Kristin: As the Board Member for the Australian Nano Business Forum in South Australia, I am interested in creating greater understanding about nanotechnologies. As a part of my involvement in the ANBF, Bridge8 coordinates the ANBF Networking Seminars here in Adelaide.
Last night we attracted over 50 people to the Seven Stars Hotel to lean about building industry R&D capability in nanotechnology. The theme was promoted by the recent project that Bridge8 undertook for DFEEST and the Centre for Innovation on mapping R&D capability in advanced manufacturing. That study indicated that industry-research engagement was beneficial and that creating a shared language around capabilities created opportunities. With this in mind we invited researchers and industry representatives to talk about nanotechnology capabilities, particularly with respect to coatings and new materials.
First, Prof Joe Shapter of Flinders University spoke about the potential of nanotechnology and some of the projects currently underway at Flinders. These included membrane filtration for desalination and the use of carbon nanotubes in a new generation solar cells. His presentation and the questions and discussion afterwards underlined the world-class research and education underway at Flinders, with many staff involved around a wide spectrum of activities.
Then Hilke Fitzsimons, R&D Director Australia at Carl Zeiss Vision spoke about R&D in producing high-value products for consumers, in this case, spectacles. Hilke outlined some of the thin coatings being used for anti-fog, antibacterial and anti-reflective properties and spoke about markets, price, product and value – all critical components to commercial innovation.
Finally our own Alexandra Smart spoke about her recent trip to Tokyo as part of the ANBF Australian delegation to Nanotech Japan. She covered the ‘green technology’ theme of this year’s conference, the international flavour of the expo and plans for next year. We are hopeful we will see a few more South Australian participate in 2010.
The session was co-sponsored by the South Australian Centre for Innovation and acted as another step towards creating interest around opportunities in coatings and composite materials. If your company is interested in finding out more about R&D opportunities in coatings or composites, you should contact the Centre for Innovation. The evening also generated ideas for future sessions including whole-of-life product assessment.