I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the attendees, speakers and sponsors for their support of this year’s NanoBusiness Alliance Conference. It was our largest and most successful event in our eight year history.

We are proud to announce that the NanoBusiness Alliance will be returning to Chicago, IL, September 27-29, 2010 at the McCormick Place.

2009 Conference Highlights

Dean Kamen, Inventor and Entrepreneur http://www.dekaresearch.com/founder.shtml addressed an enthusiastic crowd, as the keynote speaker at our pre-reception on Tuesday evening. He spoke for one and a half hours. In my 20-plus year career, Dean delivered one of the most inspirational speeches I have ever witnessed. Dean spoke of the obsession in America with celebrities and athletes, with not enough emphasis on science and mathematics in our culture. Dean said, “You have teenagers thinking they’re going to make millions as NBA stars when that’s not realistic for even 1 percent of them. Becoming a scientist or engineer is.”

Dean continued and quoted Albert Einstein. “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.” Dean challenged us to get involved with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) http://usfirst.org/. FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST is now kicking off their new season http://www.technobahn.com/article/200909131651. Dean ended his message by quoting William Butler Yeates. “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” At the conclusion of Dean’s remarks, he received a standing ovation. I strongly encourage members of our nano community to volunteer and contribute to Dean Kamen’s FIRST program.

On Tuesday morning, we had the honor of having Congressman Dan Lipinski address the nano and water communities. Congressman Lipinski is a leading supporter of nanotechnology and has championed the reauthorization of the National Nanotechnology Initiative http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=12616.php in the House this year.

At lunch on Wednesday, to another full house, Thomas Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Senior Advisor for Science, Technology and Innovation for the National Economic Council http://www.ostp.gov/cs/about_ostp/leadership_staff, said, “One reason why nano continues to be a priority for this administration is that it is potentially a very powerful tool for achieving some of the president’s goals such as accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy and reducing death and suffering from cancer. Nanotechnology holds great potential for solving scientific problems and for creating vast economic opportunities for the country in the areas of clean energy, public health, environment and medicine.” http://www.merid.org/NDN/more.php?id=2132 Mr. Kalil said the White House expects broader contributions from the nanotechnology industry, such as a collaboration that mirrors the one currently existing between government and the semiconductor industry, which involves mutual support and sharing of information.

Tom asked members of the nano community to email Sean Murdock, our Executive Chairman, sean@nanobusiness.org case studies of high-impact applications and commercial products, so that we can quantify the economic benefit to the White House. In continuation of Dean Kamen’s theme, Tom said, “The president doesn’t think we can remain a great nation unless we can get more young boys and girls interested in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Surveys show now that children would rather take out the garbage or clean up their rooms than work on math and science.”

On Thursday morning, Fabien Cousteau, Aquatic Filmmaker and Oceanic Explorer http://www.waterinnovations.org/speakers.php, delivered a fascinating and very moving presentation on the world’s oceans. Cousteau said, “We need to make 10 percent of our oceans no-take zones, places akin to national parks. If you give nature a chance to recuperate, it will.” http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/make-ten-percent-of-ocean-a-no-go-zone-says-cousteau/ “Without fresh water, there is no life on this planet,” Cousteau said. “Water is the most valuable resource on this planet, bar none. You can’t drink oil and you can’t drink gold.”

Once again, Sean Murdock and I would like to thank all of our NanoBusiness Alliance members and the nano community for our most memorable conference to date. We are looking forward to seeing you this fall at various conferences and don’t forget to save the dates for NanoBusiness 2010, September 8-10, Chicago, IL.