08/10/2010

Trade Links Bring Finland To Ireland

Finland came to Ireland this week as Conor Lenihan, the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation highlighted the cooperation that is taking place between both 'lands' in the software, food and healthcare sectors.

Minister Lenihan was speaking at a seminar in Dublin Castle on combining Irish and Finnish strengths in innovation to overcome the recession.

It was organised on the occasion of the visit of the Finnish Prime Minister, Mari Kiviniemi to Dublin where she met with the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen and President Mary McAleese.

Both President Kiviniemi and the Taoiseach addressed the seminar.

Irish companies and organisations attending the seminar included Skypaq, currently collaborating with Finnair on software to improve quality and reduce costs, Teagasc who have linked up with Finnish food company Valio and the Dublin Dental School and Hospital which is collaborating with Planmeca, a dental unit manufacturer, in commercialising the results of scientific developments.

Minister Lenihan said he was very impressed with Finland's track record in science, technology and innovation.

"Finland has achieved a well deserved reputation as one of the leading performers for knowledge based development, and international competitiveness through its investment in science, technology and education.

"The challenging economic and financial conditions that prevail only serve to sharpen our focus that the Ireland of the future will be a smart, high-value, export-led economy," he said.

"Our goal is that Ireland will have some of the world's leading research-intensive multinationals and it will have thousands of innovative small and medium enterprises," he continued, noting that research investment supports the competitiveness of European industry and where science and innovation are also impacting.

Concluding, Minister Lenihan said: "I look forward to further cooperation between our two countries as we both have much to gain given our mix of strengths."

(BMcC/KMcA)

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