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Good news in 2020: scientific breakthroughs and new discoveries

Published on 31.12.2020
Tampere Universities
Although 2020 will go down in history as the year of the pandemic that brought the world to its knees, scientists around the world achieved major breakthroughs. New ways of working were adopted, methods for preventing the spread of viruses were discovered, and new drugs and vaccines were developed. There are great things happening in the world of science and technology also despite Covid-19. The new breakthroughs and solutions help us work together to build a sustainable world.

Here is a rundown of some of this year’s good non-Covid-related news from Tampere Universities. You can learn more about our latest research on our website.

Medical breakthroughs and innovations in the field of healthcare and social services

The diagnosis and treatment of cancer is becoming more precise through personalised therapies. The results of the largest ever cancer study, the international Pan-Cancer project, will help develop precision medicine for treating cancer. The prostate cancer study headed by Professor Steve Bova seeks to identify aggressive cases of prostate cancer and develop effective precision medicine for their treatment.

Corneal blindness can soon be treated with the help of human stem cells. Laura Koivusalo’s doctoral dissertation demonstrates that the transplantation of stem cells into a patient’s cornea can restore the function of the corneal epithelium. The commercialisation of the innovation is currently underway.

Tampere University of Applied Sciences has launched a Virtual Lab for Social and Health Care where healthcare and social services professionals and service providers work together to develop and test ideas and technologies from a customer-oriented perspective.

Coaches for young adults, baby boxes around the world – and the Finlandia Prize

Supportive adults can help young people find the right direction in life and the skills to pursue their dreams. We are training our students who are working towards a vocational teaching degree to serve as coaches for young people who graduate from comprehensive school.

The Finnish maternity package, also known as the baby box, has spread widely around the world. It is generally part of a wider programme aimed at promoting health and well-being or reducing inequality. An international team of researchers from Tampere University identified a total of 91 maternity package programmes or projects in 60 countries.

A book that traces the history of the restrictions placed on dancing in Finland between 1888 and 1948 (”Kielletyt leikit – Tanssin kieltämisen historia Suomessa 1888–1948”) authored by our historians Marko Tikka and Seija-Leena Nevala received the prestigious Finlandia Prize in nonfiction.

Smart technology, timber construction and next-generation mobile networks

Researchers in Tampere are developing smart clothes that help people with a speech impairment communicate with others. Wearable technology serves as a gateway to the digital world, for example, via a mobile phone.

As there is a great demand for timber construction professionals and expertise in Finland, Tampere University has decided to set up a doctoral school in industrial timber construction. The doctoral school will become the largest research and education hub in timber construction in Finland and support the development of innovations in the field.

The world's first experimental 6G research environment is being built in Finland. A number of Finnish universities are collaborating to develop a national state-of-the-art research and testing environment made up of next-generation wireless systems.

Tampere Universities offer more study places and integrate sustainable development into the curriculum

There are more than 3,000 students, the majority of whom are young adults, studying within the Tampere Universities community. Each year, thousands of new students enter higher education. Besides being an important tool for reducing social exclusion, education will help address the talent shortages that are looming in a number of sectors. To facilitate an effective transition into higher education, Tampere Universities will offer new study places and new routes to admission in the 2021 joint national application cycle. Tampere University will offer 225 and Tampere University of Applied Sciences 125 new study places.

Tampere Universities are committed to the shared effort of Finnish higher education institutions to promote sustainable development. One of our key goals is to integrate sustainable development goals into all fields of research and education.

We wish all our students, staff, partners and supporters a happy and sustainable 2021!

Text: Anna Aatinen
Image: Jonne Renvall