Opening welcome - 2009
As the chairman of the organizing committee I have once again the great pleasure to welcome you to the seventh Finnish NBC Symposium here in Jyväskylä.
The first Finnish symposium was arranged by the section for NBC - protection, rescue and civil defence of the Association of Finnish Chemical Societies 17 years ago. In that event there weren't even a hundred delegates, and only about 20 of them foreigners.
When we started to prepare this symposium two years ago, nobody could anticipate what kind of worldwide economic recession we would have and nobody had heard about the swine flu. I am sure that both of those have had a negative influence on the number of delegates. But not as big as we feared.
Today it gives us great pleasure and surprise that we have almost 400 representatives from about 30 different countries. And on Wednesday when we have a parallel symposium the number of participants will be over 500. We really appreciate your attention and interest in our symposium. Especially we want to thank all the exhibitors; our exhibition is bigger than ever. We thank also all sponsors of the symposium.
The programme will be quite traditional including lessons, short communications, poster and commercial exhibitions, an outdoor exhibition and social happenings. The official opening of the symposium will take place tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock.
The cruise on Lake Päijänne will start from the harbour tomorrow evening at 7. During the cruise we have a buffet in Juurikkasaari.
On Wednesday we have, as already told, the parallel symposium - a "Security symposium". All of you can take part in that parallel symposium if you wish; the language of the symposium is English. On Wednesday afternoon we will have an outdoor exhibition outside the Paviljonki building and the symposium dinner will be served in the evening at 8 o'clock in this building's restaurant.
The closing of the symposium will be on Thursday at 4 o'clock.
The exhibition is open daily and the posters are on view in the exhibition hall on Wednesday afternoon and during the breaks.
We hope that the oral presentations, of which we have more than 50, are useful, interesting and actual. We also hope that each of the 40 exhibitors will establish good relations with potential customers.
In the organizing and scientific committee we have had about 20 persons. They all have done great and valuable voluntary work for the symposium. I'd like to introduce some of the more important persons behind the symposium.
With these words I'd like to warmly welcome you once again to the symposium 2009. Let's enjoy interesting presentations, delicious food, refreshing drinks, beautiful summer nature, the nights of the midnight sun and most of all the pleasant company with good friends.