When people first learn I work at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania, they normally reply with something akin to “That’s cool” and then proceed to ask when nanotechnology will start to find its way into our everyday lives. They are surprised when I tell them that “It’s already here!” It’s in almost every industry from food packing to historical preservation, not to mention numerous medical applications from dentistry to wound care. But there is still much that can be done to encourage the faster growth of this technology.
One of the chief barriers to seeing more innovation and immediate application of nanotechnology involves the cost of purchasing and caring for nanotech equipment. This is where institutions like the Singh Center for Nanotechnology come into play. The Singh Center is part of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure, facilities that are open to academia, government and the private sector to provide access to nanotechnology-related expertise and equipment. These facilities, like ours, for example, act as nanotechnology “makerspaces” and provide a networking hub for researchers from different backgrounds to collaborate.
As part of the effort to foster innovation and encourage nanotechnology entrepreneurship, we will be hosting Singh Nano Week: Where Nanotechnology Meets Innovation during the week of Oct. 24 to Oct. 27 at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology (3205 Walnut St.).
This conference will bring together individuals from academia, government, industry and investment from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region to discuss and showcase the current work being produced at the Singh Center, along with the latest in nanotechnology innovation in medicine, consumer products, industrial products and green technology. There will also be a strong emphasis on nanotechnology entrepreneurship, which will culminate in an elevator pitch showcase by the winners of our 2016 Seed Grant Competition.
The conference costs $20 per day.
It features speakers like Piotr Grodzinski, director of the Office of Nanotechnology Research at the National Cancer Institute and Jody Roberts, director of the Institute for Research at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, plus a whole slate of familiar Philly tech faces, including Danny Cabrera of Philly Geek Awards’ Startup of the Year BioBots, Brett Topche of MentorTech Ventures, Penn undergrad Rohan Shah of Forbes Under 30 Summit award-winning Slice Capital and Technical.ly’s own editor in chief Zack Seward.