Finland and China Team up on Nanotechnology Research

Finland is a leading partner in the Europan Union's nanotech group NMT, and directs the EU's material technology group MATERA. The partners in Finland-China NAMI cooperation aim to create world class research and put Sino-Finnish nanotech products on the market together by 2010.

The Chinese Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Dr. Wan Gang and Vice Minister Dr. Shang Yong joined in the celebration of the opening of China International Nanotech Innovation Cluster (CINIC) in Suzhou on Saturday. Finland has set foot in Suzhou, signing agreements for nanotechnology development and commercialisation.

Mr. Juho Rissanen, the Beijing representative of Tekes and counsellor of science and technology at the Embassy of Finland, gave an opening speech in Chinese informing the new MOST Minister on the current status of Finland-China nanotech cooperation. Dr. Markku Lämsä, who leads Finland's nanotech programme, signed a cooperation agreement with Suzhou nanotech cluster. Represented by Mr. Jaani Heinonen of Tekes Shanghai office and the Consulate General of Finland, the Finnish Technical Research Centre VTT also signed a cooperation agreement with Suzhou.

"The willingness to team up and the amount of joint projects proposed clearly show the demand for deeper collaboration between China and Finland in the area of nanotechnology. The Sino-Finnish NAMI Nanotech Program can also positively increase the exchange of know-how between the European Union and China", says Dr. Lämsä.

The China-Finland NAMI (Nanotechnology Strategic Mutual Cooperation Initiative) was signed in Beijing in January 2007, and more than 30 project proposals and expressions of interest have been collected so far. The first cooperation projects under the NAMI programme have been launched in October.

Finland is the first country to sign a national level strategic cooperation agreement with China on nanotechnology. The new Finnish technology programme on functional materials, with a budget of 200 million euros, was introduced to the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology last Monday in Beijing. It is expected that still more cooperation projects will be generated under this new programme, to be implemented under the NAMI framework. Both the national nanotech programme and functional materials programme are funded and directed by Tekes, and coordinated by Spinverse Inc., a private Finnish technology consultancy.

Finland-China NAMI cooperation aims at increasing the competitiveness of industrial sectors in the two countries. The industries include information and communication technologies, pulp and paper, chemicals, metals and other materials, diagnostics and healthcare. The production of energy using new technologies such as solar cell and fuel cells may also be considered.

In Finland, nanotechnology is one of the focus areas of national innovation policy, with extensive public and private investments. The Finnish Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Programme FinNano is a coordinated action on a national level to increase the expertise in science and technology. Finnish public funding organisations are investing more than 120 million euros in nanoscience and nanotechnology programmes between 2005 and 2010.

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