Close to 100 people, including a number of representatives of Québec companies and research centres, attended the official signing of a cooperation agreement between NanoQuébec and Nagano Techno Foundation, in Nagano on February 16. The agreement is aimed at promoting nanotechnology development. The Délégation générale du Québec à Tokyo (Québec government office in Tokyo) was also represented at the signing ceremony, held during Nanotechnology Week in Japan.
The signing of the five-year partnership agreement is an important step in the creation of closer ties between Québec and Japan and the development of this new technology sector. According to NanoQuébec President and CEO Robert Crawhall, the agreement should be highly positive for Québec. In his own words, “The Nagano prefecture has many excellent researchers and companies working in areas of nanotechnology that are complementary to those we have in Québec.”
Nagano Techno Foundation combines expertise from Shinshu University and other research institutions and companies in the Nagano prefecture. With a budget of US$70 million, the foundation has been selected by the Japanese Ministry of Science and Technology to develop a nanotechnology centre of excellence in the Nagano region by nurturing collaboration between the nanotech industry, universities and government.
Québec’s Delegate General in Tokyo, Suzanne Éthier, who attended the signing, pointed out that nanotechnology development is one of the high-priority scientific sectors supported by the Government of Québec and stressed Japan’s leadership in this area. She said that was pleased by Québec’s strong presence and the collaboration of the Embassy of Canada in the 2009 edition of Nanotechnology Week in Japan, which drew 24 Québec researchers and company representatives.
The Québec government office in Tokyo has been working closely with NanoQuébec for over three years, and the signing of this second cooperation agreement is a fine illustration of the vitality of relations between Québec and Japan in this area. In 2007, NanoQuébec signed a partnership agreement with the Japan’s Nanotechnology Business Creation Initiative (NBCI), the world’s largest nanotechnology association.
Délégation générale du Québec à Tokyo