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Case Study - Lab Impact Africa


In developing countries inadequate laboratory facilities and lack of trained personnel form a serious stumbling block for sectors that use microbiology laboratories for research, monitoring or commercial purposes.

Find out more about how Bionautit influences and improve the lives of thousands of people around the world.

Bionautit team members at the Challenge Helsinki event

Bionautit is a Finnish scientific co-operative venture specializing in providing research and consultancy for scientific projects, primarily in the fields of microbiology and biology.

Lab Impact Africa

This Helsinki Challenge semifinalist team's core idea is to make use of Finnish research expertise to improve the laboratory infrastructure, management practices, and education of the local personnel. Concrete plans are already being made with the group's first client organization in Burkina Faso, which will serve as a pilot project. The team is working on modular laboratory packages that can be marketed first to Africa, and later to other developing countries. Depending on local needs, it would be possible to set up a whole new laboratory or to improve an existing one. There are four modules for local organizations to choose from: the actual physical furnishings and equipment, methods, educational tools, and laboratory working standards. Modules are designed together with newly set-up consultancy group Co-op Bionautit, founded by ten scientists from the fields of microbiology and science education.

Preventing world-wide epidemics

The new and improved laboratories will represent different fields of microbiology: health, food and water quality, or questions relating to agriculture and the environment. They’ll be working on issues such as the study of pathogens and prevention of epidemics, studying antibiotic resistance, blue-green algae, and food and water hygiene.

"Helsinki Challenge came up as a great and surprising opportunity to kickstart a plan that’s been brewing for quite some time", explains team leader Christina Lyra. The group wants to become a link between the academic world, business and industry, as well as local communities in the target countries.

Want to help this team? Become a Helsinki Challenge partner here.

TEAM: Team leader, PhD Christina Lyra (Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, UH), PhD Kaisa Haukka (Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, UH, and Co-op Bionautit), PhD Leena Räsänen (Co-op Bionautit), PhD Edina Rudner (Co-op Bionautit).

Contact in Burkina Faso: PhD Isidore Bonkoungou.

Learn more: Lab Impact Africa; Improving laboratories In Africa