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Nanotechnology Education and Research
Lithuania is located between Latvia and Russia in Eastern Europe. It covers an area of 65,300 km2 and had a population of 3,525,761 as of July 2012.
Lithuania the largest country of the three Baltic states, and is one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. It joined the NATO and the EU in 2004.
The GDP of Lithuania in 2012 was $64.32 billion, with manufacturing being their largest gross value added contributor. A major portion of the nation’s trade is with Russia.
Lithuania has a couple of organisations and networks committed to promoting nanoscience as well as exploring the challenges and future of nanotechnology. A brief introduction to the key nanotechnology-related organisations in Lithuania is given below:
NENNET - short for Nano Energy Network, NENNET is a network aimed at stimulating cooperation in fields of innovation that are of particular interest for Lithuania. These areas include photovoltaics, hydrogen and fuel cells, nanotechnologies and material science.
MITA – It is an Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology. It is the main governmental institution that is responsible for implementation of innovation policy in Lithuania. MITA was established on 4 May 2010 with the aim of fostering business and science cooperation and to create a friendly environment for business needs and innovation.
Nanotechnology covers a wide variety of applications and industries. The major nanotechnology companies in Lithuania that cater to these diverse sectors are listed below along with a brief introduction to each of them:
UAB Nano Vita - UAB Nano Vita supplies analytical instruments, laboratory equipment, furniture and accessories, and market complex bespoke solutions for a variety of research applications.
Baltic Nano Technologies - Baltic Nano Technologies is the official Lithuanian distributor for the Austrian company Vadlau GmbH. Vadlau has developed nanotechnology-based coatings that help surfaces to stay or self clean. Designed for vehicles and boats, use of these coatings results in reduced drag and better speed and economy.
EKSPLA - EKSPLA is ISO9001 certified manufacturer of lasers, laser systems and laser components for R&D and industrial applications. Since its beginning, the company has aimed at production of high performance advanced solutions. New ideas, broad knowledge of its engineers and physicists coupled with skilled and experienced staff have made it possible to create an exclusive company. Starting from a picosecond Nd:glass laser and a small series of mechanical mounts, EKSPLA has significantly increased its production range
Festo - Festo is a leading world-wide supplier of automation technology and the performance leader in industrial training and education programs. Their aim is to maximise productivity and competitiveness for their customers. Festo’s technological competence sustainably secures innovative capacity and technological leadership in existing and new fields of activity. Advanced technologies provide the required basic knowledge in the traditional disciplines of engineering and in new areas such as micro-nano integration.
Nanotechnology Education and Research
Lithuania is home to a number of universities that offer research and educational opportunities in nanotechnology. Provided below is a list of universities and academic institutions in Lithuania and the academic courses or research opportunities relating to nanotechnology.
Vilnius University – The University’s research trends also include new materials, nanostructures and surfaces as well as synthesis and characterization technologies. The Lithuanian Science Programmes and Projects at the University are involved in various research activities which include nanotechnology. More than a dozen nano-based research projects are being carried out via its International Science Programmes and Projects.
Vytautas Magnus University - Nanotechnology-based research opportunities in the area of biomedicine and physics are available at the University.
Center for Physical Sciences and Technology - is the state founded scientific research institute. The Center is the public legal entity acting as the state budget institution and carrying out long-term fundamental and experimental research important to the state, society, trade companies and international cooperation in the fields established in the statute of the Center. The Center’s Institute of Physics has a Nanoengineering Department, whose mission is the development of new nanoscale materials, structures and processes for life science, medicine and analytical applications. The Center’s scientific activities include organic chemistry and bionanotechnologies.
Kaunas University of Technology – The Institute of Materials Science at the University is involved in several research activities, the primary one being nanotechnology. The University also promotes the Research Centre for Microsystems and Nanotechnology (RSMN).
On October 17, 2012, two national innovation agencies in Lithuania and Israel, MITA and MATIMOP signed the cooperation agreement to promote bilateral cooperation in industrial research and technology. Together they encouraged and funded bilateral Lithuanian-Israeli projects to promote technological breakthroughs in nanotechnology, lasers, biotechnology, information technology, and other areas.
In May, 2012, researchers from the Vilnius State University added single walled carbon nanotubes to Modified Bisphenol A Epoxy Resin, an adhesive commonly used in aerospace. They reported on the effectiveness of the resultant materials' ability to provide electromagnetic shielding when used as a coating and found that the electromagnetic response could be controlled by the coating thickness.
The Nanoweek 2013 conference, which included EuroNanoforum which took place in June 2013 in Ireland featured a Plenary presentation from Prof. Dainius Pavalkis, Minister of Education and Science, Lithuania entitled "Continuity – Plans of the Lithuanian Presidency of the council of the EU”.
While Lithuania has identified nanotechnology as an important area there have not been many reported developments despite their commitments and collaborations. This may change in the future as these arrangements mature and research projects start to generate results. However, Lithuania will probably remain a small player in the field of nanotechnology despite its strong economy.
EuroNanoforum Speaker List