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Finally finding each other

Given their proximity, it may come as a surprise to know that research agencies in Russia and Finland have only begun to fund joint projects since the turn of the century. Now, with Russia’s research star rising and Finland’s ICT leadership seeking expansion, the neighbours are growing closer.

In 2011, an agreement between the Finnish funding agency Tekes and the Russian Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises, Fasie, led to funding for 14 innovation projects, each of which involves at least one company from each country. Tekes provides funding for the Finnish companies and Fasie takes care of the Russian side. As several projects are nearing completion, it will soon become possible to measure their achievements, says Pauli Noronen, business adviser at Tekes.

A second R&D partnership was signed in June, between Tekes and Skolkovo, a Russian state-run funding agency. This programme, which also focuses on small businesses, launched its first call in November. Applications are due by February 2014.

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