Finding funds for int'l nanotechnology collaborations

Lots of people say that nanotech R&D should include international collaborations, but these are not always easy to set up, especially the money part. To the rescue is Nanoforum, a “European Nanotechnology Gateway” funded by the EU, which has published a report (free reg. req’d) listing such opportunities:

Countries for which funding opportunities have been identified are: USA, Canada, Latin America in general, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, Thailand, South Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe and Newly Independent States. Webportals to assist in finding partners have been identified on a global level and in North and South America, Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East and Russia, NIS and Eastern Europe.

While you’re exploring the Nanoforum website, see The Nano Education Tree, now at bottom left of their home page. I’d comment on specific parts, but they’ve set this thing up so that the pages have no individual URLs, so they cannot be linked to. Poor design. Also, it’s annoying to see yet again the term “Societal Impacts of Nanotechnology” being used to focus on downsides — surely we don’t want to give the impression that the societal impacts in general are negative.

Some of the potential downsides listed may not turn out as expected. For example:

As with previous technologies such as IT, nanotechnology could have the effect of widening the divide between the rich and the poor, or more specifically the developed and developing world.

Information technology (IT) may have led to a short-term widening of this divide, but as workers in the richer countries are noticing, it is now enabling the export of knowledge worker jobs to developing countries. Longer-term nanotechnologies, such as clean desktop manufacturing, could do great things for developing countries as well.

But for now, we can focus on starting those international collaborations, with the above useful report from Nanoforum. —Christine

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