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Posted: July 17, 2009
Iberia invests big in nanotechnology center
(Nanowerk News) The leaders of Portugal and Spain on Friday opened a joint research center for nanotechnology that they hope will become one of the world's leading laboratories.
The center, which is expected to be fully operational by the middle of next year, aims to recruit some 200 scientists from around the world. Portuguese officials said 40 scientists are already working remotely with the lab.
Nanotechnology involves research at an atomic or molecular level. It is a broad field which seeks to create smaller and more powerful devices and systems for a wide range of uses, including food production, health care products and military equipment.
Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates and Spain's Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero formally inaugurated the Iberian International Nanotechnology Laboratory in Braga, a Portuguese city about 350 kilometers (200 miles) north of the capital Lisbon.
"We aim to compete on the frontier of technological development, in one of the most promising and demanding fields of science and knowledge," Socrates said at the televised ceremony.
Spain's King Juan Carlos and Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva also attended the inauguration.
The two countries are initially spending around euro100 million (US$141 million) to set up the lab. It is part of a 2005 agreement between the Iberian countries to jointly develop scientific research.