More than 100 scientists from universities and research institutions in India and Germany are participating in a three-day conference on laser applications and nano science, which began here on Thursday under the auspices of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Srinivasa Ramanujan Institute for Basic Sciences, Goethe-Zentrum, and Humboldt Club of Kerala. Inaugurating the event, Hans-Guenther Loeffler, Deputy Consul General at the German Consulate General, Bangalore, invited scientists from India to make use of the infrastructure and expertise available in Germany for collaborative research. He said Germany was open to collaboration with scientists from across the world. “We believe that international cooperation in science is necessary and a driving force for progress.”

Mr. Loeffler said the scientific community in Germany had a high esteem for the potential in India, especially Kerala. Highlighting the ties between the two countries, he said India was a strategic partner for Germany.

Presiding over the function, V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, executive vice-president, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, said efforts were on to work out a better collaboration between institutions in India and Germany in areas like climate change, laser technology, and nano science.

He said the Kids’ Science Laboratory, an educational project popular in Germany, had completed a pilot run in Kerala this year.

The project, designed to provide children with an opportunity to explore and understand science through fun-filled activities, is slated to come up at the Kerala State Science and Technology Museum here. “It will be the first Kids’ Science Laboratory outside Germany,” Prof. Pillai said.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is scheduled to inaugurate an interactive meeting of scientists and delegates on Friday evening.