Data resource initiative

Finland is known for its comprehensive registers, but national cross-disciplinary and cross-administrative data is currently scarce. This has an impact on relevant societal decision-making as well as foreseeing complex phenomena related to population health and wellness. The rapid development of technology and research methods enables new ways for collecting and making use of both biological and social data.

From 2017 to 2023 the Finnish Cultural Foundation and experts from various fields have collaborated in planning a national, multidisciplinary, lifelong data resource (birth cohort). The fields of expertise of the researchers include education, social science, medicine, and psychology. In the beginning of 2023, this dialogue was extended to include also expert surveys and interviews of ordinary citizens.

In spring 2023, the initiative will proceed to a more concrete preparation stage carried out in collaboration between the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). During the preparation stage, the dialogue between experts and citizens will continue, and the social, financial, legal, and practical requirements for establishing the planned data resource will be surveyed and verified. The preparation stage is expected to continue until the end of 2025.

A longitudinal multidisciplinary data resource that accumulates over time would enable more ambitious research and broader cross-disciplinary collaboration. It would increase our understanding of the components of holistic wellness and health. A strong knowledge base would also will help to predict and prevent various complex vicious problems, such as social exclusion and marginalization. In the long run, this could help to reduce the growth of the social and healthcare expenses.


Birgit Simell, Development Manager, THL
+358 29 524 7735