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Posted: Sep 17, 2012

Nanoweek conference to focus on commercial impact of Irish nanotechnology research

(Nanowerk News) The Nanoweek Conference 2012 today began at the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin. Nanoweek 2012 runs until 21st September.
Now in its third year, the two-day conference – an initiative of NanoNet Ireland – is this year co-chaired by CRANN, the SFI-funded nanoscience institute. It will bring together national and international speakers from the research, industrial and investment communities, who will demonstrate how nanoscience research is impacting a range of industry sectors. This Conference is the only of its kind dedicated to the future of nanoscience in Ireland.
With the overall theme Excellence with Impact, the Conference will focus on the commercial applicability of nanoscience research. High-profile researchers and senior industry figures from multinational and national companies, universities and research institutions will present their experiences of translating University research to industrial impact.
The thematic areas which will be covered are Materials, Medical Devices, Electronic Devices and Sensors. Nanoscience supports these sectors, resulting in €15 billion of exports and up to 120,000 associated jobs nationwide annually.
Commenting, Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock TD said, “Nanoweek 2012 is the opportune time to reflect on the successes of Ireland’s nanoscience sector, a sector which supports 120,000 jobs in areas like energy, pharmaceuticals and ICT. It is a culture of excellence in Irish research that continues to attract investment from key industry players and major multinationals, looking to partner with institutes like CRANN on new product development and more.”
The Minister added “It is the Government’s intention to continue to prioritise investment in a range of scientific areas, including key areas such as nanoscience, and to support an environment of collaboration and flexibility - key to securing the commercialisation of research and the development of new knowledge. This will allow the sector to continue to expand and continue delivering good quality sustainable jobs.”
At the Conference, nanoscience researchers will discuss a range of topics including energy storage, advances in diabetes treatment and novel vaccine technologies among others.
Speakers include:
Dr. Valeria Nicolosi; Principal Investigator (PI) at CRANN – Dr. Nicolosi will speak on the use of nanotechnology to develop high-efficiency electrodes for energy storage.
Prof. Bengt Kasemo, Professor of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology Gothenburg. Prof. Kasemo founded Q-Sense AB (in 1996) and Insplorion AB (in 2010) and will speak of his experiences of bringing this research to market.
Prof. Tony Cass, Professor of Chemical Biology in the Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London. Prof. Cass will speak on the use of nanoscience to develop new, efficient blood-glucose sensors for diabetes, which merges the efficacy of current ‘strip’ technology and electronic sensors.
Dr. Ed Lavelle, PI with CRANN. Dr. Lavelle is researching the effect of nanoparticles on cell inflammation, a crucial insight, given the increasing use of nanoparticles in biomedical science.
Professor John Boland, Director CRANN said, “The Nanoweek Conference highlights the significant economic and commercial impact of nanoscience research, a sector linked to 10% of Irish exports annually. Companies across technology, pharmaceuticals, life and materials sciences are partnering with Irish research institutes like CRANN for new product development and improvement. Ireland is amongst the international leaders for nanoscience and materials science, a position that can only be bolstered, with the level of research currently underway.”
Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland said, “It is in the nano-world that discoveries will be made and technologies developed which are likely to change our lives in the coming decades. Ireland’s aim to develop as a knowledge-based economy requires an internationally competitive research presence in this field. Ireland is currently ranked 6th globally for the impact of its nanoscience research and CRANN is at the centre of this research. I look forward to engaging with some of the top Nanoscience thinkers at the Conference on how best to ensure continued research excellence and commercial impact in this field.”
Nanoweek 2012 is an initiative of NanoNet Ireland, a non-profit network which brings together key stakeholders in developing nanoscience and nanotechnology in Ireland – government, academia and industry.
Source: CRANN
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