Evira strengthens collaboration with Kuopio University in research on food safety and animal health and well-being

11.2.2008

<div>The Finnish Food Safety Authority (Evira) has signed its first national framework agreement for research collaboration with Kuopio University. Evira and the animal disease research institute in Vladimir, Russia, signed a similar international agreement about a year ago. The framework agreement signed today in Kuopio aims at closer and more efficient collaboration between two organisations conducting basic and applied research. </div>

Evira also collaborates with many other Finnish and foreign universities and research institutes and has been particularly active at the Viikki campus in Helsinki. From now on, Evira and Kuopio University will engage in closer and more systematic collaboration to conduct research on food safety and on the promotion of animal health and well-being. The framework agreement also covers collaboration in education, training and the provision of analytic and diagnostic services (e.g. in the fields of molecular biology research as well as fish and crayfish research).

“We are not building this research collaboration from scratch”, explains Professor Liisa Sihvonen, Director of Research at Evira since January 2008. “Evira’s office in Kuopio already directs Evira’s bacteriological research on animal diseases in the whole of Finland. They also study zoonoses or diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans, the health care of production animals, and diseases found in fish and crayfish. Evira and Kuopio University share interest in certain research topics in these fields and are also conducting mycotoxin research together. The agreement signed today will define and strengthen the collaboration between a university that conducts basic research and a State research institute that focuses on applied research.”

According to Matti Uusitupa, Rector of Kuopio University, this framework agreement is an excellent starting point for close collaboration between the two signatories. “Evira and Kuopio University will build on each other’s strengths”, states Uusitupa. “The expertise of Kuopio University in food biotechnology and the health effects of nutrition and foodstuffs will make a significant contribution to this union.”

In line with its strategy, Kuopio University has strengthened its collaboration with State research institutes operating in the campus over the past few years. “Collaboration with these research institutes has proven very successful.”

Scientific research builds the foundation for supervision and risk management

The scientific research and risk assessment carried out by Evira enables correct targeting of supervisory and risk management activities. Evira conducts scientific research in two areas, namely food safety and animal health and well-being.

The food safety research carried out by Evira focuses on microbiological and chemical research and risk assessment. Microbiological research places particular emphasis on zoonotic pathogens that can spread through food, while core areas of interest in chemical research include toxins found in food, food contamination, and harmful compounds produced during food preparation processes.

Research on animal health and well-being focuses on communicable diseases with national significance, effects of animal material and conditions on animal health, prevention of zoonoses, and disease risk assessment. Animal disease research is largely conducted for the purpose of developing and improving processes, obtaining more epidemiological data, improving existing methods of disease control, and improving the well-being of animals. Animal disease research focuses mainly on the health of production animals and wild animals.

 

For more information, please contact:

Liisa Sihvonen, Professor, Director of Research
Evira, tel. +358 20 77 24570, +358 50 5539226

Sinikka Pelkonen, Professor, Head of Research Unit
Animal diseases, bacteriology, Evira Kuopio, tel. +358 20 77 24950, +358 400 287 061

Matti Uusitupa, Rector
Kuopio University, tel. +358 400 615 661

Atte von Wright, Professor
Kuopio University, tel. +358 50 537 6030

 

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