Forum to promote creating jobs through nanotechnology innovation

(Nanowerk News) Building on the success of the past two years, the N.C. Office of Science and Technology will host the 2011 N.C. Nanotechnology Commercialization Conference at the UNC Charlotte Barnhardt Student Center on March 29-30. The third annual conference brings together entrepreneurs, business leaders, researchers, and investors to accelerate the commercialization of nanotechnology and drive economic development.
"By promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in nanotechnology, North Carolina can create jobs and secure our economic future in a range of industries – from textiles to medicine to NASCAR," said Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco.
Conference participants will learn about the latest nanoscience advancements and gain insight on commercialization strategies to promote the creation of high-wage jobs and businesses in nanotechnology. With North Carolina as a global leader in nanotechnology innovation, education, and workforce training, this year's conference is expected to draw hundreds of participants from across the state, nation and the world.
The two-day event will feature more than 55 speakers highlighting cutting-edge research and high-growth companies in North Carolina, as well as emerging nanotech commercial applications in electronics, medicine, energy, and environmental sustainability. This year's program features two new additions to the Conference: one-on-one pitch and coaching sessions for companies and optional half-day morning workshops on topics such as nanobiotechnology and a career workshop for young professionals.
"North Carolina is a leader in the development and commercialization of nanotechnology," said John Hardin, Executive Director of the N.C. Office of Science and Technology. "A meeting of our great minds in the fields of nanotechnology and commerce will only increase momentum toward more high-paying nanotech jobs throughout our state."
Conference organizers include the Office of Science and Technology, the state's Small Business and Technology Development Center and the N.C. Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology. The Conference is funded through sponsorships and registration fees.
The Charlotte Research Institute at UNC Charlotte will serve as the local host. The forum includes a student research poster competition, networking opportunities, exhibit booths, and panel sessions with research, government and industry leaders.
Featured conference speakers include:
  • Deputy Commerce Secretary Dale Carroll
  • Travis Earles, Assistant Director of Nanotechnology at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Doug Jamison, CEO of Harris & Harris, a publicly traded venture capital firm exclusively focused on investing in companies enabled by nanotechnology and microsystems
  • Michael Bolick, President of Lab 21 Ltd., personalized medicine diagnostic specialist supporting healthcare providers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries
  • Robert Wilhelm, Associate Provost for Strategic Research Partnerships & Executive Director, Charlotte Research Institute
  • North Carolina discoveries in nanotechnology are rapidly evolving with groundbreaking applications in regenerative medicine, aerospace and textile industries. The application of nanotechnology in commercial products has become ubiquitous and continues to grow. As of March 2011, the Woodrow Wilson International Centers' Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies consumer product inventory has grown by nearly 521 percent (from 212 to 1317 products) since it was released in March 2006.
    Source: North Carolina Department of Commerce