On 2 November, Hans Huis in 't Veld, chairman of the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) board of management, and Nicolai Platé, vice-chairman of the Russian Academy of Sciences, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the presence of Russian president Vladimir Putin, during his state visit to the Netherlands. Also present were Prime Minister Balkenende of the Netherlands and Mr. Fursenko, the Russian minister of education and science.

In the MoU, both organizations expressed their intention to broaden and expand their cooperation during the coming years in science, technology and its commercialization. It covers the exchange of information and employees, joint projects, etc., and will capitalize on TNO's expertise as a knowledge organization for companies, government bodies and public organizations, and the Russian Academy's research skills.

The cooperation will focus on the research areas of separation technology, industrial and ecological safety, new materials, nanotechnology, biomedical science and system biology. In a number of these fields, cooperation between the two organizations has been established for a number of years and the new initiative aims to build on that good working relationship.