Finland is a leader in the development of new applications for nanotechnology. This status has been earned through unrelenting and persistent work. Tekes' FinNano programme, which is about to end, awarded the Nanotech Finland Awards in four categories to distinguished contributors in the field.
The Nanotech Finland Awards recipients are: Beneq Oy, Professor Esko Kauppinen, Aalto University; Tapani Ryhänen, director at the Nokia Research Center; and Academy Professor Kari Rissanen, the University of Jyväskylä.
Best business potential
Beneq Oy is, internationally speaking, the most successful nanotechnology company in Finland. Beneq manufactures and develops industrial coating equipment and techonologies for the needs of industry. Coating application areas are especially in the fields of solar energy, flat glass, medical, printed and flexible electronics, and lighting solutions.
Beneq's success is based on high-quality competence in atomic layer deposition (ALD) technology, and the aerosol technology patented by the company. Beneq has built successful international business operations and the company's production is primarily exported to Europe, Asia and the United States. The company's mission is to grow into a globally significant solution provider of equipment and technology for demanding industrial applications within its customer industries. Beneq has already been selected for the list of leading Nordic cleantech companies.
Esko Kauppinen and his research group discovered an entirely new carbon nano material: carbon nanobud. Nanobuds, combining fullerens and nanotubes, are now being developed into revolutionary new applications in, for example, electronics, optics and energy technology.
The spin-off company of the Aalto University School of Science and Technology, Canatu Ltd, is commercialising the new material. The most important products are thin films which can be applied, for example, on liquid crystal displays, solar cells, touchscreens and many semiconductor components.
Tapani Ryhänen leads nanotechnology research at Nokia Research Center and has significantly promoted the development of the field internationally. Nokia has been a forerunner and leading edge company in nanotechnology development for the ICT industry. Nokia Research Center engages in goal-oriented, forward-looking and visionary research in close cooperation with the Aalto University School of Science and Technology and the University of Cambridge.
On the basis of its research, Nokia launched in 2008 the Morph concept, which illustrates the opportunities afforded by nanotechnology in future mobile phone development and has received widespread international attention. Among other things, nanotechnology enables the use of flexible and adaptable materials in mobile phones, new energy solutions, batteries that are quicker to charge, and are longer lasting and safer, touchscreens and various sensors.
Development of Finnish nanoscience and nanotechnology
Kari Rissanen is a long-time nanoscience researcher who was been a pioneer in creating the operational preconditions for research in nanoscience and nanotechnology in Finland. Rissanen has decisively contributed to the formation of the nanotechnology expert network in Finland ever since the first nanotechnology research programme of Tekes and the Academy of Finland. He participated in the foundation of Finland's first multidisciplinary research environment focused on nanoscience, the NanoScience Center (NSC) in Jyväskylä. In recent years, Rissanen has contributed with his work significantly to the Academy of Finland's FinNano research programme as well as introducing the general public to nanoscience and nanotechnology education, internationalisation and opportunities afforded by nanotechnology.
FinNano programme was launched by Tekes in 2005. The total volume of the programme is approx. 70 million euros, including € 25 million in research funding,and € 20 million in corporate financing from Tekes. The duration of the programme is five years, 2005 – 2009. The programme is carried out in close collaboration with Academy of Finland's Nanoscience Research Programme.