January 27, 2020

The 2021 International European Light Microscopy Initiative (ELMI) conference has been decided to be organised in Turku. The conference welcomes research centres providing light microscopy services and equipment, as well as companies in the field from Europe and elsewhere around the world to Turku. ELMI is a scientific conference intended particularly for managers and other personnel of light microscopy service units. The companies will not participate in the conference solely as sponsors, but rather as significant partners. The event is mainly directed at European operators in the field, but it is open to participants from around the world.

Microscopy devices develop at an increasing pace, and product and technology development take significant strides even within one year. This is why ELMI is an annual event which aims to ensure that the operators in the field have access to the latest developments. However, the event in 2021 will be special.

‘Next year will mark 20 years since the first ELMI, so we will be organising an anniversary conference,’ says Director of the Turku Bioscience Centre, professor John Eriksson.

The planning of the scientific programme and recruitment of the speakers are currently ongoing. At least artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data, as well as super resolution microscopy and other special technologies, will be present in the themes of the conference. ELMI will be hosted by the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, and particularly their shared units Turku Bioimaging and Turku Bioscience Centre. The conference will be organised in close cooperation with European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in biology and medical imaging, Euro-BioImaging.

 

ELMI combines scientific content with device experimentation

On the first day of the four-day conference, the personnel of the service centres exchange information regarding the quality, regulation, and practices of their operations. The following three days will be divided between scientific sessions in the morning and device presentations in the afternoon, allowing manufacturers regardless of their size to present their latest instruments.

‘ELMI allows operators to experiment, challenge, and voice their wishes. The event is an excellent opportunity for face-to-face discussion between researchers and companies,’ says technical designer Markku Saari from the Turku Bioscience Centre and member of the organisation committee.

Due to the often quite substantial size of efficient microscopy equipment, there are not that many places in Finland where ELMI could be arranged. However, the City of Turku Convention Bureau helped to reserve all of Logomo Event and Conference Centre as the venue for the event.

 

The appeal of Turku decided the venue

ELMI is not organised according to a rotating responsibility. Instead, the members vote for the next place to organise the conference among themselves. The University of Basel and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) competed with Turku to the final round.

‘The help with the preparations and marketing materials we received from the City of Turku helped turn the vote for us. We came to the presentation event well prepared. For this, I want to send particular thanks to Sari Ruusumo and Anne Malin at the City of Turku and Visit Turku Convention Bureau,’ Saari says.

Turku’s green theme in mobility solutions and meal services was particularly appealing to the voters. Even the city’s brand and the available facilities were impressive. The practical arrangements for the event will be managed by Aboa Congress and Event Services. ELMI will be organised at Logomo Event and Conference Centre in Turku on 1–4 June 2021, and approximately 400 participants are expected. Registration for the event opens in early 2021.

 

Picture: Technical designer Markku Saari (on the left) is a member of the organisation committee of the conference. Gleb Grebnev, director of the Finnish Advanced Light Microscopy Node, also participates in the arrangements.