On October 10, 2017, Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology met with a Finnish delegation led by Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen. The two sides exchanged in-depth views and reached agreement on pushing forward China-Finland cooperation in science, technology and innovation (STI), especially on delivering China-Finland Joint Commission Meeting on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, strengthening joint efforts in polar scientific research and facilitating youth innovation and entrepreneurship.
Minister Wan Gang spoke highly of the long-term and stable cooperative relations between the two countries in the field of STI. The two sides have so far jointly held 17 sessions of the China-Finland Joint Commission on Science and Technology Cooperation and will implement the Memorandum on Cooperation signed by the two countries during President Xi Jinping‘s visit to Finland and plan pragmatic bilateral cooperation in the fields of IoT plants, medical science, smart and flexible energy and intelligent transportation. Minister Wan Gang suggested that the two sides engage in high-level cooperation between institutions under the China-EU Co-funding Mechanism, especially the China-EU 2018-2020 Flagship Initiative. As for polar research, Minister Wan Gang remarked that strengthening cooperation in polar research is of great significance for addressing global climate change and that the two sides can combine their observation research and research facilities in the North and South poles and in China’s Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, and jointly establish a global climate change research platform of open cooperation. As for cooperation in youth innovation and entrepreneurship, Minister Wan Gang briefed the visiting guests on China’s mass innovation and entrepreneurship policy, and encouragement for the young people of both countries to go out of their home country and cooperate in innovation and entrepreneurship, implementing the results of their cooperation through platforms like maker space and national hi-tech zones.
Minister Grahn-Laasonen agreed with Minister Wan Gang and said that STI cooperation is an important part of the bilateral relations between Finland and China and that the Finnish side is willing to make joint efforts with the Chinese side to keep pushing forward pragmatic project cooperation under the mechanism of the China-Finland Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation. Minister Grahn-Laasonen pointed out that Finland holds the rotating presidency of the Arctic Council from 2017 to 2019 and will use the opportunity to strengthen bilateral cooperation in polar research between Finland and China. As for cooperation in youth innovation and entrepreneurship, Minister Grahn-Laasonen said that the Finnish side attaches great importance to youth entrepreneurship and actively pushes forward the transfer of knowledge and skills in the field of education. She hoped that the two sides can explore a cooperation model of mutual benefits.
Present at the meeting were Director-General Wu Yuanbin of Science and Technology for Social Development and Deputy Director-General Zhu Xuehua of International Cooperation of MOST, and Finnish Ambassador to China Jarno Syrjala.