• Oil Silo 468 / Photo: Jussi Hellsten

Helsinki recognised for expertise and achievements

Helsinki is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in many fields. The top level research carried out here is seeking solutions to the some of the most critical challenges facing the world today. One of the areas in which Finland has become a global leader is climate change research. The Kumpula campus of the University of Helsinki was selected as the location for the head office of the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) as of the beginning of this year. ICOS will be joined on the campus in 2021 by the Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace Gases Research InfraStructure Network (ACTRIS).

Two of the world’s most prestigious science journals Nature Medicine and Science described the discovery of lymphatic vessels in the brain as one of the most significant scientific finds in 2015. The decisive find was made by a research team headed by Professor Kari Alitalo. The team’s work has opened up entirely new perspectives on how the brain functions and the mechanisms that cause many neurological diseases.

Academic Ilkka Hanski in turn has become the first European to receive the prestigious BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Ecology and Conservation Biology for his groundbreaking research into metapopulation ecology.

A cotton recycling process developed by the University of Helsinki, Aalto University and researchers from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has also won the H&M Global Change Award. In the process, a solvent invented by researches from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Helsinki is used to treat cellulose in such a way that it can replace cotton and synthetic fibres.

Finally, the latest Thomas Reuters list of Highly Cited Researchers includes no less than 17 researches from Finland, 10 of whom represent the University of Helsinki. The field of geoscience accounts for the highest number of Finnish researchers on the list. Number one on the geosciences list is Professor Markku Kulmala, an atmospheric science research at the Kumpula campus of the University of Helsinki.