Finland and the United States have a history of cooperation in the fields of science and technology. During this week, high-level representatives from both countries joined in the context of the Finland-U.S. Joint Committee Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation. In conjunction with the meeting, VTT had the honor to host twice the delegation consisting of esteemed representatives of the US Government, research and funding organisations. The visits took place at VTT’s Biotech laboratories and biofoundry facilities, and at Micronova Center for applied micro- and nanotechnology, both located at Otaniemi, Espoo.
The visits were a big opportunity to forge connections that transcend borders and drive innovation in some of the most transformative fields such as Biotechnology, Quantum technology and 6G technologies.
The US high-level delegation was headed by Ms. Rahima Kandahari, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Technology and Space Affairs in the U.S. Department of State. Besides, representatives from the National Science Foundation (NSF), The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Institute of Health (NIH), and from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, participated in the visits.
VTT’s President and CEO, Dr. Antti Vasara, hosted the high-level delegation during the visit to Micronova Center for applied micro- and nanotechnology. “Through engaging discussions, knowledge sharing, and the exchange of ideas, we are fostering an environment where creativity flourishes. By working hand in hand, we are not only advancing the interests of our two nations but also addressing global challenges that affect us all. We're excited about the possibilities that can emerge from the visit, in the realm of quantum computing and 6G technology”, says Antti Vasara.
VTT’s Executive Vice-President, Sustainable Products and Materials, Dr. Tua Huomo, hosted the visit to the recently inaugurated VTT’s FutureHub Biotech laboratories and biofoundry facilities. “VTT was honored to host Rahima Kandahari, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of State, and all members of the US high-level delegation. We are looking forward to fostering collaboration”, says Tua Huomo.
In a world grappling with health crises, food security, and climate change, biotechnology is key to unlocking sustainable solutions. Finland and the U.S. have both mentioned biotechnology as a key enabling technology. Presentations by Finland’s experts from VTT, Research professor, Academician Merja Penttilä, and Aalto University Director of the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence (FCAI), Prof. Samuel Kaski, presented industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology strategies at VTT and Finland, and AI initiatives related to biotechnology. In addition, during the meeting the participants hold discussions on strategic collaboration possibilities around Biotechnology.
The Finnish quantum business ecosystem
In Finland, VTT is leading the Finnish quantum business ecosystem BusinessQ, which is part of the Finnish quantum institute InstituteQ. BusinessQ brings together the strong ecosystem and know-how of Finnish companies operating in the field of quantum technology. In addition, VTT has in-house Finland’s first quantum computer – a 5 qubit superconductive quantum computer that was co-developed together with the Finnish start-up IQM and launched in 2021. VTT will launch a 20-qubit quantum computer soon and it will be upgrade to a 50-qubit quantum computer in 2024.
During the visit, experts from IQM, Aalto University, Bluefors and VTT presented the Finnish semiconductors highlights and the Finnish 6G and Quantum technology activities and initiatives, with the aim to enhance the possibilities for further collaboration between Finland and the US.