President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who arrived on a state visit to the Federal Republic of Germany on Monday, today took a German Luftwaffe plane from Berlin to Kiel.
He met there with the Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Torsten Albig, and they discussed the partnership in the sphere of economy and research between Estonia and the influential German state of approximately three million.
The Estonian Head of State paid a visit to the 350-year-old University of Kiel, which has University of Tartu among its partner universities. University of Tartu Rector Volli Kalm, who is accompanying President Ilves on the state visit, believes that research co-operation and student exchange between the two universities should be further developed.
“Gene technology, clinical trials, biology, medical sciences or life sciences in general – these are the strengths of both the University of Kiel and University of Tartu, and they have also shown their interest in co-operation with the Estonian Genome Centre, for example,” said Rector Kalm.
In Kiel, President Ilves also paid a visit to the GEOMAR ocean research centre, which is an important partner for Estonian scientists in the sphere of Baltic Sea studies.
The President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Professor Tarmo Soomere, who is part of the official state visit delegation, admitted that three very strong elements of Estonian research have been included by visiting Kiel, these being health sciences and everything linked to human health; genetics and life sciences; and marine sciences, which are represented strongly for such a small country.
“These are three trademarks of Estonian research, resulting in in-depth fundamental research projects that have all found practical implementation,” added Professor Soomere, who is linked to the marine scientists of Kiel through decades of co-operation.
The Minister of Economy, Transport and Technology of Schleswig-Holstein, Reinhard Meyer, was interested in industrial biotechnology solutions developed in Estonia and in exploring the possible implementation of these solutions in Germany. According to Andres Pajuste, board member of the Nordbiochem OÜ research development enterprise, who is part of the business delegation accompanying the President, this would be an alternative for today’s biofuels and replace chemical products derived from oil by using German grain and sugar beet.
Tonight, President Ilves will arrive in Hamburg to meet with the sitting Mayor, Olaf Scholz, tomorrow and speak at the conference of euro ministers of the federal republics of Germany and Hamburg-Estonian business forum, which is being organised to celebrate the state visit. He will pay a visit to HSBA business school to learn about the options for combining studies and practice and visit the Kühne&Nagel company.
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