VTT and the MSI combine their unique competencies to a new Center for Bioengineering

Opening of the new center on 25thOctober 2011 in Berkeley, California

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Molecular Sciences Institute (MSI) have joined forces to establish a new research center in Berkeley, California. The opening took place in Berkeley on 25th October. The keynote speech was given by Dr. Sydney Brenner – Nobel prize-winner and founder of the Molecular Sciences Institute.

The new VTT/MSI Center for Bioengineering will focus on cutting edge quantitative biology to develop novel strategies for the improved production of bio-based chemicals and proteins in industrial microbes and novel quantitative tools for the detection of toxins, chemicals and biomarkers of disease.

The mission of the research center is to enable the quantitative prediction of the behavior of biological systems. VTT as a member organization of the new institute will provide its frontier knowhow on industrial biotechnology and technological needs for the basic molecular level research carried out at the institute. The aim of the center is to have a positive effect on human health and well-being in addition to the bioeconomy.

“The new center generates basic science which will strengthen VTT’s offering in the field of industrial biotechnology”, says Erkki KM Leppävuori, President & CEO of VTT. “Industrial biotechnology is of high quality at VTT and in Finland. This new opportunity for collaboration is an important bridge between the Californian and European academic as well as industrial network”.

About VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is the largest multitechnological applied research organization in Northern Europe. VTT creates new technology and science-based innovations in co-operation with domestic and foreign partners. VTT’s turnover is EUR 290 million and its personnel totals 3,100.

In the field of biotechnology, the research at VTT focuses on sustainable chemistry and sustainable processing as well as biotechnologies and ICT for health and well-being. The research covers the discovery and production of enzymes, the development of new microbial strains, the development of chemical reaction routes, the discovery of drug targets and biomarkers, and also analysis of the reaction mechanisms with advanced analytical methods, as well as development of process applications at the laboratory and pilot scale.

About the VTT/MSI Molecular Sciences Institute
The Molecular Sciences Institute MSI was founded by Nobel-prize winner Dr. Sydney Brenner as an independent, nonprofit research institute. The Institute has significantly influenced systems biology and synthetic biology. In 2011, the Institute was re-named VTT/MSI Molecular Science Institute and today specializes in understanding the quantitative behavior of biological systems. The laboratory is located in Berkeley, California.

Further information:

Prof. Anne-Christine Ritschkoff, Executive Vice President and Chair of the VTT/MSI Molecular Sciences Institute Board
tel. +358 20 722 5546

Further information on VTT:
Sakari Sohlberg, Chief Communications Officer
Tel. +358 20 722 6744


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