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Posted: Apr 02, 2012
Nanotechnology coming into focus April 4-5 in Durham, NC
(Nanowerk News) This week, North Carolina's advocate for nanobiotechnology innovation, the Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology (COIN), is co-hosting a rare opportunity for Triangle life science and technology professionals to gain access to some of the top talent on nanotechnology from across the nation representing academia, government and private sector interests.
The Fourth Annual Nanotech Commercialization Conference in set to take place in Bay 7 of the American Tobacco Campus in Durham April 4-5, with high-impact networking with C-level executives, informative panels and workshops, and a wide array of expert speakers seldom found in one place.
"Attendees are going to hear from true visionaries speaking to the opportunities and challenges in turning nanotech ideas into valuable products and creating jobs," said Graeme Ossey, research and marketing manager with COIN.
Speakers of note include Neal Fowler, CEO of Liquidia; Richard Ridgley, Chief Scientist at the National Reconnaissance Office; Dr. Sally Tinkle, Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office of the National Science and Technology Council; and Charles E. Hamner, D.V.M., Ph.D., Chairman of The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences.
The field of nanotechnology is big business, with estimates putting investments at upwards of $24 billion. Loosely defined, nanotech refers to devices on a scale of 1-100 nanometers used to build products addressing needs in renewable clean energy, health and medicine, information technology, environmental and space exploration. Interest in the field continues to grow, especially in sectors like "green" energy as scientists have sought ways to create fuel that does not generate carbon dioxide and other residue.
As government and business-side investments in nanotech have grown, their economic impacts have begun to be felt across a multitude of markets including chemical, energy, electrical and mechanical engineering, biology, and computer science just to name a few. Along with an increased interest in new applications for nontechnology come roadblocks to moving innovations from the lab to the marketplace.
"Some of the challenges being addressed at the Conference involve finding funding, which is being examined by an investor panel; how to sell products to large companies; and risk mitigation revolving around environmental health and safety," Ossey said.
Co-hosts of the Nanotechnology Commercialization Conference include the NanoBusiness Commercialization Association and the North Carolina Office of Science & Technology. Over 200 people are registered for the event, with walk-ins welcome each day of the Conference. For more information visit www.nanoevent.org.