The European NanoBusiness Association (ENA) has announced plans to open nanotechnology hubs in 12 European cities in an effort to capitalise on research across Europe and boost interaction among businesses, research bodies and financial institutions.
The hubs are being opened in London, Newcastle and Cambridge in the UK; Oslo, Norway; Helsinki, Finland; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dublin, Ireland; Munich, Germany; Eindhoven, the Netherlands; Madrid, Spain; Budapest, Hungary; and Sofia, Bulgaria.
Tim Harper, the association's founder and executive director said the hubs will be located within existing organisations including technology transfer centres, universities and companies that focus on nanotech research. The ENA will provide support for the hubs, but the local branches will develop links among local leaders and organise meetings and events to showcase each area's strengths.
"There are a lot of different attitudes, languages, cultures and legal systems in Europe, so sitting in Brussels and telling people what's best for them is not the best option," he said. "There are lot of people who are curious about nanotechnology and would find it easier to pop along to a local meeting or cocktail evening for free, or a nominal charge, rather than commit to paying thousands of euros or dollars or a big international conference."
Cristina Roman, ENA director, said: "Interest in nanotechnology is growing exponentially across the continent and there is a real need for local as well as pan-European interactions."
The ENA has also appointed Copenhagen-based Stefan L. Hansen as business development director.
"Stefan Hansen's background in managing distributed organisations such as First Tuesday and the Nordic Technology Forum adds a valuable dimension to our existing network of high-level partnerships in European industry," said Harper.
"By holding the leading position in both funding and research, Europe is now in an excellent position to reap the economic, social and environmental benefits of nanotechnology. This appointment will ensure that the momentum is maintained."