“This cooperation agreement between Finland and China is a strong step forward in an effort to foster a better exchange of ideas, people and resources between China and EU countries,” said Markku Lämsä, manager of Finland's National Nanotechnology Programme (FinNano).
Agreement on the cooperation was reached at a meeting in Beijing earlier this year, and an official Chinese delegation went to Helsinki at the end of March to attend the Nanotech Northern Europe conference, which was organised in the framework of the China–EU Science and Technology Year. A delegation from Finland is set to return the visit by attending the China Nano 2007 event in June.
According to Tekes the Finnish research agency, the Chinese were impressed by the high quality of nanotechnology research in Finland, and its strong focus on commercialisation and industrialisation. The FinNano programme is funded by Tekes to the tune of €70 million.
Over the past few years, Tekes has worked hard to build bridges linking the Finnish and Chinese research communities; it has offices in Beijing and Shanghai and has cooperation agreements with the leading Chinese provinces involved in R&D. Much of the Tekes website has also been translated into Chinese.
“Tekes China is active in building platforms for Finnish companies and the research community in China; nanotechnology is one of the fields we have worked on recently,” commented Juho Rissanen, who heads up Tekes’ Beijing office. “We also promote cooperation within the EU framework.”