In Brief

Finnish Biobank Act came into force

The new Finnish biobank legislation came into force on September 1 2013.

There are several biobanks worldwide, but only a few countries have special legislation regulating them. This fall, Finland is going to be one of those countries. 

The first clinical biobank, Auria, is planned to start running in the fall of 2013. It is founded by the University of Turku and the surrounding hospital districts. Later on, the funding for the biobank is planned to derive from its own revenue, and also from domestic and foreign biotechnology and pharmaceutical technology industries.  Several other biobanks are also planned to open around Finland, mostly in cities with university hospitals. The Auria biobank is a non-profit organization.    

A biobank is a database that consists of human cell and tissue samples, and of information relating them. The purpose of a biobank is to help researchers by storing and gathering samples, and by giving them out to research. The samples can be used for all research linked to a biobank’s operations. Another purpose of biobanks is to enhance the health of the public, and by doing so, to benefit the society as a whole in the future. Furthermore, biobanks are likely to increase international co-operation, and the aim is to export Finnish biotechnology and gene technology know-how.

The new trend in medicine is personalized care. Biobanks enable the individualized treatment of patients. Pharmaceutical and diagnostics technologies, too, benefit from biobanks since biobanks can also be used to develop new medical innovations. Biobanks certainly have a lot of economic potential. However, the ethical concerns over gene manipulation and commercialization of human beings should be considered. (AL)


Helsinki IPR Summer School 2014

IPR University Center is hosting its historic first Summer School in Helsinki in June 2014. The Summer School includes a range of different events and seminars. It will take place during the second week of June, and it is aimed both at academics and practitioners. The Director of the Summer School will be Professor Niklas Bruun, the Director of the IPR University Center.

Among the events planned for the week is The International Patent Licensing Academy Seminar, organized in close cooperation with Director, LLD Ilkka Rahnasto from Nokia, who will act as the Chair of the Academy. During the week-long seminar, the Academy will address topics such as the key elements of patent licensing, key commercial terms, preparing for negotiations,  agreement drafting and negotiation tactics.

Among other planned events there are IP China days chaired by Professor Nari Lee, Hanken,  a graduate school seminar for post doc researchers, a seminar on the new European Unitary patent, and a Case Clinic. The full program with details concerning venues and schedules, as well as accommodation and registration procedure will be available in October. Information can be obtained from and questions addressed to Auri Vainio (