UPM Biochemicals establishes an innovation unit at the Biomedicum research and educational centre in Meilahti, Helsinki. The unit will focus on biomedical applications for the cellulose nanofibril technology developed by UPM. At Biomedicum Helsinki, the UPM team will be working more closely with medical researchers and other operators in the field. GrowDex®, UPM’s first commercial product developed for biomedical purposes, is a cellulose nanofibril hydrogel for 3D cell culture applications, such as pharmaceutical research and development. GrowDex® is highly biocompatible with human cells and tissues.
“Our Biofore strategy is based on the varied use of renewable wood biomass, combined with innovation, resource efficiency and responsibility. GrowDex® is a good example of the new wood-based materials that are being developed by UPM. Biomedical applications is a new and exciting field for us. Our product is currently being used for cell culture in research and there are more than 100 researchers outside UPM working on it globally. GrowDex® has a number of potential uses in biomedical applications,” says Juuso Konttinen, Vice President, UPM Biochemicals.
By engaging in various bioeconomy projects, UPM drives business development and innovation in collaboration with its partners, which include other industrial companies, start-ups, research institutes and other entities. “Our partners are important to us for the commercialisation of new technologies and the development of new innovations. Working in collaboration with our partners allows us to be faster, more agile and more efficient,” Juuso Konttinen continues.
Biomedicum Helsinki is a leading environment that promotes medical research and training in Finland and supports cooperation between academia and industry. The centre provides working facilities for around 2,300 researchers, graduate students and support staff. It offers biomedical businesses modern facilities close to research organisations along with the special facilities and research services in the area. Successful cooperation has created a high-quality, international medical campus at Meilahti with an excellent basis for further development of operations and commercialisation of research results.