European nanotechnology forum opens in Dublin today

18 Jun 2013

Europe’s largest nanotechnology event, the EuroNanoForum, is kicking off in Dublin today. For the next two days some 1,500 delegates from 50 countries will be convening at the Convention Centre to explore the scope for nanotechnology research advancements to transform sectors such as health, energy and the environment.

The EuroNanoForum will showcase nanotechnology innovations and speakers from industry, government and research.

Representatives from companies and research institutes such as Nokia Research Laboratories, Intel, Acciona, Philips Healthcare, Diageo and Max-Planck Institute will be discussing the economic and technological impact of nanotechnologies.

Speaking in advance of the forum, Ireland’s Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, TD, described nanotechnology as being the new frontier of technology in Europe and in the world.

Ireland and nanoscience

Right now, Ireland is ranked sixth internationally for nanoscience research and eighth for materials science research.

Two Irish research institutes where pioneering nanoscience research is taking place include CRANN in Dublin and Tyndall National Institute in Cork.

Just yesterday, reported on two Irish companies – Crospon and Adama Innovations – that have been chosen to take part in a new European research project to pioneer new manufacturing techniques for medical devices using nanoscience.

And, earlier this year, CRANN was selected to take part in a major research project that has been awarded €1bn from the European Commission to explore the commercial potential of graphene. Described as the wonder material of the 21st century, graphene is believed to be 200 times stronger than steel but is just one atom thick (think one hundred-thousandth the width of one human hair).

At the minute nanoscience is linked to €15bn, or 10pc, of Ireland’s annual exports, supporting 250,000 jobs nationwide, according to Quinn.

The EuroNanoForum exhibition will also host a market place to engage clusters, companies, start-ups and spin-outs from research institutes.

The event has been organised by Enterprise Ireland and Spinverse. It is taking place against the backdrop of the Nanoweek series of events happening around Ireland until 21 June.

Nanotech image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic