Ohio, already a recognized leader in the nanotechnology industry, is increasing its momentum toward product commercialization, as evidenced at the 2007 Ohio Nanotechnology Summit.
Over 500 researchers, businesses, university representatives, government and elected officials, and students attended the 2007 event. Forty percent of the pre-registered attendees at the conference came from Ohio’s industry and business, nearly doubling last year’s count. The summit explored commercialization of nanotechnology and its significant impact on products and processes for Ohio.
“Ohio is the best state I’ve ever seen for nanotechnology,” said Scott Rickert, PhD, president, co-founder and chief executive officer of Nanofilm, in his lunch keynote address. “There is opportunity to minimize risk and maximize return by supporting the assets that are already here.” Rickert stressed that Ohio is uniquely suited to use nanotechnology to manipulate current products. “I call it ‘nanoizing,’” continued Rickert, “making conventional, existing products better, cheaper and smarter. Ohio’s in the best position to reinvent manufacturing.”
“Ohio is moving up,” said Jack Uldrich, acclaimed nanotechnology consultant and author in his evening keynote address. Uldrich explained that Ohio one of the top five states in nanotechnology, including Massachusetts, California, Texas, and New York. “Your universities, companies and government officials are pushing this forward.” Uldrich documented the heavy nanotechnology research activity that is taking place in the R&D labs of Fortune 500 companies, universities and federal government labs around the world. “Ohio isn’t getting the national attention other states are getting, but you are one of the leaders.”
Both Rickert and Uldrich stressed the need to adjust the focus from nanotechnology research to commercialization – now.
The 2007 program featured special sessions focused on nano materials, nano processing, nano bio and nano photonics and electronics. Attendees also investigated technical poster demonstrations, featuring over 150 posters detailing nanotechnology-related projects from companies, students and researchers across the state.
“Stimulating interaction is a crucial element to this summit,” noted Sharell Mikesell, PhD, co-director for the Center for Multifunctional Polymer Nanomaterials and Devices (CMPND), the lead organizing sponsor for the summit. “To date, we can point to over 20 promising collaborative efforts that were direct results of simply getting people together. We expect many more will crop up following this year’s event. Collaboration is a critical requirement in creating groundbreaking, innovative products.”
The 2008 Ohio Nanotechnology Summit will be held April 9-11, 2008 at the Great Wolf Lodge, Cincinnati, Ohio.