April 24, 2020
DAILY BRIEF: COVID-19 tests and education, Northern projects, funding, conference and shipping
The University of Lapland and the Arctic Centre take part in three EU-funded projects.
All the daily Finnish business news that works: Mobidiag, the University of Lapland, Funzi, Omnichannel Retail Services, an education conference and Wärtsilä make headlines.
Mobidiag’s COVID-19 test is granted emergency use authorisation in France, the University of Lapland is involved in three EU-funded projects, Funzi and the UN launch a COVID-19 e-learning course in South Africa, Omnichannel Retail Services secures crowdfunding, an education conference is successfully held online, and Wärtsilä designs luxury expedition vessels.
Mobidiag’s test to help detect coronavirus in France
Mobidiag’s Amplidiag COVID-19 test has been granted emergency use authorisation for medical professionals in France, following similar authorisation in Finland. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test can detect the virus within a few days of infection at most, even if no symptoms are showing. The test is optimised for use in large laboratories where vast numbers of tests are run. Meanwhile, Mobidiag’s Novodiag COVID-19 test has has been granted emergency use authorisation in Finland. The test requires minimal training from the operator and is suitable for use at a smaller scale than Amplidiag, for example in a typical community health centre.
Finnish mobile learning service Funzi and the UN have launched an e-learning course on COVID-19 in South Africa. The course titled COVID-19: Adapt and Thrive is aimed at teaching adults and children how to cope with the ongoing pandemic. Supported by the governments of both Finland and South Africa, the course is part of a national initiative to reach some three million local youth during the lockdown. It is available in some 10 languages, including English, Arabic, Kiswahili and Dutch, and will be translated to many if not all official languages in South Africa.
Finnish second-hand clothes retailer Omnichannel Retail Services has raised around 254 000 euros in crowdfunding from over 200 investors. Known in Finland for its Rekki online shop, the Tampere-based startup was successful in raising the capital even though the coronavirus outbreak disrupted the round. The company plans to use the capital for international expansion and wants to expand the online shop to European markets.
The University of Lapland is involved in three projects that have secured a total of around 2.3 million euros in funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme. All three projects are significant international collaborations led by researchers from the Arctic Centre and the University of Lapland. Professor Bruce Forbes from the Arctic Centre is directing a project called CHARTER, which studies changes in biodiversity and how they affect communities in the Arctic. The JustNorth project, in turn, looks into the economic development in the Arctic, while ArcticHubs deals with land use and livelihood in the Arctic.
University of Lapland
Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has won an order to develop a customised design for up to six new luxury expedition vessels with a capacity for 200 passengers. The vessels will be capable of operating in both tropical and polar waters and will be owned and operated by Amundsen Expeditions. Wärtsilä will provide a complete package of solutions for the cruise ships, from the engines to the bridge.
Earlier this week, the UNESCO Chairs of the University of Jyväskylä and Council for Creative Education, Finland organised a Global Online Conference about education. Attracting 12 220 unique visitors from more than 64 countries, the virtual event was organised after the multi-day event originally planned to take place in Jyväskylä was postponed. It brought together several internationally renowned researchers and experts in educational innovation from Finland and around the world to discuss the impact of the global pandemic on education now and in future.
University of Jyväskylä
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