Working group to prepare the establishment of a genome centre

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 20.10.2016 9.36 | Published in English on 20.10.2016 at 15.59
News item

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has appointed a working group to prepare the setting up of a genome centre. The centre’s tasks would include taking responsibility for the creation and development of a national genome database as well as facilitating the efficient use of the database in clinical care, research, and product development.

In the future, information on the human genome can be used more efficiently in verifying, treating and preventing illness and disease. The working group is to prepare a proposal for the establishment of a genome centre and for the responsible use of genome data. The working group will also validate the ethical principles for the use of genome data and prepare a proposal for the operating models for national reference and variation databases and for genome data interpretation services.

Another task of the working group is to draw up a proposal for the structures and processes of the genome centre’s other operations that aim to facilitate the efficient use of genome data in healthcare, research and development and the promotion of health and wellbeing.

Genome centre, cancer centre and biobanks are investments in health

The Government decided in April that a genome centre and a national cancer centre will be set up in Finland. At the same time the practices of public biobanks will be harmonised to make them more effective. The Government also aims to ensure that there will be close cooperation between the biobanks and the genome centre.

The Government has proposed in its Budget that these operations will be allocated a total of EUR 17 million in 2017–2020. These measures are aimed at ensuring Finland becomes a leader and internationally desired partner in healthcare, high-level research and global business utilising genome data.

Inquiries

Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, Director, chair of the working group, tel. +358 295 63382

Jaakko Yrjö-Koskinen, Ministerial Counsellor for Health/Medical Affairs, vice-chair of the working group, tel. +358 50 3484877

Annex

Decision on appointing a working group (in Finnish only)