Finland provides unique benefits for researchers and companies

Finland has it all: unique biospecimen and biodata, the needed governance, regulation, infrastructure, expertise, and proven track-record of state-of-the-art biomedical research collaboration.

Finland has a lot to offer for biobank research

Finns share a unique genetic heritage due to geographic isolation which allows faster and more effective analysis of genomic data compared to populations of more heterogeneous origins.

  • Geographical isolation as an advantage of genetic research 1

  • Comprehensive health care system and electronic health records 1

  • High-quality epidemiological and clinical research 1

  • Favorable attitude of Finns towards medical research 1

  • Pioneer in digitalization in Europe 2, 3

  • Stable business environment 4

  • National biobank network with Fingenious® Services 5

  • National commitment through the government’s health research
    and innovation strategy 6

  • Up-to-date legislation 7, 8, 9

Well-functioning healthcare system

The entire population is covered with longitudinal electronic health records and a personal identification code. The unique identification codes enable linking of the biobank samples to deep phenotypic data, such as medical records, as well as genomic data and the national registries.

World-class genomic data

Finnish biobanks have joined together in a large nationwide FinnGen research project which will generate a vast amount of genome data from up to 500,000 (every tenth Finnish resident) biobank samples by 2023. All sample-related genome data generated in the project can be further used in subsequent biobank projects.

Up-to-date legislation

The research-promoting Biobank Act (2013) secures the rights of the donor and authorizes the collection of samples and biodata with the donor’s consent to be saved in biobanks and used for future research purposes. The Act on the Secondary Use of Health and Social Data (2019) facilitates effective and safe processing and access to social and health services data.

Possibility for recontacting sample donors

Sample donors who have given prior consent to be contacted can be invited for further studies. This provides an opportunity for survey studies and targeted patient recruitment for clinical trials.

A national commitment

Significant public funds have been invested in health research in Finland. The Finnish government has published the Health Sector Growth Strategy for Research and Innovation, and the biobank ecosystem is at the core of the Strategy.

Research-engaged people

Finns trust researchers and the Finnish healthcare system. Therefore, they are willing to participate in public screening programs and to donate their samples to biobanks.

1. Carpén, O, & Hautalahti, M. (2019). Suomalainen biopankki on potilaita varten. Duodecim, 135(10), 971-2. 2. European Commission. Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2021. Thematic chapters. 3. Wallace, N. & Castro. D. (2017). The State of Data Innovation in the EU. Center of Data Innovation. 4. Schwab, K. & Zahidi, S. (2020). How Countries are Performing on the Road to Recovery. The Global Competitiveness Report. World economic forum. Special Edition. 5. Frost & Sullivan (2020). Future Watch: Global Biobanking Market Landscape. Business Finland. 6. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (2022). 7. Finlex (2012). 8. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (2019). Act on the secondary use of health and social data. 9. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (2022).

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