Finland and China intensify nanotech collaboration

A cooperation agreement between the Finnish national nanotechnology initiative (FinNano) and the China International Nanotech Innovation Cluster (CINIC) was inaugurated on 1 December in the
Chinese city of Shuzou. The cooperation will mark one element of the Nanotechnology Strategic Mutual Cooperation Initiative (NAMI), which links China and Finland in a joint effort to promote
nanotech research and put Sino-Finnish nanotech products on the market by 2010.

Since the NAMI agreement was signed in January in Beijing, 30 project proposals and expressions of interest have been collected. The first NAMI projects were launched in October.

‘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,’ said Dr Markku
Lämsä, head of the Finnish nanotech programme. ‘The Sino-Finnish NAMI Nanotech Programme can also positively increase the exchange between the European Union and China.’

A further boost in collaboration is expected under the new Finnish ?200 million technology programme on functional materials, which Finnish representatives introduced to officials from the
Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology at the end of November. Both the nanotech and the functional materials programme are funded and directed by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology
and Innovation (Tekes).

Nanotechnology is one of the key elements of the Finnish national innovation policy with Finnish public funding organisations investing more than ?120 million in the area between now and 2010.

The signing of the strategic collaboration agreement comes only days after the China-EU Summit. There, European and Chinese leaders agreed to promote strategic scientific cooperation through
the launch of EU-China joint research projects.

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