Linking up: EU biobank synergies
Helsinki/Hinxton – Finland has pledged EUR1.85m to help create world-class bioinformatics, biobanking and translational research infrastructures, the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) at the European Molecular Laboratory (EMBL) in Hinxton reported in February. The investment comes as part of the linkage of three large EU projects: “European Life Sciences Infrastructure for Biological Innovation” (ELIXIR), “Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure” (BBMRI), and “European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure in Medicine” (EATRIS).
The commitment is Finland’s first specific European investment in this area, and follows Denmark’s recent EUR5.3m ELIXIR funding pledge. The Finnish money is earmarked for pilot studies in 2010. a1m of the funding is to be provided by the Ministry of Education, with EUR0.85m in co-financing coming from a consortium consisting of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), the CSC – IT Center for Science, and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). ”A small country should concentrate its European investments in those areas that are of critical importance, and where synergies may arise,” FIMM director Olli Kallioniemi said. EMBL-EBI Director Janet Thornton, added that “the close interaction between the biomedical research infrastructures in Finland will help Europe to develop a fully-integrated data approach.”