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The EuroNanoForum was held for the 6th time in June 2013 in Dublin, Ireland. The event was a tremendous success with nearly 1,500 active members of the nanotechnology community from 50 countries around the world. Over 140 high-level speakers gave vivid talks at the plenaries, sessions and workshops during the conference. Nanotechnology developments and commercialisation success stories were also visible at the coinciding Nanotech Europe exhibition. The event was hosted under the auspices of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, supported by the European Commission and its Industrial Technologies programme, and co-organised by the Enterprise Ireland and Spinverse Ltd.
The strategic importance of nanotechnology was emphasized not only by the Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, but also by the Irish Ministers Seán Sherlock and Ruairi Quinn and the Lithuanian Minister Dainius Pavalkis.
Stellar organisations, like BASF, Shell, Ottobock, Nanobiotix, Intel, Philips Healthcare, Airbus, VTT, Fraunhofer, Max-Planck Institute, CRANN, Tyndall, MSSI and NanoStart, initiated a thriving discussion about the future of nanotechnology, its economic and technological impact on European growth and the commercialisation challenges of nanoproducts. Speakers agreed that it requires the understanding of industrial needs, focused R&D and suitable funding instruments, as well as the identification of areas where nanotechnology is most likely to have impact.
The Nanotech Europe exhibition completed this vibrant 3-day conference in which 70 innovative organisations from 20 countries like Austria, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and the Netherlands showcased their ground-breaking innovations. In the meantime, a brokerage day on the 20th of June saw 350 meetings take place, sparking new cooperation activities for technology transfer, business and new project consortia.
One of the event highlights was a video message by U2's guitarist, David Howell Evans, better known as The Edge, to all delegates asking them to live the dreams to change the world for the better, also in the world of science. In line with his statement the Best Research Project 2013 was awarded to the EU project "SONODRUGS" that developed novel drug delivery technologies for localized treatment of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The main achievements were to offer patients a treatment with reduced side effects, fewer burdens and faster recovery after intervention.
With delegates from over 50 countries, the number of attendees from countries like Korea, China, USA or Russia has increased and underpins the importance of international cooperation in this area. This was reflected also during the award ceremony of the conference: The Best Poster was chosen from over 330 submissions and awarded to Burcu Saner Okan from Sabanci University, Turkey with the title "Multi-Walled Nanofiber reinforced self-healing, smart composite material production". Imec from Belgium was given the Nanotech Europe Award 2013 for the most innovative exhibitor and the Intel Business Challenge Europe Winner is SEM+ from Italy.
After the long and intensive negotiations about the upcoming EU funding programme, the Irish presidency secured political agreement on Horizon 2020, one of its most significant priorities. "This agreement is a central plank of the Irish presidency's designated theme of jobs and growth for Europe", Minister Sherlock states. "Research and innovation are key drivers of growth and job creation. The strategic approach to research and innovation contained in Horizon 2020 will develop, diffuse and drive research across the European Union. However, I am mindful that the Council will also have to give its approval to the final shape of the negotiated agreement and I hope and expect that will come later this week when we have a chance to report back formally to our colleagues in member states."
Pekka Koponen, CEO of Spinverse, stated that "the high number of participants, in the conference and at the exhibition, including the most important players from both the academia and the industry, indicates that excellent research and competitive industries in the area of nanotechnology are of relevance to Europe and also globally. The success stories seen at the exhibition, such as Imec, who performs world-leading research in nano-electronics; SINTEF, the largest independent research organization in Scandinavia; Raith, a leading manufacturer of lithography systems for nanofabrication; the MULTIFUN project, developing minimal invasive nanotechnology systems for the detection and elimination of breast and pancreatic cancer; and Magical Materials, one of the highlights of the show; raise public awareness of the contribution of innovative technologies to the society at large and give me great confidence in European research and industry".
"This event has exceeded our expectations, not only in number of delegates but also content- wise", commented Herbert von Bose, Director, The Industrial Technologies Programme of DG Research and Innovation, European Commission. "It is my impression that the delegates found their visit to Ireland and Euronanoforum 2013 very rewarding, no matter their background and expectations. Seldom have I seen so much networking taking place in between the highly attended plenary and parallel sessions. Euronanoforum 2013 clearly demonstrated that nanoscience and nanotechnology has matured since it was established as a specialized and mainly scientific topic in Framework Programme 6 (2002-2006). Today, as demonstrated in ENF 2013, nanotechnology applications can be found in all areas of Industrial Technologies. Still a lot more needs to be done, especially in fastening the pace of industrial innovation. We are looking forward to continuing our work within the next seven-year programme of Horizon 2020, following the principles of safe, responsible and sustainable nanotechnology development and ensuring the competitiveness and growth of European industries. I would like to thank the Irish Presidency for their support in bringing both the ENF2013 and the H2020 Programme negotiations to successful conclusions".
For further information, please go to the event website, where also presentations and other materials will be available:
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