Industry and academic researchers will explore partnerships and the job-creating potential of nanotechnology, a cutting-edge branch of science that has produced materials found in products from cosmetics to computer chips, at the first Rhode Island Nanotechnology Showcase on Thursday, April 7, 2011, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. The gathering will be held at the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Davol Square.
Led by the Rhode Island Consortium for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, a new partnership between Brown University and the University of Rhode Island, the event will feature a keynote address by Clayton Teague, director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, who will give an overview of the federal government’s investment and vision for nanoscience and nanotechnology. The event is open to invited guests and media.
Faculty and students from Brown and URI will provide summaries of their research in nanotechnology, the emerging field that revolves around manipulating matter at an atomic and molecular scale to create new materials and devices for use in a variety of industries, including energy, medicine, textiles and electronics.
“A major goal with this event is to make new connections between our universities and state and regional companies,” said Robert Hurt, co-director of the consortium and the director of the Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation at Brown. “We expect industry participants will see opportunities to capitalize on our capabilities in nanotechnology. The consortium can help create connections by providing small seed grants to start university-industry research and development projects.”
Hurt noted that Rhode Island’s per capita share of federal funding in nanotechnology is one of the highest in the nation. “We hope this new consortium will help us use these resources more effectively to develop and translate technologies that will enhance the knowledge economy in the Ocean State,” he said.
“This event is an excellent networking opportunity for Rhode Islanders who see the potential benefits that nanotechnology can bring to their work and to the state’s economy,” said Arijit Bose, professor of chemical engineering at URI and co-director of the consortium. “Those in attendance can share the challenges from their business sector and learn how nanotechnologies can help improve products or create new ones.”
The consortium was established by a federal grant awarded to URI in 2010 as a joint research initiative between URI and Brown. Its aim is to enhance the state’s competitiveness in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology by promoting collaborations, building research teams, and establishing the infrastructure for nanoscale research and development.
The event is sponsored by Brown’s Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation, URI, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, the Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council, the Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Service, and the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.