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Helsinki-Tallinn Twin City of Science Life Science and Biotechnology Report On behalf of Culminatum Ltd Oy – Helsinki Region Centre of Expertise, Finland www.culminatum.fi Prepared by Hydrios Biotechnology Ltd, Finland www.hydrios.com May 2004 Foreword From a geographical perspective, Helsinki and Tallinn are among the closest capitals in Europe. A regular helicopter route covers the 82-kilometer distance between the city centres in less than 20 minutes! Seven shipping companies offer trips between Helsinki and Tallinn. From April to October, there are approximately 30 departures a day from Helsinki to Tallinn! In addition to geographic proximity, Finns and Estonians both belong to the Fenno-Ugric family and are, thus, also united by many cultural similarities. In terms of cultural exchange, the popularity of visiting neighboring countries, accelerating after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, is without precedent; annually, about 6.5 million trips are made between Finland and Estoniaa. Notably, by 2002, 12,000 Estonians already lived regularly in Finland, most in the greater Helsinki region. This trend of increasing cultural and economical collaboration is likely to continue. Knowledge, education, research and innovation are corner stones of the Finnish and Estonian economies, and very likely to increase in importance in the future. Both countries are committed to investing significantly into technological research and development (R&D) as well as in the development of human capital. During the last 5- 10 years, life science and biotechnology have received significant special attention and funding in both countries. In these two fields, Finland and Estonia possess globally renowned scientists and research groups. Finland joined the European Union (EU) in 1995 and has been a member of the European Monetary Union since 1999. Estonia, on the other hand, has very recently (1.5.2004) become a member of the EU. In some ways, this new situation will alter the means and character of the collaboration between Finland and Estonia. The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the life science and biotechnology fields in the greater Helsinki and Tallinn regions (including Tartu) as well as to act as a catalyst for the development of new cooperation between these two regions. Although this report is based on our personal views, we hope that the vision and recommendations here accurately reflect the opinion of the interviewees and other people active in the fields of life science and biotechnology. Finally, we would like to thank all the persons, who participated in the making of this report in different ways (see the acknowledgements and the list of interviewees towards the end of this report). Sincerely, Niklas von Weymarn, D.Sc. (Tech.) Juha Laurén, MD a Anon., Helikopteriyritys Copterline ennustaa Viro-buumille jatkoa, Kauppalehti 6.4.2004. Executive Summary Although approximately similar in population size, the Uusimaa region and Estonia differ in many ways. The Uusimaa region’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is clearly higher than that of Estonia. On the other hand, Estonia’s annual GDP growth rate has been remarkable, surpassing the OECD average by several percentage points. When looking at R&D expenditures as a percentage of GDP, Finland is one of the frontrunners with 3.5 % of GDP invested into R&D in 2002, while the equivalent figure for Estonia was just 0.8 %. Helsinki and Tallinn, and their surrounding regions are focal points for life science and biotechnology R&D and industry. Globally, however, these regions are still relatively small. Despite obvious opportunities, life science and biotechnology collaboration between the greater Helsinki and Tallinn regions has not been fully exploited. Hence, the number of R&D collaborations identified was very low. Typically, the interactions between researchers from the two regions have occurred on an ad hoc basis, rather than due to long-term strategic planning. The future looks different. New efforts, such as the ScanBalt (www.scanbalt.org) and BioBaltic Industry Group organizations as well as the Baltic Sea Knowledge Region Project (www.bskr.org), seem to be striving towards setting common strategic goals and bringing the countries around the Baltic Sea towards closer collaboration. An essential step towards building a globally competitive local research area would be to identify the core competences of that area and to invest together in the development of these competences. We believe that, as partners, Helsinki and Tallinn possess many such core competences within life science and biotechnology. Examples of regional core competences are: biomedicine, genome research, bioinformatics and bioengineering. We also believe that Helsinki and Tallinn have the will to take part in developing a local research and innovation area in which both capitals and their surrounding regions benefit from the cooperation and each others strengths. Key recommendations of this report include: - intensified research collaboration activities in areas where both regions possess strong know-how (resulting in joint research groups and programs) - intensified joint participation in projects funded by different EU programs - intensified cooperation in the development of research and commercialization support structures (quality, intellectual property (IP) protection, licensing, etc.) - intensified teacher, under-, and postgraduate student exchange (enabled by, e.g., joint graduate schools and master’s programs) - shared use of expensive equipment and facilities The potential for closer scientific and innovative collaboration between the greater Helsinki and Tallinn regions is evident. We, thus, hope that this report and its recommendations will result in intensified life science and biotechnology collaboration activities between the two regions. Including the Stockholm and Turku regions located nearby into the collaboration scheme would further enhance the attractiveness and competitiveness of the area. Table of Contents Foreword Executive Summary 1 Background............................................................................................................... 1 2 Life science and biotechnology in the greater Helsinki region ................................ 2 2.1 Universities ..................................................................................................... 2 2.2 Research institutes and organizations ............................................................ 3 2.3 Research and teaching hospitals.................................................................... 4 2.4 Polytechnics.................................................................................................... 5 2.5 Science parks/incubators ................................................................................ 5 2.6 Libraries .......................................................................................................... 6 2.7 Financing ........................................................................................................ 6 2.8 Entrepreneurship/commercialization............................................................... 6 2.9 Industry ........................................................................................................... 7 3 Life science and biotechnology in the greater Tallinn region .................................. 8 3.1 Universities ..................................................................................................... 8 3.2 Research institutes and organizations ............................................................ 9 3.3 Hospitals ....................................................................................................... 10 3.4 Polytechnics.................................................................................................. 10 3.5 Science parks/incubators .............................................................................. 10 3.6 Libraries ........................................................................................................ 11 3.7 Financing ...................................................................................................... 11 3.8 Industry ......................................................................................................... 11 4 Existing agreements, collaboration, and networks ................................................ 13 4.1 Agreements................................................................................................... 13 4.2 Education ...................................................................................................... 13 4.3 Research....................................................................................................... 14 4.4 Industry ......................................................................................................... 14 4.5 Other ............................................................................................................. 15 5 Vision and recommendations ................................................................................. 16 6 Acknowledgements ................................................................................................ 20 Appendices 1. Life science and biotechnology core facilities in the greater Helsinki region 2. Life science and biotechnology core facilities in Estonia 3. Interviewees 4. Questionnaire 5. Academy of Finland’s Centres of Excellence in research in life science and biotechnology in the greater Helsinki region 6. Estonian Centres of Excellence in research and Enterprise Estonia competence centres in life science and biotechnology 1 Background This report was commissioned by Culminatum Ltd Oy Helsinki Region Centre of Expertise, Finland (hereafter Culminatum Ltd) and prepared by Hydrios Biotechnology Ltd, Finland during the two-month period, March-May 2004. This report is a part of a larger EU-funded (Southern Finland Coastal Zone Interreg III A) entity called the Helsinki-Tallinn Twin City of Science Project, with focus on information and communication technology, materials and new technologies as well as life science and biotechnology. This report is a part of the life science and biotechnology sub-focus. The planning and preparation of the report was conducted in collaboration with Culminatum Ltd and the Tallinn Technology Park Development Foundation, Estonia. A Steering Group was also involved. A list of persons interviewed can be found in Appendix 3. Persons, who significantly contributed to the making of this report, are listed in the Acknowledgements section. The data for the report was collected through literature searches, email correspondence, and interviews. In the interviews, a set of nine questions was used as the basis for data collection (see Appendix 4). The basic structures of the Finnish and Estonian economies are notably different: the gross domestic products (GDPs) in 2002 in Finland and Estonia were about 140 and 7 billion euros, respectivelyb. In 2002, the annual GDP growth rate in Finland was just above 2 %, whereas it was close to 6 % in Estonia. Both growth rates are clearly above the current EU average GDP growth rate. The per capita GDP were about 27,000 and 5,000 euros in Finland and Estonia, respectively. Notably, the percentage of GDP spent on R&D was 3.5 % in Finland, which was clearly above the EU and OECD averages. In Estonia, about 0.8 % of GDP was invested into R&D. Helsinki has a population of approximately 560,000 inhabitants. The Helsinki Metropolitan Area (including the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen) has a total of 960,000 inhabitants, whereas the Uusimaa region (additional surrounding municipalities included; here referred also as the greater Helsinki region) has a population of approximately 1.3 million. The city of Tallinn has a population of approximately 400,000 inhabitants. The greater Tallinn region (i.e., Harju County and the northern part of Rapla County) has 540,000 inhabitants. The population of Estonia is about 1.35 million. The term, “life science”, as used in this report, was defined as the scientific study of the living world with an emphasis on high technology. According to this definition, life science becomes a mix of several traditional disciplines including biology, pharmacy, health care, and medicine as well as newer and more specialized disciplines such as biochemistry, molecular biology, and bioinformatics. In defining “biotechnology”, we relied on a shortened version of the one under preparation by an OECD working group: biotechnology is the application of science and technology to living organisms, cells, and/or parts thereof for the production of goods, knowledge, and/or services. Thus, in many areas, life science and biotechnology overlap, e.g., the development and production of new biopharmaceuticals. However, for the purposes of this study, we had an open mind and avoided strictly limiting what was included in the study. b Finnish facts: Statistics Finland (www.stat.fi). Estonian facts: BiotechEstonia -magazine, published by Enterprise Estonia and Estonian Genome Foundation (2003) p. 2. 1 2 Life science and biotechnology in the greater Helsinki region This chapter provides an overview of the life science and biotechnology scene in the greater Helsinki region. More thorough description can be found in various other reports (see list after the Acknowledgements section). This presentation focuses on education and non-industrial research. However, the local industry and the organizations supporting the life science and biotechnology field in the greater Helsinki region are also shortly described. 2.1 Universities The University of Helsinki (www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto/) is the largest University in Finland with about 38,000 under- and postgraduate students and 480 professors. The University is divided into 11 faculties and several institutions. It is currently spread out over five campuses: Viikki, Meilahti, Kumpula, the City Centre, and Vallila. The Viikki campus (including the Viikki Biocentre buildings) is home to the following departments (examples of research subjects in parenthesis): - Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry (functional foods, forest ecology, animal breeding and nutrition, plant biotechnology, and microbial resources) - Faculty of Biosciences (biochemistry, ecology, microbiology, and animal physiology) - Faculty of Pharmacy (pharmacology and drug development) o Viikki Drug Discovery Technology Centre (www.ddtc.helsinki.fi/) - Institute of Biotechnology (see below) - Neuroscience Centre (see below) - Currently, also a part of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The Meilahti campus (including the Biomedicum Helsinki and Haartman Institute buildings) contains the following: - Faculty of Medicine, - Finnish Genome Centre (see below) - Helsinki University Central Hospital (see below). The Faculty of Science (including, e.g., the Departments of Chemistry and Physical Sciences) is located in Kumpula. Currently, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is still partially located in Vallila, but is moving to Viikki in the imminent future. Note: Non- life science and biotechnology faculties and institutions are not mentioned here. No life science or biotechnology degree programs at the University of Helsinki are taught in English. However, several courses, especially those for postgraduates, are taught in English. The Unit for Research Matters supports the researchers at the University of Helsinki in commercialization-related matters (i.e., agreements, transfer of intellectual property rights, etc.). The unit’s 20 employees are spread out over the different campuses. Some University of Helsinki research institutes are also mentioned below in the Research institutes and organizations -section. Helsinki University of Technology (www.hut.fi) is located in Otaniemi, Espoo. It is the largest technical university in Finland with about 15,000 under- and postgraduate 2 students and 250 professors. The university is divided into 12 departments and several institutions (including research institutes). The departments with significant life science and biotechnology activities are the following (examples of research subjects in parenthesis): - Automation and Systems Technology (microsystems, robotics, and neurosciences) - Chemical Technology (food biotechnology, bioengineering, drug development and dosage technology, and biomaterials) - Computer Science and Engineering (bioinformatics, and neurosciences) - Electrical and Communications Engineering (medical devices, bioinformatics, biophysics, bioadaptive technology, and biomaterials) - Engineering Physics and Mathematics (biomedical technology, biophysics, biomaterials, and neurosciences). In addition, the Helsinki University of Technology has many research institutes that focus on life science and biotechnology, namely the Low Temperature Laboratory, Centre for New Materials, the HUT Centrum for Neurosystems, the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, and the Research Institute for Health Care Facilities (SOTERA). Technomedicum, HIIT and the BioMag Laboratory are joint institutes (see below). Notably, only one major (Modern Technology in the Pulp and Paper Industry) and one complete Master’s program (Forest Products Technology) at Helsinki University of Technology are taught in English. The 21 employees of the Otaniemi International Innovation Centre (OIIC) support the researchers at Helsinki University of Technology in, e.g., commercialization issues. Helsinki School of Economics (www.hkkk.fi) is located in the centre of Helsinki. One of the university’s MBA programs, “High-Tech Entrepreneurship”, focuses on biotechnology. The program is taught in English. 2.2 Research institutes and organizations The Institute of Biotechnology (www. biocenter.helsinki.fi/bi/) is a research and educational institute at the University of Helsinki, located in the Viikki Biocentre buildings. The Institute’s current research programs focus on cellular biotechnology, developmental biology, plant biotechnology, systems biology, and structural biology and biophysics. The Neuroscience Centre (www.helsinki.fi/neurosci/) is, like the Institute of Biotechnology, a research and educational institute at the University of Helsinki. It consists of research groups located at both the Viikki and Meilahti campuses. The Finnish Genome Centre is a national facility that provides services and conducts research related to the genetics of multi-factorial diseases. It is administered by the University of Helsinki. Biocentrum Helsinki (www.helsinki.fi/biocentrum) is an umbrella organization at the University of Helsinki with more than 20 research groups, focusing on bioscience, from the Faculties of Medicine, Biosciences and Agriculture and Forestry as well as from the Institute of Biotechnology and Neuroscience Centre. 3 The Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT; www.hiit.fi) is a joint research institute of the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University of Technology. Neuroinformatics is one of the research areas of the Basic Research Unit of HIIT. Technomedicum (www.technomedicum.fi) is a cross-disciplinary institute situated in the Biomedicum Helsinki building, which links the resources of its founding organizations: the University of Helsinki, Helsinki University of Technology, and the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa. Technomedicum seeks to encourage the incorporation of research results into medical and hospitals practices through the interaction of researchers in academia and industry. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (www.vtt.fi) is a research organization with close to 3,000 employees. It is funded by the Finnish government and industrial contract research. One of its research institutes VTT Biotechnology, with about 350 employees, is located in Otaniemi, Espoo (Note: one VTT Biotechnology research unit is located in Viikki and the other is in Turku). The core technological competences of VTT Biotechnology are bioprocesses, functional foods, systems biology, metabolic engineering, and industrial biomolecules. The National Public Health Institute, better known in Finland as KTL (www.ktl.fi), is Finland’s major public health body with about 850 employees, about 300 of which are researchers. KTL is located in Helsinki, with some departments situated in the Biomedicum Helsinki building. The activities of KTL are divided into 10 departments. Folkhälsan (www.folkhalsan.fi) is a Swedish-speaking non-governmental organization acting in the social welfare and health care sector in Finland. Folkhälsan has about 1,200 employees, of which about 100 are researchers, situated mostly in the Biomedicum Helsinki building in Meilahti. The Finnish Institute of Occupational Medicine (www.ttl.fi) is a research and specialist organization in the field of occupational health and safety. It is currently conducting more than 200 research projects. The National Veterinary and Food Research Institute or EELA (ww.eela.fi) promotes both animal health and welfare as well as safeguards the safety and quality of livestock products. EELA conducts research, provides advisory services, and undertakes risk assessment. Wihuri Research Institute (www.wri.fi) is located in Helsinki. The research activities at the Wihuri Research Institute are focused on cardiovascular diseases, with special interest in atherosclerosis and thrombosis. MTT Agrifood Research Finland (www.mtt.fi) and the Institute of Biotechnology have a joint laboratory that focuses on plant genomics research and is located in Viikki. Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research, located in the Biomedicum Helsinki building, is a non-profit organization that conducts basic and applied biomedical research. See Appendix 5 for National Centres of Excellence in the greater Helsinki region within life science and biotechnology. 2.3 Research and teaching hospitals The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa or HUS (www.hus.fi) is responsible for arranging special health care for the population in the Uusimaa district. For some 4 difficult and rare diseases, HUS serves the entire country. The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Helsinki actively uses HUS facilities in teaching and research. The main buildings of Helsinki University Central Hospital or HUCH (the largest hospital within HUS and in Finland) are located in Meilahti and connected by a tunnel to the Biomedicum Helsinki building. The BioMag Laboratory (www.biomag.hus.fi) at HUCH in Meilahti is a centre for magnetocardiography, magnetoencephalography and transcranial magnetic stimulation. The founder organizations of the BioMag Laboratory include, in addition to HUCH, the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University of Technology. The Clinical Research Institute HUCH Ltd (HYKS-instituutti Oy) is responsible for the promotion of clinical pharmaceutical research and research administration of HUS and develops the operations of the core facilities in the Biomedicum Helsinki building (see Appendix 1). 2.4 Polytechnics Arcada (www.arcada.fi) is located partly in Espoo and partly in Helsinki. The school will relocate to Helsinki in August 2004. Most of the degree programs are taught in Swedish (many different programs in Social and Health Care). The English degree program includes Human Ageing and Elderly Service. The section, Evtek (www.evtek.fi), focuses on life science and biotechnology and is located in Vantaa, where the Bio and Food Technology degree program is taught in Finnish. Evtek administers the Electronics Pilot and Education Plant located next to the Technopolis Helsinki-Vantaa business park, which will be operational in the spring of 2004. At Laurea (www.laurea.fi), one can study Sustainable Development and different programs within Social and Health Care. These subjects are taught in Finnish and are offered in Espoo, Vantaa, Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Lohja, and Porvoo. Laurea also offers two Health and Social Care degree programs in English: Nursing and Social Service. Stadia (www.stadia.fi) is located in Helsinki. It offers several degree programs in Social and Health Care, which are taught in Finnish. The degree programs in Social Services and Nursing are taught in English. 2.5 Science parks/incubators Science parks provide office and laboratory space as well as additional services that range from real estate management to licensing support and, e.g., financial services. Helsinki Business and Science Park Ltd (www.hbsp.net) operates on two University of Helsinki campuses: Viikki and Meilahti. The main buildings of Helsinki Business and Science Park in Viikki are Cultivator I and II. They contain over 15,000 m2 of office and laboratory space. Additional laboratory space is provided, e.g., in the Biomedicum Helsinki building in Meilahti. Technopolis Plc’s Otaniemi Science Park Ltd (www.otech.fi) administers the facilities in the Teknologiakylä buildings in Otaniemi (total 4,000 m2 offices) as well as those in the Olartek building in Olarinluoma (total 3,600 m2 offices and production facilities). Swing Life Science Center (www.hartela.fi/lifesciencecenter/) is a recently constructed two-building complex next to the Otaniemi campus. Currently, Swing Life Science Center offers office and laboratory space (total floor space about 11,000 m2), but does not provide additional science park services. Three additional buildings are under construction or planned. Some other smaller incubators are located within Helsinki University of Technology, University of Helsinki, and Helsinki School of Economics (Yrittäjätalon yrityshautomo and New Business Centre) as well as the polytechnics Evtek, Helia, and Laurea. For 5 complete lists of the Helsinki region incubators, see under www.culminatum.fi and/or www.nyppi.net. Several business parks (i.e., office space for hire) are located in the greater Helsinki region. These include, e.g., Airport Plaza Business Park, Arabus, Avia Forum Business Park, High Tech Centre, Innopoli I and II (see Innopoli Ltd; www.innopoli.fi), Technopolis Helsinki-Vantaa, TwinBIC Ltd, and Quartetto. 2.6 Libraries The main life science libraries in the Helsinki Area include the National Library of Health Sciences TERKKO on the Meilahti campus (www.terkko.helsinki.fi), the Viikki Science Library on the Viikki Campus (helix.helsinki.fi/infokeskus/kirjasto/), and the Helsinki University of Technology Library on the Otaniemi Campus (lib.hut.fi). See also the National Electronic Library FinELib (www.finelib.fi). 2.7 Financing The Academy of Finland (www.aka.fi) is the main public financing and expert organization for basic research in Finland and is administered by the Ministry of Education. Tekes, the National Technology Agency (www.tekes.fi), is the main public financing and expert organization for applied research and technological development in Finland. Tekes is administered by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Tekes finances industrial R&D projects as well as university and other research institute projects that have commercial potential. Sitra, the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (www.sitra.fi), is a foundation under the supervision of the Finnish Parliament. Sitra is best known for its role as a venture capitalist. The Foundation for Finnish Inventions (www.keksintosaatio.fi) supports and helps private individuals and small companies in Finland develop and exploit invention proposals. The Employment and Economic Development Centre for Uusimaa (www.te-keskus.fi/uusimaa) provides advisory, financing, and development services for individuals and companies in the Uusimaa region. Finnvera Plc (www.finnvera.fi) is a specialized financing company, offering financing services to promote the domestic operations of Finnish companies, exports, and internationalization. Finnvera is owned by the Finnish state. Finnish Industry Investment Ltd (www.teollisuussijoitus.fi) is a government-owned investment company engaged in equity capital investment. It invests in venture capital funds, private equity funds, and directly in selected target companies. BioFund Management Ltd (www.biofund.fi) is a venture capital management company that invests solely in life science and biotechnology. 2.8 Entrepreneurship/commercialization Spinno Business Development Centre (www.spinno.fi) is part of the Otaniemi Technology Park Ltd activities. Spinno BDC promotes the commercialization of high technology and knowledge intensive business ideas in close collaboration with local universities and research groups. Established jointly by the University of Helsinki, the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, the Helsinki School of Economics, the University of Turku, and Helsinki University of Technology, the IPR University Centre (www.iprinfo.com) coordinates and promotes education on and research into issues of intellectual and industrial property rights. Licentia Ltd (www.licentia.fi) commercializes of technologies developed within universities and research institutes especially in the life science sector. Other commercial players 6 involved in this field include Finpro (www.finpro.fi), Hydrios Biotechnology Ltd (www.hydrios.com), and Innomedica Ltd (www.innomedica.fi). Helsinki Region Marketing Ltd (www.helsinkiregion.com) promotes international business in the Helsinki Region. 2.9 Industry The life science and biotechnology industry in the greater Helsinki region comprise over 100 active companies. A significant portion of the companies has been founded within the last ten years and are, thus, still relatively small. The strongest fields in the greater Helsinki region are: - health-related software (e.g., Tietoenator Plc, Novo Group Plc and Ementor Ltd) - large-sized (heavy) hospital and diagnostic equipment (e.g., General Electric Healthcare (including Instrumentarium and Datex-Ohmeda), Siemens Medical Ltd, Planmeca Ltd and Planmed Ltd) - laboratory equipment (e.g., Thermo Electron Ltd and Biohit Plc) - industrial biotechnology (e.g., Roal Ltd, Sinebrychoff Ltd and Valio Ltd) - in vitro diagnostics (e.g., Orion Diagnostica Ltd, Medix Biochemica Ltd and Finnzymes Ltd) - distribution (e.g., Tamro Ltd and Oriola Ltd) Significant life science and biotechnology companies in the greater Helsinki region (outside the grouping above) include Orion Pharma Ltd (development and production of pharmaceuticals), the Finnish Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service (production of cellular components and plasma derivatives), Remedium Ltd and Medfiles Ltd (clinical contract research), Danisco Finland Ltd (various), and Rintekno Ltd (engineering). Furthermore, bioinformatics is also a growing sector in the greater Helsinki region with many newly founded companies. However, the turnover of these companies is still low. For more detailed information, see Finnish Bioindustries (www.finbio.net), Pharma Industry Finland (www.pif.fi), and SAVA, the hospital and laboratory equipment and device manufacturers (www.ytl.fi/sava/). For more information on Finnish science and technology, please visit www.research.fi. 7 3 Life science and biotechnology in the greater Tallinn region In complement to the preceding chapter, which described the greater Helsinki region, we now provide an overview of the life science and biotechnology scene in the greater Tallinn region. Given Estonia’s small geographical size and the importance of Tartu as a life science and biotechnology centre in the country, we also included that region in the overview. Incidentally, when the Wellcome Trust, an independent research-funding charity, awarded its East European senior research fellowships in biomedical science for 2003- 2007, it gave four out of eleven grants to Estonian scientists: Pärt Peterson (University of Tartu, research on autoimmune diseases), Andres Merits (University of Tartu, research on Semliki forest virus biology), Tõnis Timmusk (National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, research of neurotrophin gene regulation), and Priit Kogerman (National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, research on cancer biology). Of those four, Pärt Peterson had earlier worked at the University of Tampere, the other three at the University of Helsinki. 3.1 Universities As the only engineering and technology university in Estonia, Tallinn University of Technology (www.ttu.ee) has close to 10,000 under- and postgraduate students and is divided into eight faculties. The faculties and their departments and other institutions with significant life science and biotechnology activities are (examples of research subjects in parenthesis): - Faculty of Science o Department of Chemistry (bio-organic chemistry, analytical chemistry of bioactive compounds, and bioprocess technology) o Department of Gene Technology (cancer biology, neurosciences, plant biotechnology, molecular biology, and enzymology) o Biomedical Engineering Centre (medical devices, optics and electronics; see www.cb.ttu.ee) - Faculty of Chemical and Materials Technology o Department of Chemical Engineering o Department of Food Processing (fermentation technology) The Tallinn University of Technology’s Centre for Biotechnology and Gene Technology is described in more detail below (see “Science Parks/Incubators”). In addition, Tallinn University of Technology has three colleges, offering application oriented bachelor- level programs in different technical and economic fields. The researchers at Tallinn University of Technology have support from the TTU Innovation Centre Foundation (www.tuic.ee) and the newly founded Tallinn Technology Park Innovation Foundation (see below). Most courses at the University are given in the Estonian language. However, general studies in Russian are also possible (Note: Selected courses are also taught in English). The largest university in Estonia, the University of Tartu (www.ut.ee), has about 17,500 under- and postgraduate students. The university is divided into 11 faculties. The 8 faculties and their departments and other institutions with significant life science and biotechnology activities are (examples of research subjects in parenthesis): - Faculty of Medicine o Department of Physiology (neurosciences) Centre of Molecular and Clinical Medicine (neurobiology, immunology and brain research; see cmcm.ut.ee) o Institute of Microbiology - Faculty of Biology and Geography o Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (www.tymri.ut.ee/e/) Estonian Centre of Excellence for Gene and Environmental Technologies - Faculty of Physics and Chemistry o Department of Chemistry (bio-organic chemistry) o Training Centre for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering; and - Faculty of Social Sciences Estonian Centre of Excellence: Centre of Behavioral and Health Sciences. In innovation- and commercialization-related matters, the researchers at the University of Tartu gain support from the Institute of Technology (www.tuit.ut.ee) and the Department of Research and Institutional Development (www.ut.ee/taeng). The Faculty of Medicine offers many courses in English. The Estonian Agricultural University (www.eau.ee) is also located in Tartu. The University is divided into six faculties and several research institutes. The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has strong links to life science and biotechnology. Significant research institutes at the Estonian Agricultural University are the Agrobiocentre (www.eau.ee/~eabc/) and the Institute of Experimental Biology, which is located in Harku near Tallinn. 3.2 Research institutes and organizations The National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics (www.kbfi.ee), with a staff of approximately 140 employees, is an independent national research institute located next to Tallinn University of Technology. The Institute is divided into four laboratories. The Laboratory of Chemical Physics specializes in NMR research, including biological NMR. It has also been chosen to an Estonian Centre of Excellence (“Centre of Excellence of Analytical Spectrometry”). The Laboratory of Molecular Genetics specializes in cancer research, neurobiology, toxicology, recombinant protein production, and DNA diagnostics. The Laboratory of Bio-Organic Chemistry specializes in protein science and the Laboratory of Bioenergetics, in cell metabolism. The Institute participates in postgraduate student teaching jointly with Tallinn University of Technology. In addition, it emphasizes technology transfer programs. The Estonian Biocentre (www.ebc.ee) has been an EU Centre of Excellence since 2000 (within the EU’s 5th Framework Program). The Tartu-based Biocentre is administered by the Ministry of Education and Research. Its primary collaborators in Estonia are the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics in Tallinn and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Tartu’s Faculty of Biology and Geography. The research at the Biocentre is directed towards gene and cell technologies, molecular evolution, and environmental biotechnology. 9 The Estonian Genome Foundation (www.geenivaramu.ee) is the organization behind the Estonian Genome Project. This Tartu-based foundation is currently collecting and storing DNA samples of Estonians as well as collecting a health record database. Health care and welfare related organizations administered by the Ministry of Social Affairs include the National Institute for Health Development (www.tai.ee), the Estonian Centre for Health Education and Promotion (www.tervis.ee), and the Estonian Drug Monitoring Centre (eusk.tai.ee), which are all located in Tallinn. Jõgeva Plant Breeding Institute (www.jpbi.ee) is the leading plant breeding and seed certification research institution in Estonia. In addition, many scientific societies exist in Estonia, e.g., Estonian Societies of Human Genetics (www.estshg.ebc.ee), Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics (www.physic.ut.ee/ebmy/), and Toxicology (www.estsoctox.ee). 3.3 Hospitals Tallinn does not have a university hospital. In Estonia, the University of Tartu offers medical education and also has an affiliated hospital (see www.kliinikum.ee). However, several major public hospitals in the greater Tallinn region provide care for all major medical specialties, namely the North-Estonian Regional Hospital, the East-Tallinn Central Hospital, the West-Tallinn Central Hospital, and Tallinn Children’s Hospital. All these hospitals participate in teaching graduate medical students from the University of Tartu. 3.4 Polytechnics The Tallinn Medical School (www.medkool.ee) is located in Mustamäe and has two departments: Nursing and Midwifery and Medical Technical. Also note the medical schools in Tartu (www.med.edu.ee) and Kohtla-Järve (www.hot.ee/teachermed/). Räpina Gardening College has had a study program for biotechnology technicians since 2001. Õisu Food Industry School (www.hot.ee/oisuttk) specializes in various food technologies. 3.5 Science parks/incubators The Tallinn Technology Park Development Foundation (web page to be opened at www.technopol.ee) was founded in March 2003, with activities beginning in the spring of 2004. It combines the Tallinn Technology Park and the innovation support services at Tallinn University of Technology. The Foundation offers business incubators (“Tallinn Business Incubators”; see www.tinc.ee) at Mustamäe and Lasnamäe and services related to commercialization. The Centre for Biotechnology and Gene Technology (sise.ttu.ee/biogen/) was established in 2002 at Tallinn University of Technology to promote the applied biotechnology and biomedicine R&D performed at the University. It provides help on project management, building common infrastructure for projects and companies affiliated with the centre, establishing core facilities as well as promoting investments and networking locally and internationally. The Tartu Science Park (park.tartu.ee/uus/), or the Tartu Science Park Foundation, provides a variety of services needed in the commercialization of R&D innovations. Tartu Biotechnology Park Ltd (www.biopark.ee) coordinates the services within Tartu 10 Science Park related to life science and biotechnology. Tartu Science Park, the Estonian Genome Foundation and some local companies established the Tartu Biotechnology Park Ltd in 2002. The Tartu Science Park Incubator offers a variety of services to start-up companies, ranging from fully developed infrastructure (3,000 m2 of office and laboratory space) and office services to business and management consultancy. 3.6 Libraries The Tartu University Library (www.utlib.ee) is the largest scientific library (including life sciences) in Estonia. The Academic Library of Tallinn Pedagogical University (www.ear.ee) is the main library in the Tallinn region with life science related collections. The Tallinn University of Technology Library (www.lib.ttu.ee) is mainly dedicated to the technological literature, including biotechnology and food technology. The Medical Library of Estonia (www.medlib.ee) is also situated in Tallinn. 3.7 Financing The Ministry of Social Affairs is responsible for basic public health and social welfare in Estonia, including the public hospitals. Some relevant organizations that the Ministry of Social Affairs administers were already mentioned above. The Ministry of Education and Research channels funds to the public universities and basic research efforts in Estonia (mainly distributed through the Estonian Science Foundation; sometimes written: Estonian Research Foundations; see www.etf.ee). The Ministry of Education and Research’s Centre of Excellence in Research Program offers financial support to the leading basic science entities in Estonia (see Appendix 6). The Ministry also administers the Estonian Biocentre in Tartu. The Archimedes Foundation (www.archimedes.ee) assists the Ministry of Education and Research in R&D functions. Located in Tallinn, Enterprise Estonia (www.eas.ee) is administered by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. Enterprise Estonia is better known in Estonia as EAS (hence, the home page) and incorporates the Estonian Technology Agency or ESTAG. Most of the public applied research funding in Estonia is distributed through Enterprise Estonia/ESTAG. Currently, the organization has three R&D-related programs: the Competence Centre (starting 2004; see Appendix 6), Spinno, and Innovation Awareness Programs. Moreover, it also has an office in Helsinki. The Estonian Credit and Export Guarantee Fund, KredEx (www.kredex.ee), is a self- sustaining fund within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, whose goal is to support the development of enterprises, exports, and housing. The Tallinn City Enterprise Board and private investors, such as BaltCap (www.baltcap.com), Intergate (www.intergate.ee), Lõhmus, Haavel and Viiseman, Baltic Investment Group, Baltic Small Equity Fund (www.bsef.ee), and Baltic-American Enterprise Fund also play a role in these activities. 3.8 Industry Life science and biotechnology industry in Estonia is fairly young. A significant portion of the companies was founded within the last 5-6 years and are, thus, relatively small. According to one surveyc, approximately 60 % of companies have less than three employees. Notably, only three companies have more than 100 employees (Tallinn c See: http://www.biopark.ee/en/biotehnoloogia/ylevaade.html 11 Pharmaceutical Company Ltd, Tondi Electronics Ltd, and Magnum Medical Ltd) and three with between 50 and 100 employees (Tamro Eesti Ltd, Oriola Ltd, and Nycomed Sefa Ltd). About 60 % (i.e., about 30 companies) of all life science and biotechnology companies in Estonia are located in the Tallinn and the Harjumaa area. The strongest fields in the greater Tallinn region are the following: - distribution (e.g., Magnum Medical Ltd, Tamro Eesti Ltd, Oriola Ltd, Nycomed Sefa Ltd, Bioexpert Ltd, G.W. Berg Ltd, and HNK Analüüsitehnika Ltd) - medical devices (e.g., Tondi Electronics Ltd) - drug development and production (e.g., Tallinn Pharmaceutical Company Ltd, Kevelt Ltd, and ProSyntest Ltd) - cancer research (e.g., CeleCure Ltd and ProtoBioS Ltd) - diagnostic services and development (e.g., HTI Laboriteenuste Ltd, Tallinna Diagnostikakeskus Ltd, Bestenbalt LLC, and InBio Ltd). Other areas of interest include e.g. bioprocess software (Proekspert Ltd) and health care and medical services (Ferthal Ltd). See also the Estonian Biotechnology Association (www.biotech.city.ee). 12 4 Existing agreements, collaboration, and networks The overview of the existing collaboration activities in life science and biotechnology between the greater Helsinki and Tallinn regions, presented below, is divided into the following subcategories: Agreements, Education, Research, Industry, and Other. Generally speaking, few activities between the two regions were identified. More importantly, most of the existing collaborative efforts seem to short-termed. Projects with solid long-term strategies are clearly lacking (with perhaps the exception of genome research). Given the large volume of research conducted at the University of Helsinki, Helsinki University of Technology, and the Estonian universities, we were surprised to find so few examples of research collaboration between research groups across the Gulf. Most of the joint research projects or cooperation seems to have been initiated by an Estonian researcher moving to the universities in the greater Helsinki region or less commonly vice versa. On a city level, however, several joint events have taken place. In the imminent future, Finland and Estonia might initiate new forms of collaboration by founding organizations like ScanBalt (www.scanbalt.org) and the BioBaltic Industry Group (collaboration between the bioindustry organizations in the Nordic countries and the Baltic States). 4.1 Agreements No official science and technology agreements related to Life Science and Biotechnology between Finland and Estonia exist. 4.2 Education Student exchange between the greater Helsinki region and Estonia, especially for the thesis work period, is common in both universities and polytechnics. Notably, many Finns study Medicine or Veterinary Medicine at the Estonian universities. Along with the students, also teachers practice exchange between the universities in the greater Helsinki region and Estonia. Stadia Polytechnic’s active partners (e.g., student exchange) include the medical schools in Tallinn and Tartu. Stadia Polytechnic also collaborates with the University of Tartu on a project involving collaborators from Oulu, Finland and Ghent, Belgium. A primary goal for many polytechnics in Europe is to establish pan-European education programs. The discussions between Stadia and Tartu Medical School are examples of such efforts. A collaboration agreement exists between Helsinki University of Technology and Tallinn University of Technology. In the near future, the HeTa –project will further explore opportunities for collaboration between these two technical universities. Moreover, hospitals in the Tallinn region and the University of Helsinki are currently considering starting joint advanced training programs and graduate schools in the field of medicine and health care. 13 4.3 Research At the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, several groups in the Department of Applied Biology are actively collaborating with research groups from Tallinn University of Technology. The topics are mainly related to plant pathology. For example, Professor Jari Valkonen and Dr. Kristiina Mäkinen, Department of Applied Biology, are collaborating with Professor Erkki Truve and Dr. Lilian Järvekylg in the field of plant virology and plant biotechnology. The Institute of Biotechnology in Viikki, the Department of Gene Technology, and the Centre for Biotechnology and Gene Technology both at Tallinn University of Technology and National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics in Tallinn are collaborating in the fields of cancer treatment drug discovery and neurobiology. Professor Mart Saarma, head of the Institute of Biotechnology, is currently collaborating with Dr. Tõnis Timmusk at the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics. He will also be involved with the newly founded Competence Centre for Cancer Research at Tallinn University of Technology. Moreover, Professor Leevi Kääriäinen and Dr. Tero Ahola at the Institute of Biotechnology collaborate with Dr. Andres Merits at the University of Tartu in animal virology. The Department of Chemistry at Tallinn University of Technology is involved in several collaborations with the University of Helsinki. For example, Professor Toomas Tamm and Professor Margus Lopp are collaborating with Professor Pekka Pyykkö and Professor Tapio Hase at the Department of Chemistry. Helsinki University of Technology (Professor Raimo Sepponen’s group) and Tallinn University of Technology (Biomedical Engineering Centre) are collaborating in the fields of medical technology, medical devices, and telemedicine. The HeTa -project (see above) will likely result in with more examples of collaboration between the two technical universities. KTL is the project leader for Finbalt Health Monitor, a collaborative system for monitoring health-related behavior, practices, and lifestyles in Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. In genome research, the Estonian Genome Project and Professor Leena Peltonen-Palotie’s group at KTL are collaborating. The Estonian Genome Project also collaborates with the Finnish Genome Centre at the University of Helsinki. VTT Biotechnology is the coordinator of the 5th Framework project “Food, GI-tract Functionality Human Health Cluster” or PROEUHEALTH. The project is a scientific, medical, and commercial collaboration between 64 research groups from 16 European countries. The University of Tartu (Professor Marika Mikelsaar) is a partner in one of the cluster research projects. Technomedicum, Helsinki is collaborating (joint R&D and other projects) with hospitals in Tallinn, Tartu, and Kohtla-Järve as well as Tallinn University of Technology and the University of Tartu. For example, Technomedicum coordinates the Network for Future Regional Health Care, an EU-project in which the Biomedical Engineering Centre at Tallinn University of Technology is a partner. 4.4 Industry The industry umbrella organizations, Finnish Bioindustries and the Estonian Biotechnology Association are currently discussing closer collaboration. Both parties are also taking part in the BioBaltic Industry Group discussions (collaboration between the Nordic countries and the Baltic States). 14 MoBiDiag Ltd, a Finnish diagnostics company, is collaborating with the Centre for Biotechnology and Gene Technology, Tallinn University of Technology (Professor Erkki Truve). Quattromed Ltd, Tartu is also collaborating with MediCel Ltd, Helsinki in bioinformatics. MediCel Ltd has also collaborated with Asper Biotech Ltd, Tartu in the field of molecular biology. The largest dairy company in Finland, Valio Ltd is an industry partner in the newly founded Competence Centre for Food and Fermentation Technologies at Tallinn University of Technology (Professor Raivo Vilu). Some Finnish life science and biotechnology distributors and software companies have subsidiaries or distributors in Estonia. Some examples include Tamro Ltd, Instrumentarium Ltd, Oriola Ltd, Labema Ltd, G.W. Berg Ltd, and Mediconsult Ltd. Also a few clinical trials coordinated by Finnish CRO’s have been conducted in Estonia. Medifiles Ltd, for example, has a subsidiary in Tartu. On the contrary, the Tartu-based Quintiles Estonia Ltd has contacts in the Helsinki region. ProSyntest Ltd, Estonia and Kemira Fine Chemicals Ltd, Finland, are conducting R&D collaboration in the field of organic synthesis. 4.5 Other The Estonian Technology Agency, ESTAG (now a part of Enterprise Estonia) was developed in close cooperation with Tekes, the National Technology Agency in Finland. Licentia Ltd, Finland also actively participated in the development of the Innovation Centre at Tallinn University of Technology. This collaborative effort is ongoing, whilst the active Finnish part has been Otaniemi International Innovation Centre at Helsinki University of Technology. Helsinki-Tallinn Euregio is a non-profit organization established in 2003 with the objective of promoting cooperation and enhancing regional integration. The partners in Helsinki-Tallinn Euregio are the cities of Helsinki and Tallinn, the Harju County Government, Uusimaa Regional Council, and Union of Harju County Municipalities. Finpro has an office in Estonia (Finpro Estonia), while Enterprise Estonia has an office in Helsinki. TwinBIC, Helsinki and Helsinki School of Economics and the Tallinn Technology Park cooperate within their incubator programs. However, the Helsinki Region Marketing Ltd business centre in Tallinn (Helsinki Maja) will close in June 2004. The Research Institute for Health Care Facilities (SOTERA) at Helsinki University of Technology has had several pilot projects involving the Baltic States. Laurea Polytechnic is also planning to expand their welfare service information package (see www.hyve.fi) to include Estonia. SIDOS Partners Ltd, Finland is raising funds to be invested in life science and biotechnology in Finland, Estonia, and Sweden. At the Helsinki School of Economics, Professor Hannu Seristö’s group is studying the effect of the Estonian EU membership on the companies in the greater Helsinki region. Also at Helsinki School of Economics, Dr. Riitta Kosonen’s group at the Centre for Markets in Transition conducts similar research. See also the recent report by the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Kari Alho et al.: EU:n laajentumisen vaikutukset suomalaisten yritysten strategioihin, 2004) on the same subject. 15 5 Vision and recommendations Historical and cultural heritage between Estonia and the Nordic countries has paved the way for the collaboration we see today between these countries. Evolving new projects and organizations, such as the ScanBalt, BioBaltic Industry Group, and the Nordic Research and Innovation Area (Noria), will further strengthen the collaboration between the Nordic and Baltic countries. Notably, with the latest enlargement of the EU, the number of EU countries around the Baltic Sea has increased from four to eight. The Baltic Sea region could become a major player in the world of life science and biotechnology with some effort. Thus far, formal scientific cooperation based on agreements has been relatively modest, although Estonia and the other new member states have already been considered equal partners with the “old” member states in EU research projects (beginning with the 5th Framework Program, i.e., since 1999)d. Long before formally entering the EU, Estonia has also been a full member of other EU frameworks, such as the European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST) and the development of GEANT, a pan-European research infrastructure network. Moreover, some Estonian organizations have also participated in different EUREKA projects (a network for industrial research and development) for many years. In this respect, we do not see that Estonia’s new membership in the EU will significantly alter the prospects for scientific collaboration between Finland and Estonia. It is now time for researchers and other parties involved to take a bigger role in collaboration build-up! Vision (in 5-10 years) The identification of focus areas, teamwork and long-term strategies are crucial in order to become and remain competitive in the global world of life science and biotechnology. A natural step towards increased competitiveness would be to intensify the collaboration between the greater Helsinki and Tallinn regions, with the aim to build a strong local research area within the European Research Area (ERA). An example of such strategic alliance in the field of biotechnology is the Medicon Valley connecting the greater Copenhagen region in Denmark to the Skåne region (southern part of Sweden), including the cities of Malmö and Lund in Sweden (www.mediconvalley.com). Another dimension for the Helsinki-Tallinn regional cooperation in life science and biotechnology would be to also include the Turku and Stockholm regions in the cooperation and, thus, form an even stronger local research area. It is important to keep in mind that an essential factor in success here is also the ability to attract investments. Therefore, a local research area, such as the Helsinki-Tallinn-Turku- Stockholm area, would surely attract more venture capital and other investments to the region than the regions could attract alone. In 5-10 years, a local life science and biotechnology research area between the greater Helsinki and Tallinn regions might have the following characteristics: - Several joint research programs and groups funded by national agencies working together - Joint participation in 10-20 projects funded by different EU programs d Sansom, C., European biotechnology turns east. Nature Biotechnology 17 (1999) 437-439. 16 - Some joint education programs (both degree programs and graduate schools) and intense student exchange. This aspect will be enforced by the Bologna process (resulting in separate bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as in a system of comparable degrees in all European universities), which will be adopted in Finland starting in fall 2005. The Estonian universities have already implemented this system in their universities - Close collaboration in the development of innovation systems (“from university research to intellectual property (IP) protection and further to licensing agreements and start-up companies”) - Joint use of expensive research equipment and facilities - Joint efforts to explore the neighboring markets and research communities of Russia and the other Baltic states In comparison to the situation in Finland, labor and services will remain cheaper in Estonia for many years. Although this gap might slowly decrease, it will surely have an impact on collaboration and may even offer new opportunities. Recommendations In order to move towards the vision presented above, the following general measures should be taken: - Continued efforts should be directed towards building research partnerships across the Gulf. A natural staring point would be to promote collaboration between academic research groups from both regions. Funding for such cooperation could be applied for jointly from the Academy of Finland and Estonian Research Council (perhaps also Tekes and Enterprise Estonia). - Finnish and Estonian research organizations should be encouraged to participate jointly in different EU projects. Also, in relation to the first recommendation, EU funding tools for researcher exchange, such as Marie Curie, should be utilized more frequently. - The greater Helsinki and Tallinn regions and the universities in these regions should intensify their ongoing joint efforts to develop the innovation systems (e.g., quality, IP protection, and commercialization). In many cases, the SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprise) support systems could also be further developed collaboratively. In general, awareness and knowledge about quality and IPR should be enhanced among students, researchers, and SMEs. - When purchasing expensive research equipment and planning the construction of expensive facilities, representatives from the other region should always be consulted in order to avoid replicating high-cost infrastructure already in place. - The intensified student (and teacher) exchange on a university-level requires a significant increase in individual courses and even entire master’s programs offered in English. Such development could especially be considered within the Study Program in Bioinformation Technology at Helsinki University of Technology (www.lce.hut.fi/bioit/index_eng.html) and the new HEBIOT – program (i.e., “The Study Program for Biotechnology in the Helsinki region”; see 17 www.helsinki.fi/biotekniikka/). The latter is a unique collaboration between the University of Helsinki, Helsinki University of Technology, and Helsinki School of Economics. The first HEBIOT students will start in fall of 2004. These two study programs and the fields they represent: (1) the interface of biology, computer science, and mathematics; and (2) applied biotechnology, have the potential of being building blocks in educational cooperation in the fields of life science and biotechnology between the universities in the greater Helsinki region and Tallinn. See also the Centre for International Mobility (www.cimo.fi) and the NorFA grants (www.norfa.no). Those who plan collaboration between Finland and Estonia must consider the legal differences between the two countries. Several legal factors can complicate or even hinder the signing of research agreements, joint patenting, or even student exchange. For example, the obstacle to implementation of the PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications) system in Estonia was found to be legislation, rather than technical or prejudicial matters. The patent law in Estonia also differs from that used in Finland. In fact, according to a recent report, the reason that so few companies have relocated their R&D to the accession countries is the perceived lack of patent protection and the possibility of theft of intellectual property (IP) theree. On the other hand, the low level of patent protection also means that there are opportunities to find valuable IP in new EU member states. (Note that the Estonian EU membership and the implementation of the EU laws will naturally take care of many of these problems. However, this process may take some time). Regarding research collaborations, we have identified the following as potential fields: - Health care and welfare technologies - Genome research - Bioinformatics and systems biology - Neurosciences - Organic synthesis and drug design - Cancer research - Bioengineering (including bioprocess engineering) - Agrobiotechnology - Environmental biotechnology Some more specific academic collaboration opportunities were also identified: - In genome research, the collaboration between Finland and Estonia already exists, and the area is clearly worthy of further support and collaboration. The Estonian Genome Project is a world-class effort to identify genetic variations that predispose individuals to common multifactorial diseases (e.g., diseases such as asthma and heart disease). To fully exploit the potential of the Estonian Genome Project, it should actively seek collaboration with researchers, including those in Finland. Finnish researchers possess a long tradition of mapping genes for not only monogenic, but also for multifactorial diseases as well as performing the required statistical analysis. - In the field of new drugs for cancer treatment, networking between the Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Helsinki, some of the Biomedicum Helsinki research groups, VTT Biotechnology (Professor Olli Kallioniemi’s group), the e Brodie et al., EU enlargement – Driving Changes in the European Life Science Industry, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Report of March 2004, 68 p. 18 Centre for Biotechnology and Gene Technology at Tallinn University of Technology, and the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (Dr. Priit Kogerman) at the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics in Tallinn should be started/intensified. (Note: Tallinn University of Technology was recently awarded a Competence Centre for Cancer Research) - Within biological NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) research, the National Biological NMR Centre in Viikki and the Laboratory of Chemical Physics at the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics in Tallinn (Professor Endel Lippmaa and Dr. Ago Samoson) could benefit from each other’s know- how. Professor Kimmo Kaski’s group at the Laboratory of Computational Engineering, Helsinki University of Technology is intensifying its biological NMR research and could, thus, be a valuable addition to this network. Similar collaboration could also be developed around electron microscopy (especially cryo-electron microscopy and electron tomography) and brain imaging. - Further collaboration could be built between the newly founded Competence Centre for Food and Fermentation Technologies at Tallinn University of Technology and the Laboratory of Bioprocess Engineering, Helsinki University of Technology, VTT Biotechnology, and Evtek Polytechnic. - The agriculture in Finland and Estonia (and Sweden) share similar climates, dealing with many of the same problems, such as cold and similar crop and plant diseases. Therefore, agrobiotechnology is a natural field of collaboration between Finland, Estonia, and Sweden (For information on existing educational collaboration between Finland and Sweden in the field of plant pathology, see honeybee.helsinki.fi/mmsbl/kpat/cppe/). Although agrobiotechnology is not currently a popular topic of research in Europe and especially avoided by European companies, this situation will not last. One example of new direction and inspiration is the recently launched GM (genetically modified) beer in Sweden. Also, note the recent EU parliament decisions in favor of agrobiotechnology. 19 6 Acknowledgements We would like to thank Professor Matti Leisola, Helsinki University of Technology, Department of Chemical Technology; Professor Erkki Truve, Tallinn University of Technology, Department of Gene Technology; Professor Mart Saarma, University of Helsinki, Institute of Biotechnology; and Dr. Timo Törmälä, Sakari Paloheimo and Dr. Pauli Seppänen, all from Licentia Ltd for all their help during the study and especially for revising the report manuscript. The constructive discussions related to the subject with Professor Juha Ahvenainen, VTT Biotechnology, Dr. Harry Holthöfer, Technomedicum Ltd, Paula Nybergh, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Pentti Pitkänen and Annukka Kortekangas, both from Helsinki Region Marketing Ltd, were also truly appreciated. Moreover, we would like to acknowledge the valuable input of Kimmo Heinonen and Tuula Palmén, both from Culminatum Ltd; Riikka Paasikivi, Helsinki Business and Science Park Ltd; Dr. Raivo Tamkivi and Dr. Rein Ruubel, both from Tallinn Technology Park Development Foundation; and Tanja Rautiainen, Innomedica Ltd. Some recent studies on related topics are available. The ones used as the basis for this report were: - TKK ja Life Science, Helsinki University of Technology (prepared by Matti Leisola and Niklas von Weymarn), 2002. - Knowledge-based Estonia: Estonian Research and Development Strategy 2002-2006, Estonian Research and Development Council, 2002. - Selvitys Helsingin seudun life tech –alan yritysten toiminnan kehittämisedellytyksistä, Culminatum Ltd (prepared by Kai Falck and Päivi Ryöppy), 2003. - Biotechnology in Estonia, Enterprise Estonia (Estonian Genome Foundation), 2003. - Suomi ja Viro Euroopan Unionissa, Esko Ollila and Jaak Jõerüüt, 2003. - Pre-eminent Drug Discovery and Development Resources in Academic Medicine, Helsinki, Helsinki Region Marketing Ltd (prepared by Philip W. Anderson and Juha Laurén), Finland, 2003. 20 APPENDIX 1 Life science and biotechnology core facilities in the greater Helsinki region - Biomedicum Helsinki (see www.biomedicum.fi) o Protein chemistry core facility o Protein interaction facility o Facility for mass production of proteins and cells o Biomedicum bioinformatics unit o Biomedicum biochip centre o Transgenic animal facility o Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI ) unit o P3 safety laboratory o Clinical research unit o Media production unit - Institute of Biotechnology (see www.biocenter.helsinki.fi/bi) o National Biological NMR Laboratory of Finland (joint with VTT) o DNA microarray laboratory o Protein chemistry research group and core facilities o DNA synthesis and sequencing laboratory o Electron microscopy unit o Transgenic unit o Media production unit o Cryo electron microscopy and electron tomography o Cellular imaging unit o Cell microinjection unit - Haartman Institute (see www.hi.helsinki.fi/hi) o DNA sequencing and oligonucletide synthesis o Flow cytometry facility o Advanced microscopy unit o Animal facility o Biosafety level 3 laboratory o Gamma-irradiator - Helsinki University of Technology o Microelectronics centre (www.hut.fi/Units/MEC/) o Chemical analysis centre (www.hut.fi/Yksikot/Analyysikeskus/) o Advanced magnetic imaging centre (www.ami.hut.fi) o Small-scale fermentors and downstream processing equipment (www.hut.fi/Units/Biotechnology/) o Computational equipment (e.g., www.lce.hut.fi/ ) - The Finnish IT Centre for Science, CSC (www.csc.fi) is owned by the Ministry of Education. With the most powerful computers in the Nordic countries, CSC is able to provide modeling, computing, and information services to universities, polytechnics, research institutions and industrial companies. - VTT Biotechnology (www.vtt.fi/bel/services/) o Pilot plant (food processing and fermentation) o Expression service 21 o High throughput screening o Hygiene services o Probiotic products o Culture collection o Carbohydrate analysis o Custom monoclonal antibodies - HUCH Diagnostics (www2.hus.fi/lab/ohjekirja/) - Evtek Polytechnic (see www.evtek.fi) o small-scale fermentors, food processing equipment and downstream processing equipment 22 APPENDIX 2 Life science and biotechnology core facilities in Estonia - Tallinn University of Technology (www.ttu.ee) o Centre for Biotechnology and Gene Technology (sise.ttu.ee/biogen/) o Department of Gene Technology Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) Laboratory-scale fermentors Plant molecular biology facilities o Department of Chemistry Chiral synthesis of organic compounds Capillary electrophoresis facility Unit of computational chemistry Synthesis of prostaglandins - National Institute for Chemical Physics and Biophysics (www.kbfi.ee) o Biological NMR o Molecular (genetic) identification services o Environmental monitoring services o Animal facility - Tallinn Diagnostic Centre Ltd (www.dk.ee) o Functional diagnostics o Laboratory diagnostics o Medical imaging - Agrobiocentre (www.eau.ee/~eabc/) o Culture collection - Estonian Biocentre (www.ebc.ee) o DNA sequencing o Antibody services and peptide synthesis o Several biosensors (including fluorescence) o Genotyping-related bioinformatics services o Microinjection o Pilot-scale fermentors (70 liter and 15 liters) o Note also the collaboration with the local companies - For a more specific list see: www.genomics.ee/index.php?lang=est&show=1&sub=92 23 APPENDIX 3 Interviewees In Estonia - Evelyn Aaviksoo, Terviseportaal Ltd - Kalju Meigas, Tallinn University of Technology, Biomedical Engineering Centre - Ilmar Pralla, Enterprise Estonia - Kaarel Siirde, ProSyntest Ltd - Erkki Truve, Tallinn University of technology, Department of Gene Tecgnology - Mart Ustav, Tartu University Institute of Technology - Kalju Vanatalu, CDN Ltd In the greater Helsinki region - Juha Ahvenainen, VTT Biotechnology - Riitta Hari, Helsinki University of Technology, Low Temperature Laboratory - Saara Hassinen, Finnish Bioindustries - Päivi Hellén, Stadia Polytechnic - Harry Holthöfer, Technomedicum Ltd - Veijo Ilmavirta, Helsinki University of Technology, Otaniemi International Innovation Centre - Olavi Junttila, University of Helsinki, Department of Applied Biology - Kimmo Kaski, Helsinki University of Technology, Laboratory of Computational Engineering - Auli Kumpulainen, SIDOS Partners Ltd - Matti Leisola, Helsinki University of Technology, Laboratory of Bioprocess Engineering - Saila Miettinen-Lähde, SIDOS Partners Ltd - Paula Nybergh, Ministry of Trade and Industry - Heikki Ojamo, Evtek Polytechnic - Raimo Pakkanen, Tekes - Sakari Paloheimo, Licentia Ltd - Pentti Pitkänen, Helsinki Region Marketing Ltd - Heikki Rautajoki, TwinBIC Ltd - Mart Saarma, University of Helsinki, Institute of Biotechnology - Pauli Seppänen, Licentia Ltd - Hannu Seristö, Helsinki School of Economics - Liisa Simola, University of Helsinki, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences - Hans Söderlund, VTT Biotechnology - Jaakko Tarkkanen, Laurea Polytechnic - Hely Tuorila, University of Helsinki, Viikki Food Science - Timo Törmälä, Licentia Ltd - Jari Valkonen, University of Helsinki, Department of Applied Biology - Juha Vapaavuori, Sitra - Kristiina Wähälä, University of Helsinki, Laboratory of Organic Chemistry 24 APPENDIX 4 Questionnaire (for the Finnish interviewees) 1. Do you collaborate with any Estonian partners (sales or purchase of services, R&D collaboration, projects, finance, education/training, other)? 2. Please specify the contents of your collaboration the Estonian partners (which organization, which subject, contact person, partner location)? 3. Do you know of any collaboration between the greater Helsinki and Tallinn areas? 4. Are you interested in collaborating with an Estonian partner or perhaps willing to intensify an existing collaboration (please specify the areas of interest). 5. What is your picture of the life science and biotechnology scene in Estonia (universities, research institutes, industry)? What is your view on the state of the support infrastructure in Estonia for commercializing innovations? 6. Which areas within life science and biotechnology do you see as potential collaboration areas (e.g., project or research program entities)? 7. How does the life science and biotechnology collaboration scene between the greater Helsinki and Tallinn areas look like in 5 and 10 years (your vision)? 8. How does the Estonian EU-membership (1.5.2004-) influence the possibilities for collaboration? 9. Do you know of any core facilities (e.g., equipment) and services in Finland that could be shared with Estonian partners (i.e., hired by Estonian partners)? 25 APPENDIX 5 Academy of Finland’s Centres of Excellence in research in life science and biotechnology in the greater Helsinki region Coordinated by the University of Helsinki (five first by the Institute of Biotechnology) - Helsinki Bioenergetics Group - Program of Molecular Neurobiology - Program on Structural Virology - Developmental Biology Research Program - Plant Molecular Biology and Forest Biotechnology - Program on Cancer Biology - Program for Microbial Resources - Metapopulation Research Group - Research Unit on Physics, Chemistry and Biology of Atmospheric Composition and Climate Change Coordinated by Helsinki University of Technology - Bio- and Nanopolymers Research Group - Low Temperature Laboratory - Neural Networks Research Centre - Research Centre for Computational Science and Engineering Jointly with University of Helsinki and Helsinki University of Technology - From Data to Knowledge - Helsinki Brain Research Center (HUS is also a partner) Coordinated by KTL - Program in Disease Genetics Coordinated by VTT Biotechnology - VTT Industrial Biotechnology Currently the Ministry of Education in Finland is supporting altogether 42 Centres of Excellence in research (all fields included; 26 for the years 2000-2005 and 16 for 2002- 2007). Of these 29 are related to life science and biotechnology research. Notably, 17 of these (i.e. approximately 60 %) are coordinated by organizations in the greater Helsinki region. 26 APPENDIX 6 Estonian Centres of Excellence in research and Enterprise Estonia Competence Centres in life science and biotechnology Centres of Excellence in Life science and Biotechnology At the University of Tartu: - CE for Basic and Applied Ecology - CE for Gene and Environmental Technologies - Centre of Molecular and Clinical Medicine - Estonian Centre of Behavioral and Health Sciences - Institute of Physics At the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics: - CE of Analytical Spectrometry Totally ten Centres in Excellence are currently supported by the Ministry of Education and Research (Estonian Science Council) incl. all research fields. Competence Centres in Life Science and Biotechnology At the Tallinn University of Technology - Competence Centre for Cancer Research - Competence Centre for Food and Fermentation Technologies At the Estonian Agricultural University - Competence Centre of Healthy Dairy Products Totally six Competence Centres was nominated in 2004 by Enterprise Estonia incl. all research fields. 27
"Helsinki-Tallinn Twin City of Science"