Kuopio Brain & Mind, a new regional network of Neurocenter Finland, promotes research and collaboration in the field of brain health in eastern Finland.
Established by the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital, the objective of the Kuopio Brain & Mind network is to enhance collaboration between the university, hospital and business sectors, and to increase the visibility of neuroscience stemming from eastern Finland.
“Kuopio Brain & Mind brings together a multidisciplinary group of experts in the region, encompassing researchers and physicians working with patients from the fields of neuroscience and psychiatry. The new network will open up new opportunities for collaboration, which will be concretised, for example, as joint research and development projects across organisational boundaries,” says Professor Mikko Hiltunen from the University of Eastern Finland, Chair of the network's steering committee.
“Close collaboration between the university and the university hospital gives us the best opportunities to bring research close to the patient, to make effective use of state-of-the-art diagnostic methods, and to promote the treatment of brain diseases and brain health,” says Heikki Miettinen, Medical Director at Kuopio University Hospital.
Anna Karjalainen forges links between brain researchers
In addition to Kuopio, Neurocenter Finland has regional Brain & Mind networks in Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Jyväskylä and Oulu. Most of them are now launching their operations. In Kuopio, the activities began in May when Anna Karjalainen, Regional Manager of Kuopio Brain & Mind, initiated her work.
“A key role of Kuopio Brain & Mind is to support and promote high-quality neuroscience research in the region, and research addressing brain health in general, to build multidisciplinary collaboration and to act as a link to national and international scientific networks, companies and other stakeholders,” Karjalainen says.
For example, events promoting networking and multichannel communication, and providing support for the preparation of joint projects and funding applications, will be made available to the region’s experts on brain health.
“In this early stage of operation, the most important single objective is to further develop collaboration between the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital.”
A platform for growth and innovation
The regional Kuopio Brain & Mind network works in collaboration with the Neuroscience Research Community of the University of Eastern Finland and with the clinics responsible for the treatment of brain diseases in Kuopio University Hospital.
“It is important for the high-level research on brain diseases performed in the University of Eastern Finland to be linked to Neurocenter Finland via the regional network. This will enable broad impact, both regionally and internationally,” says Jussi Pihlajamäki, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.
Neurocenter Finland and its regional networks are part of wider development.
“Social welfare and health care combined with research can also be a platform for growth and innovation. Finland has every opportunity to take on a larger role as a development and testing environment, and as a pioneer market. The global competition for investments, talent and research partnerships is tough. To succeed in this competition, closer collaboration is needed. The aim is to establish a national, network-based operating model and partnerships that are based on well-functioning regional networks,” says Jukka Mönkkönen, Rector of the University of Eastern Finland.
Neurocenter Finland comprises seven Finnish universities and five university hospital districts. “The unit coordinating this collaboration is hosted by the University of Eastern Finland. All partners are closely involved in the national steering board's work,” says Professor Reetta Kälviäinen from the University of Eastern Finland, Chair of the steering board.