Finland to host ICOS headquarters

3 May 2013

The headquarters of the European Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) will be established on the University of Helsinki Kumpula Campus in Helsinki in early 2014. The Finnish Research Infrastructure (FIRI) Committee of the Academy of Finland has proposed to the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the Ministry of Transport and Communications that Finland also commit to supporting other European research infrastructure projects. The Finnish Parliament will decide on Finland’s commitment during 2013.

“Hosting the ICOS headquarters is a significant recognition for the high quality of Finnish atmospheric research. Finland’s membership in all of the six European infrastructure consortia is of key importance to the internationalisation, impact and networking of our research,” says Marja Makarow, Vice President for Research at the Academy of Finland.

A Zeppelin that is currently visiting Finland carrying atmospheric researchers and their instruments collects samples of aerosols, gases and radicals in the atmosphere. The information obtained from the samples on the meteorological phenomena will be further used in ICOS cooperation.

The European Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) is an integrated European research infrastructure for quantifying and understanding the greenhouse gas balance of the European continent and adjacent regions. ICOS consists of national measuring stations and the European headquarters. The distributed network of measuring stations involves more than 50 atmospheric, ecosystem and ocean observation sites across Europe. The stations measure both atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) and the carbon and nitrogen cycles and exchange between the ecosystem and the atmosphere. ICOS will provide standardised, long-term, coherent and highly precise datasets on greenhouse gases for the needs of research and for purposes of mitigating and monitoring emissions.

In addition to ICOS, the FIRI Committee has also recommended the following new projects:

The Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) will integrate existing and new European biobanks into a pan-European coordinated network structure. The network will provide access to human biological samples and related information and promote their joint use. BBMRI will operate through national centres that will coordinate biobanks in their country. Service centres will also be established in member states under the auspices of BBMRI that will serve actors involved in biobanking and engaged in R&D both in academia and industry.

The Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) is a distributed research infrastructure for social science data archives across Europe. The main services will be located in Bergen, Norway, and some services in Germany. CESSDA’s operations will mainly be based on active national service providers. CESSDA ERIC will set up a comprehensive European network of data reserves and data services which enables researchers to locate datasets and provides them easy access to data important to their research.

The Common Language Resource and Technology Infrastructure (CLARIN) is a distributed pan-European research infrastructure project to make language resources and technology available and useful to scholars of all disciplines, in particular in the humanities and social sciences. It will overcome the present fragmented situation by harmonising structural and terminological differences. The aim is to turn the existing, fragmented technology and resources into an accessible, flexible and stable infrastructure with a view to promoting research in the humanities.

European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure in Medicine (EATRIS): Translational medicine will develop new diagnostic and therapeutic innovations and products from basic biomedical research. This is a difficult, expensive and slow process, and in many cases an insurmountably demanding task for individual researchers, institutes and universities. The EATRIS ESFRI infrastructure will integrate European actors in translational medicine into a network that will provide access to a cutting-edge infrastructure with a view to translating key findings towards applications in the healthcare sector.

The European Infrastructure for Phenotyping and Archiving of Model Mammalian Genomes (INFRAFRONTIER): Mouse models have become a central tool to study and reveal the molecular and functional basis of human diseases and to develop novel diagnostic and treatment procedures. INFRAFRONTIER is a European distributed research infrastructure offering access to systematic phenotyping, archiving and distribution of mouse models for human diseases to the biomedical research community. It will be composed of mouse clinics and mouse repository facilities. Mouse clinics are high-throughput phenotyping centres that carry out a comprehensive clinical characterisation of mouse mutants. Mouse repository preserve and distribute scientifically valuable mouse models upon request to the biomedical research community.

The FIRI Committee will most likely supplement its recommendations for Finland’s commitment to other European infrastructure projects during 2013.

More information:

  • Vice President for Research Marja Makarow, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 29 533 5002

Academy of Finland Communications
Vesa Varpula
Communications Specialist
tel. +358 29 533 5131

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