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Posted: February 16, 2008
Discussion on medical and energy research and transferring technology to the marketplace
(Nanowerk News) On Feb. 15 Reporters met with four of America's foremost nanotechnology experts at Boston Marriott Copley Place, Suffolk Room, 110 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Mass.for a wide-ranging discussion about using the technology to more effectively treat patients and to better produce and secure energy. Also, an entrepreneur shared his company's experience taking nanotechnology from the lab to the marketplace, and all participants discussed the role of the federal government in supporting nanotechnology research through the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) and its member agencies.
Dr. Robert Langer is an Institute Professor (the highest honor awarded to a faculty member) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and winner of the 2006 United States National Medal of Science. He has written more than 950 articles and has more than 600 issued or pending patents worldwide. Dr. Langer's work is at the interface of biotechnology and materials science, and he will discuss nanotechnology in medicine, including safety, targeting drugs to tumors, and delivery of genetic medicine. Some of Dr. Langer's research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Emilio Mendez is the director of Brookhaven National Laboratory's Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), one of the U.S. Department of Energy's five Nanoscale Science Research Centers across the U.S. The CFN was designed, in large part, to help meet the challenge of the U.S.'s large dependence on using fossil fuels to meet its energy needs. Dr. Mendez will explain how nanoscience can help to address the energy challenge, and he will give examples of scientific projects with the potential to contribute significantly to its solution.
Mr. Rick Hess is president and chief executive officer of Lowell, Massachusetts-based Konarka Technologies Inc., a leading developer of products that provide a source of renewable power in a variety of forms for commercial, industrial, government and consumer applications. Mr. Hess discussed how Konarka works at the intersection of energy, nanotechnology, and printed electronics to print light absorbing nanomaterials that generate electricity on plastic films. He described the origin of the technology and the challenges faced in bringing the technology to a product that can be manufactured in high volume for the solar energy market.
Moderating the roundtable was Dr. Altaf (Tof) Carim from the Department of Energy's Office of Science. Dr. Carim is co-chair of the Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council. The NSET Subcommittee is the interagency body responsible for coordination of the federal efforts that constitute the National Nanotechnology Initiative. For more information, visit http://www.nano.gov/