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10th Nordic-Baltic Conference on Biomedical Engineering

1st International Conference on Bioelectromagnetism

On June 9.-13. 1996 the Ragnar Granit Institute and the Ragnar Granit Foundation organized the 10th Nordic-Baltic Conference on Biomedical Engineering continuing the series of Nordic Conferences on BME. It was also jointly organized the 1st International Conference on Bioelectromagnetism. The conferences were organized in co-operation with the Finnish Society for Medical Physics and Medical Engineering and they were regional conferences of IFMBE, IEEE and ESEM. President of the IFMBE, Professor Fumihiko Kajiya participated the conferences and presented the greetings of the Federation. Professor Robert Plonsey presented the greetings of IEEE Engineering in Medicne and Biology Society. Professor Jaakko Malmivuo, Director of the Ragnar Granit Institute served as Congress President. President of the Republic of Finland, Mr. Martti Ahtisaari served as Patron of the conferences.
Due to the recent developments in the Baltic Region, the group of primary organizing countries was enlarged to include, in addition to the Nordic Countries, those bordering the Baltic sea. These were Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania as well as Poland and Germany. It was the purpose to give the Baltic states, who had recently received their independence once more, an opportunity to participate fully in the international scientific community. In this sense the conferences may be characterized as historical. Iceland was also represented for the first time.
As emphasized by Professor Jaakko Malmivuo in his Opening Address it was also the purpose to make the conferences fully international so that the Nordic and Baltic participants could present their research results to the largest possible international audience and create new contacts at a worldwide level.
In addition to these goals it was wanted to strengthen the international status of bioelectromagnetism by establishing a new series of conferences in this field. All these goals were reached and perhaps even exceeded. The conferences were attended by more than 400 active participants from 36 countries including Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia.
There were a total of 350 scientific contributions of which 236 were oral presentations given in eight parallel sessions. The number of organized sessions was 19 including 74 invited papers. Of the papers 113 originated from the Nordic Countries and 35 from the Baltic states. In addition to these the Conferences included 13 high-quality State-of-the-Art lectures. Among them was a presentation given by the Nobel Laureate professor Ivar Giaever. The Proceedings were published as Supplements for Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing.
The incorporation of the Baltic states in the international scientific community is emphasized by the selection of Tallinn as the venue for the next Nordic-Baltic Conference in 1999. The strengthening of the status of bioelectromagnetism is indicated by the fact that the second International Conference on Bioelectromagnetism will be organized in Melbourne in 1998.
The Conferences were preceded by four Preconference Courses in the field of signal processing, biosensors and bioelectromagnetism. Two satellite symposia were also organized in connection with the conferences. A Preconference Symposium was organized in Lapland including a special Midnight Sun Symposium on co-operation between universities and industry. The Postconference symposium concerning bioelectromagnetic measurements was organized in Tallinn.
The Internet was actively used in promoting the conferences. Detailed information on the conferences may be found from address http://www.isbem.org/conf/1996/www/nbcinfo.htm. Information on the 11th Nordic-Baltic Conference on Biomedical Engineering is published in http://www.cb.ttu.ee/nbc99/ and details of the 2nd International Conference on Bioelectromagnetism at http://www.isbem.org/conf/1998/icbem.htm.
I hope this website refreshes your memories from the conference and the light, warm and friendly Finnish summer.

Jaakko Malmivuo

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