The opening of the conference about nanotechnologies on June 2nd, 2009 in Prague.
This year's edition of the Euronanoforum, the fourth edition in total and the very first to be held in a new Member State, is organised under the title "Nanotechnology for Sustainable Economy". The conference was opened by Minister Miroslava Kopicová who reminded the attendants that when the Czech Republic started to consider organising this conference, the economic crisis - now dominating all thoughts of our immediate future - was nowhere in sight. Kopicová expressed her belief that nanotechnologies have the potential to change the technological portfolio and make a real contribution to the efforts to combat the crisis.
The Euronanoforum tradition was started by the European Commission; José Manuel Rodríguez, Director General of DG Research, used the opportunity of the opening press conference to talk about the role and position of the new Members States in European research. He emphasised that that the requirements of excellence cannot be bent when projects within the EU research and development Framework Programme are implemented. Long-term data show that the countries that make substantial investments in research and development are successful in this programme which also includes a nanotechnology sub-programme. However, the investments of most new Member States are substantially smaller than the Western European average; that is why their average success rate is lower. Nevertheless, in light of their investments, the support they obtain from the Framework Programme to implement projects actually exceeds the investments they make in their national research and development systems.
Vlastimil Růžička, Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, mentioned that the Czech Republic is very successful in European nanotechnology projects; academic and university research teams participate in these projects, and the contribution of the industry reaches 36%. Within the current 7th Framework Programme, the Czech teams rank sixth in submitting successful project proposals, and the Czech Republic thus surpasses a number of "old" EU Member States.
The conference programme is very extensive; there will be 156 contributions presented and 20 thematic workshops will take place. The participation of exhibitors, who will occupy 23 booths, is also outstanding. A Nanotruck mobile nanotechnology laboratory, provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, will also form a part of the accompanying programme.
Individual topics will also be discussed during plenary sessions that will be accompanied by panel discussions. Europe is preparing its second Action Plan for nanotechnology and important impulses for the formulation of the plan are expected to ensue from the Prague Forum.
Euronanoforum 2009 is one of the most prominent events of the Czech Presidency. The Technology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, which organised the meeting in close cooperation with the Nanotechnology Department of the Directorate General for Research of the European Commission, was put in charge of the organisation of the Forum.
Speaches from the opening of the conference:
Speech_by_Minister_KOPICOVA.doc (24,00 KB)
Speech_by_Mr._Rodriguez.doc (34,50 KB)
Read more about the conference EuroNanoForum 2009.
Visit the website of the conference.
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