Forthcoming and recent activities
Selected activities by and with Aalto University in the health and wellbeing area are introduced here. See further news from the platform’s main page.
Forthcoming events and key activities
- May-June 2016: A Health Capital Helsinki stakeholder group conference will be organized by the platform in collaboration with Aalto’s HCH partners.
- April 2016: The platform will organize a broad-based innovation workshop in Meilahti by HUS, Aalto University, and potentially other partners.
- Aalto will be in 2016 starting project BREAKBEN, funded by the FET Open funding action of the European Union’s Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) funding scheme. The project’s goal is a hybrid device fit for both brain research and clinical use that will concurrently deploy magnetoencephalography (MEG) and magnetic resonance imaging to measure the brain’s electrical activity and structure. The project is coordinated by Risto Ilmoniemi, Academy Professor and Professor of Engineering Physics working at Aalto’s Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering.
- A piloting round of the Biodesign Finland program, will start during the spring with Aalto collaborating with the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District HUS. Biodesign Finland’s purpose is to educate new kinds of experts and entrepreneurs and to find novel technological opportunities for solving problems in medical care and to be amenable to commercialization. Biodesign Finland is coordinated by Risto Ilmoniemi, Academy Professor and Professor of Engineering Physics working at Aalto’s Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering.
- Samuel Kaski, Professor of Computer Science, will begin on January 1, 2016 his term as a national Academy Professor of the Academy of Finland. He also directs the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Computational Inference Research (COIN). Professor Samuel Kaski develops computational methods for interactive multi-source data analysis and machine learning. These methods can be applied to personalized medicine, among other fields of science. Current data analysis methods are ill-prepared for many of the challenges underlying personalized medicine. Kaski is a pioneer in many areas of machine learning technology and applications, and he has contributed to several significant scientific breakthroughs in this multidisciplinary field. At present, the Academy funds 44 five-year Academy Professorships in a number of disciplines.
Recent events and other key activities
- The Health Capital Helsinki initiative (HCH) was formally opened on March 2 in a joint opening event with Helsinki Think Company’s Meilahti activities. Aalto University, jointly with the City of Helsinki, the University of Helsinki, and the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS), is Founding Partner of HCH, and Aalto Health Platform leads Aalto’s participation. Participating in the opening event were hundreds of company representatives, investors, and decision-makers from the national and municipal governments, jointly with academics from life sciences such as medicine, biology, and foods, and from biomedical engineering. Aalto University possesses broad research competence in medical devices, computer science, bio- and nanotechnology, and design of the Future Hospital. In HCH, we use this solid foundation to contribute with our partners to HCH’s mission to create new growth business from solving tangible and valuable problems.
- Riitta Salmelin, Academy Professor and Professor of Imaging Neuroscience working at Aalto’s Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, member of the Executive Board of the Aalto Brain Centre (ABC) and coordinator of the Finnish Infrastructure for Functional Imaging (FIFI) received the Justine and Yves Sergent Award in Montreal, Canada. The award is handed out by the Justine and Yves Sergent Fund, established to perpetuate the memory of Dr. Justine Sergent, an internationally known researcher in the field of cognitive neuroscience, and her husband, psychologist Yves Sergent. The award recognizes excellence in the field of cognitive neuroscience.
- Aalto University participated as an exhibitor Slush 2015, a leading European startups, venture capital, and technology conference held annually in Helsinki where health technologies occupy a prominent role.
- The acquisition roadmap of the Finnish Infrastructures for Functional Imaging (FIFI) includes a seven-tesla scanner for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). As a part of the preparation process for scanner’s acquisition, a workshop called “Ultra¬-High Field MRI: Transition to Human 7T in Finland” was organized at Aalto University. The purpose of the workshop was to highlight scientific achievements, challenges, and new avenues enabled by ultra-¬high field MRI. The workshop was organized by Aalto Brain Center, Aalto NeuroImaging, Aalto’s Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, and FIFI. FIFI belongs to the Roadmap of Research Infrastructures of the Academy of Finland.
- A research and innovation collaboration seminar for discussing joint research and development opportunities between Aalto University, the University of Helsinki, and the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa HUS, in the area of materials science for medicine, particularly for oral and maxillofacial surgery.
- Professors from Indian Institutes of Technology from various Indian cities visited Aalto University’s main campus and met with Aalto’s H&W professors, hosted by Aalto Health Factory.
- Aalto Health Factory worked for increasing research collaborations with Tsinghua University and Peking University, and Aalto Health Factory presented Aalto’s health technologies at the Slush China 2015 high technology entrepreneurship conference.
- A health and health technology themed issue of Aalto University Magazine was published.
- As part of Tekes’ delegation, Markus Mäkelä visited the Department of Bioengineering of the University of California, Berkeley and the campuses of the University of California, San Francisco, a leading biomedical university and teaching-hospital system.
- Professor Petri Ala-Laurila was selected as the organizer of the European Retina Meeting (ERM) of 2019, which is to be held in Helsinki. ERM is a world-leading conference bringing together top retina specialists from all over the world to discuss the neural signal processing underlying vision. Professor Ala-Laurila will also be the co-chair of the European Retina Meeting 2017 held in Paris.
- The Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering organized the third “Science Factory,” an international workshop and summer school, on combined transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG), with teachers and students from about 15 countries. The organizers were professors Risto Ilmoniemi, Marcello Massimini, and Synnöve Carlson.
- Aalto started a master's degree program in Life Science Technologies. The new program offers a multidisciplinary curriculum focusing on important aspects of current biomedical research, covering fields such as biological data analysis and modeling, advanced biomaterials and bioelectronics, and neuroscience. The program draws on fundamental and applied knowledge in these fields and is closely linked to scientific and technological research. The program offers six majors: Bioinformatics, Biomedical Engineering, Biosensing and -electronics, Biosystems and -materials, Complex Systems, and Human Neuroscience and -technology.
- A joint breakfast discussion event by Aalto Digi Platform and Aalto Health Factory was held for a combined external and internal audience of Aalto University.
- An innovation collaboration seminar was organized between Aalto University, the University of Helsinki and the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa HUS for discussing development opportunities in the areas of devices, healthcare operations management, and the virtual hospital concept.
- Aalto Brain Center (ABC) assembled a panel of Aalto’s experts in magnetoencephalography (MEG), one of the key brain research methodologies employed at Aalto, for a discussion event to make MEG more readily understandable for the general audience, and created a video of the event. Please watch the panel address on the video some of most frequently asked questions about the method and also debunk common myths and misconceptions.
- Riitta Hari was elected as a Fellow of the American Physiological Society (FAPS). Fellowship of the American Physiological Society is given to individuals who have contributed significantly to the discipline and the APS. Election to the Fellow status acknowledges noteworthy scientific and professional accomplishments as well as leadership and service to society.
- Aalto Health Factory established an Advisory Council comprising high-level decision-makers broadly from the society.
- Markus Mäkelä participated a benchmarking delegation of prospective Health Capital Helsinki and other partners to the key universities and other centers of healthcare-related research, innovation, and entrepreneurship in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Aalto University and the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa HUS organized a research and innovation collaboration seminar for discussing joint research and development opportunities. The workshop was organized by Aalto Health Factory with HUS’ competence centers for anesthesiology, intensive care, pain treatment, orthopedics, and plastic surgery.