European Nanotechnology Masters Recognition Scheme Launch

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject: European Nanotechnology Masters Recognition Scheme Launch Reply with quote

Report on European Nanotechnology Masters Recognition Scheme Launch:
EuroNanoforum 2007, Dusseldorf Germany
By Kshitij Aditeya Singh, correspondence email:

The Institute of Nanotechnology launched the European Nanotechnology Masters Recognition Scheme in a special session held at EuroNanoforum. Dr. Mark Morrison greeted the delegates and introduced the speakers to the session. The introduction to the scheme was made by Mr. Kshitij
Aditeya Singh, informing the delegates of the formation, objectives and current activities of scheme. He further added that the education and training initiative at the Institute was aimed at creating a platform for collaborating and enhancing nanotechnology education and training on a
pan -European level. The interface of the scheme is manifested as a website that provides information to aspiring students, other course providers and industry partially seeking to assess changing competencies. He intimated that there are 23 Institutions participating from 7 countries
across Europe.

Dr. Martin Bennink spoke of the multidisciplinary approach
adopted by the University of Twente in educating graduate and
post-graduate students. The approach is based on the strategic
research programs implemented at the Institute. A range of
intensive workshops, seminars, masters programs and annual
meeting serve as the basis of training for researchers. The 5 day
workshops are aimed at providing an overview of fabrication,
synthesis, and analytical methods for characterisation.

The philosophy adopted for the masters program is to combine expertise and know-how from four disciplines of nano-physics, nano-chemistry, nano-bioscience and nano-engineering. This is done with a view to prepare these students for a doctoral program. The program he injected integrates the societal impacts of nanotechnology and, also offers a personal coaching system through individual tutors. He concluded with outlining the challenges for education as – risk of losing scientific depth with the vast breath of scope, and ability to retain openness in communicating with scientists from different backgrounds.

Dr. Renzo Tomellini spoke on the integrated approach to nanoscience
and naotechnology within the European Union. He conined the term
‘consensual innovation’ as the approach that is being adopted by
innovation communities within Europe. The particular style of
innovation he highlighted includes society, government, and
innovation communities ( industry and academic researchers). He
concluded by saying that challenges such as adapting to different
terminologies, encouraging enterprenurship and multidisciplinarity for innovation should be addressed at the education and training stage.

Industry is expected to play an important role in the development of nanoscience into useful technology solutions for society. Mr. Del Stark from the European Nanotechnology Trade Alliance spoke of shaping education by integrating industry needs into the curriculum. The important issues he underlined were - public perception, regulatory policy, health and safety, risk management, life cycle assessment, metrology and characterisation, sustainability, corporate responsibility and
stakeholder dialogue. He concluded by emphasising that graduates are needed in industry with sound knowledge of nanoscience and nanotechnology, good communication skills, entrepreneurial
spirit and the ability to have a positive influence on policy making.

The results of the Nanotechnology Skills and Training Survey conducted by Institute of Nanotechnology in collaboration with Nanoforum, were presented by Kshitij Aditeya Singh in the concluding part of the session. A range of organisational, human resource, skills and training
issues were presented. One of the salient points from the survey, he mentioned was the need to focus on integrating knowledge of nanoscience for engineering post-graduates, and imparting
knowledge about fundamentals of engineering to science graduates. The survey also strongly indicated a need for improving competencies in R&D and project management skills in postgraduates. Among other important competencies identified was the understanding of new product
innovation and technology strategy for effective technology transfer. He concluded by emphasising that, education should be viewed as a life long process with the focus being on inculcating and retaining a scientific temper. He further added that industry should invest in knowledge, and provide training based on the changing competencies for a global market.

A discussion on the state of education and training in Europe and challenges for nanotechnology ensued, that was moderated by Dr. Morrison. In his concluding statement, he thanked everyone for
attending and contributing to the session.
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