Center for Physical Sciences and Technology (FTMC) has another opportunity to collaborate with prestigious world research organisations. This time it is KITECH, the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, whose delegation visited our Center on 26 January.
Established in 1989, this Korean public research institute aims to help develop technologies for the country's industry, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises. The organisation employs more than 2 000 people (researchers, students, technicians, etc.).
The Institute was represented by Dr. Kyoung-Tae Park, Director of KORAM (Korea Institute for Rare Metals), a division of KITECH, and Ro Woon Lee from the Institute's Global Innovation Office. The guests explained that KITECH is planning to open a branch in Europe and is particularly interested in Eastern and Northern part of the continent. The Baltic countries have already been the focus of interest for the Koreans and KITECH would like to collaborate in various areas such as renewable green energy, laser technologies, metal processing, etc.
FTMC Director Prof. Dr. habil. Gintaras Valušis and dr. Kyoung-Tae Park (on behalf of KITECH Director Dr. Sang Mok Lee) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), a document expressing the willingness of both parties to start cooperation.
(Kyoung-Tae Park and Prof. Gintaras Valušis. Photo: FTMC)
"This is great opportunity to bring in our competences, which could bring new quality and possibly new innovation. Our experiences are quite unique, so we hope that the MoU will be the first step that will generate something positive for us.
The content of this document is quite broad and will be the basis for our next steps. The topics covered in the memorandum are those that were discussed in advance (and presented at our meeting) - laser technologies, optoelectronics, materials science, the Green Deal, metal chemistry and textile technologies.
FTMC is becoming a global player, we are no longer limited to Europe because we need more resources. And South Korea is one of the most technologically advanced countries and has very clear priorities. Their experience, knowledge and, we hope, future joint projects will be very useful," says G. Valušis.
(Representatives from FTMC and KITECH. Photo: FTMC)
At the meeting, Head of FTMC gave an overview of the Center's activities, and FTMC researchers from different fields spoke about their specific research (which could be of interest to KITECH):
Dr. Linas Minkevičius, a researcher at the Department of Optoelectronics, presented the optoelectronic devices and technologies that he and his colleagues are researching and developing;
Dr. Gediminas Račiukaitis, Head of the Department of Laser Technologies, talked about the work carried out in the laser laboratories, which is widely appreciated worldwide;
Dr. Genrik Mordas from the same epartment presented the additive manufacturing - or simply 3D printing - technologies that FTMC is working on. This type of printing allows the use of fewer materials and the production of extremely small products with complex geometries;
Dr. Jurga Juodkazytė, a researcher at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, talked about renewable energy research - how to convert sunlight into electricity more efficiently, the development of a new generation of batteries, the idea of extracting hydrogen from seawater, etc.;
Prof. Eimutis Juzeliūnas, Head of the Department of Electrochemical Material Science, offered to collaborate on experiments with magnesium and its alloys. This material is widely appreciated, but its biggest enemy is corrosion. According to the professor, FTMC has the knowledge to overcome this problem;
Dr. Julija Baltušnikaitė-Guzaitienė, Head of the Department of Textile Technologies, talked about innovative products - eco-friendly, smart textiles and clothing for defence purposes: armoured vests and the currently being developed anti-radar camouflage for soldiers and vehicles.
(Dr. Jan Devenson, Dr. Kyoung-Tae Park, Ro Woon Lee and Dr. Saulius Tumėnas next to Molecular Beam Epitaxy. Photo: FTMC)
After the signing of the MoU, the delegation was given a short tour of the research activities at the FTMC. Dr. Jurgis Pilipavičius, a scientist from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, showed the guests around several chemistry laboratories, Dr. Irmantas Kašalynas from the Department of Optoelectronics presented research on terahertz waves, and Dr. Jan Devenson, from the same department, guided the guests through the so-called clean rooms - extremely sterile laboratories where crystals needed for research are grown and other important experiments are performed.
From the building in Saulėtekis Avenue, the KITECH delegation went to Department of Laser Technologies located in Savanorių Avenue, where the work and the available equipment was presented by the Head of the department Dr. Gediminas Račiukaitis.