"German institutions are open not just its citizens but to excellent scientists from all over the world, said Hans-Guenther Loeffler, Germany's deputy consul general in Bangalore, while delivering the inaugural address at the three-day Indo-German Conference on Laser Applications and Nano Science.

"International cooperation in science is necessary and is a driving force of progress and German collaboration is very much directed to India. We have very high regard for the potential of Indian scientists," he said.

Loeffler said laser technology and nano sciences has been identified by Germany as an area with enormous potential for innovation, for the future growth of industries and for the creation of new, qualified workplaces.

The German government launched an action plan in 2010 to promote nanotechnology R&D and translational research to take the technology from laboratory to the industry.

The country's nanotechnology industry is projected to be worth one trillion euros (approx Rs.80 trillion) by 2015.

Germany has several networks of science and research institutions, some of the most important ones being Leibniz-Gemeinschaft, Helmholtz Gemeinschaft and the Max Planck Society.

"All these institutes are open to you. They are not just for Germans but for excellent scientists from all over the world. A number of science institutes today have directors who are not from Germany. We always want to attract the best and facilitate scientific collaboration by lowering the by lowering the psychological, linguistic and administrative barriers," said Loeffler.

The conference which will conclude on Dec 7, is organised by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) in collaboration with the Srinivasa Ramanujan Institute for Basic Sciences, under the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), the Goethe Zentrum and The Humboldt Club, Thiruvananthapuram.

KSCSTE chief VN Rajasekharan Pillai said research institutions in Kerala are in discussions with those in Germany on collaborative projects in specific areas including climate change, laser applications and nano technologies, as well as science education.

More than 100 delegates, including scientists, researchers and subject experts from the two countries, are taking part in the conference.


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