01 June 2011
Spectacular turnout for nano research and industry conference
228 registered attendees, with nearly half representing industry – it was so beyond the success criteria for the recently completed UPDATE 2011 conference, that co-organizer Morten Christensen of the Nano-Science Centre was nearly shouting with joy.
"“We succeeded in putting together a strong program with people of excellent capacities representing both the research front and the best of the business world,” ," explains Christensen.
Pan-scandinavian nanoencounters between industry and academia
The UPDATE conference was held in Helsingborg and was the result of collaboration between two Danish and five Swedish universities. The conference had two primary objectives. Firstly, UPDATE was to reflect the most salient features of nano-research in the Øresund region and throughout the world. And, it was to be a venue where research and industry could exchange experiences and needs.
Successful cultural exchanges
According to Morten Christensen, both objectives were achieved beyond all expectations..
"“We had speakers like the world renowned chemist Michael Grätzel from Lausanne and Fiat's development manager Gianfranco Innocenti. And, over the course of the two days, 90 formal matchmaking sessions took place at the conference,” says Christensen. He adds.
"“I met a Dutchman at the conference, who during the two days in Helsingborg had managed to meet ten separate researchers and buisines representatives. Presently he will attempt to match these with relevant European investors from his own network. His was just one of the many examples of the conference achieving its aims.”".
Short presentations to suit industry partners
The program offered three parallel themed programs: Materials, life sciences and energy. Because the conference had matchmaking as one of its primary purposes, all of the presentations were limited to twenty minutes. Therefore, it wasn't quite possible to delve deeply into scientific detail. On the other hand, participants came away with a solid foundation on the main points relating to current research and development.
"“We are so pleased with the results that we have already decided that the conference should be repeated next year. This time in March and hopefully on Danish soil. And of course we’re hoping for even more industrial as well as academic participants,” ", concludes Christensen.