Secure and sustainable Nanotechnology as a motor for innovation in Switzerland and Europe
As one of the key technologies of the 21st century, nanotechnology will significantly shape our economy, our society and indeed our lives. Already today it finds uses in many areas, from IT and electronics via materials with tailor-made properties to medical applications in the fields of diagnostics and therapy. But the bright future for products and processes improved and enhanced by nanotechnology is clouded by questions of safety and security. How do nanoparticles behave in the human body? How do they react with our environment?
In order to discuss these questions, and also future (more or less) desirable developments related to the nano theme, among as wide an audience as possible, Empa decided three years ago to establish a platform for dialog the NanoConvention. In 2009, for the third time, we are bringing together the most important players from science, industry, the economy, finance, politics, the administration and society, this time in Zurich. Workshops, lectures and discussion sessions will be organized where high profile speakers from Switzerland and abroad will illuminate from various perspectives the latest developments in the world of nanotechnology, debate the risks involved and the opportunities offered, and dare to predict what the future holds in store.
The aim is to encourage research and development activities in this promising field, with the object of paving the way for the development of safe and sustainable nanotechnology. For only by responsibly handling new technologies will they become the engines of national economies reliant on innovation such as those of Switzerland. Society and science have learnt from the past that evaluating the consequential effects of new technologies is an essential part of the development and implementation process.
We are convinced that the Swiss NanoConvention 2009 now practically a traditional event will offer an excellent opportunity for fascinating, controversial discussion, and we cordially invite you to Zurich to be a part of it.
Hans Josef HugHead, Nanotechnology Research Program