for 2030. The new position is geared towards making the development of infrastructures increasingly systematic and coherent. The work has begun with the renewal of the university’s infrastructure programme and the identification of key infrastructures.

“The university’s research infrastructures comprise our base of devices, materials and software, as well as skilled experts who provide support for research, education and innovation activities. The base of devices plays an important role especially in health and natural sciences, whereas research materials are key for the humanities. Our infrastructures need to be accessible to our researchers and research communities,” Koistinen says.

Extensive infrastructure entities identified by the university of Eastern Finland include the research infrastructures relating to photonics and materials research, climate change, and natural resources, as well as datasets in the field of the humanities. Biocenter Kuopio, on the other hand, extensively supplements the university’s research infrastructures relating to health sciences. New openings on the infrastructure front include data sciences and informatics-related expertise.

Last year witnessed preparations to renew the University of Eastern Finland’s infrastructure programme. The work is rooted in the roadmap for Finnish research infrastructures for 2021–2024, prepared by the Finnish Research Infrastructure Committee at the Academy of Finland. The roadmap defines specific targets for development, which will also be addressed by the University of Eastern Finland in its new infrastructure programme. Nine research infrastructures of the University of Eastern Finland were selected to the national roadmap, all well in line with the university’s strategic choices.

Being selected to the national roadmap requires long-term, even decades of, development and investments, but the rewards are also great. In the renewed programme, the university’s infrastructures have been determined a vision and a mission, as well as a strategy to reach them.

“High-quality infrastructures are an important pull factor when recruiting new researchers, and they also play a key role in research collaboration within international networks,” Koistinen points out.

Shared procurement and use of research infrastructures

Interaction with various stakeholders in society also gets emphasised in the role of the Director of Research Infrastructures. Unique research infrastructures and special devices available only at the university should also be made efficiently available to partners and networks.

“An important goal in the development of our infrastructures is to change our operational culture. We are trying to bring about a systemic change by introducing a new concept for the use and management of research infrastructures. Earlier, academic departments purchased the devices and materials they needed for research independently. Now, we are trying to involve several departments and faculties in these investments in order to diversify our internal use of infrastructures, and to make the most of our resources. We also seek to become more open towards external partners: our new concept provides other research institutes and stakeholders the opportunity to be more closely involved in the shared procurement and use of research infrastructures,” Koistinen says.

Koistinen, 43, takes up the new role after serving as the Director of the SIB Labs infrastructure unit at the Faculty of Science and Forestry. He holds a PhD in medical physics from the Department of Applied Physics of the University of Eastern Finland. He has experience in the building of research infrastructures at the departmental and faculty levels, and he has also developed research ecosystems in collaboration with regional stakeholders. Koistinen will also continue as the responsible leader of his research project on microplastics, which has secured Academy of Finland funding for 2021–2024.

For further information, please contact:

Arto Koistinen, Director of Research Infrastructures, arto.koistinen@uef.fi, tel. +358 44 716 3260