The amount of biological information increases at an unprecedented speed; a lot faster than the technology required to manage and analyse it is developing. Therefore, there is great demand for more efficient tools and new services. The management, analysis and utilization of these continuously expanding masses of data pose a great challenge for the ICT field – and simultaneously, an opportunity.
Existing ICT equipment and services can serve as a platform for a range of practical applications. There is potential for a variety of business opportunities such as analysis services, software development and equipment manufacture.
In the area, Finland has world class IT and mobile health expertise, is home to Europe's top biobanks, has a unique collection of genomics information and serves as a hub for global collaborations and innovation. In addition, Finland has an excellent research infrastructure and scientific expertise on health and well-being. Furthermore, Tekes has launched a two-year BioIT programme to help small and medium enterprises in the sector to develop their business activities and to bring players in the bio and ICT together.
In Finland, there are around 40 bio-ict companies operating mainly in bio and medical industries and within the supporting service sector (software, consulting, research) and also for fields such as foods industry, environmental sector and process industries.
Bioinformation technology is most often used in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries or related service companies. Finland has pharmaceutical company such as Orion (www.orion.fi) who has strong internal bioinformatics knowledge and groups. Overall, personalized medicine has become a hot area. Food industry can take advantage of many bioinformatics tools used in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, such as virtual screening tools of molecules. Food safety issues are also in interest of food industry. The diagnostics industry needs and develops bioinformation technology for data management and analysis. Environmental informatics is a growing area, and so is use of genomic information in forest and process industries. In addition, Finland has cutting-edge expertise related to the field e.g. in PET positron emission tomography, 3D image processing and data handling skills for large data-sets.
In Finland, bioinformatics research is done at high level. The number of bioinformatics groups and researchers has grown very fast during last ten years. Many of the academic bioinformatics research groups in Finland develop and apply bioinformatics methods in their research. They generally work on analysis of large datasets and aim to study complex biological systems in bio- and pharmaceutical fields. These include fields such as the simulation of biological systems, structure-function studies of proteins, and analysis of gene expression data for the purpose of e.g. systems biology research, personalized medicine, biobanks, drug design, protein crystallography, structural biology, large data set analysis, image processing, signal processing, and bioinformatics tool development.
BC Platforms Ltd Oy
Significo Research Oy
Health Puzzle Oy
Genevia Technologies Oy
Blueprint Genetics Oy
Applied Numerics Oy
EPID Research Oy
Triacle Biocomputing Oy
Techila Technologies Oy
Zore Biosciences Oy
BCB Medical Oy
CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd