The nanotechnology networks of Portugal and Spain, respectively PortugalNano and NanoSpain, organize jointly their meetings PortugalNano Workshop ’08 and NanoSpain 2008, in Braga, Portugal, 14-18 April 2008. The main goal of assembling these meetings in a NanoIberian Conference is to strengthen the connection between the researchers and institutions of both networks providing an opportunity of discussing the most recent developments of nanoscience and nanotechnology in both countries.
This meeting was brought to Braga by the INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, the first, and presently the unique, nanoscience and nanotechnology research organization with a fully international legal framework. The INL was created by joint initiative of Portugal and Spain, in the Portugal-Spain Summit of 2005. Presently being built in Braga, this international laboratory will develop a scientific policy and recruit its researchers at world scale, and will be open, in the future, to the membership of other countries of Europe and other continents.
The NanoIberian Conference also counts with a special presence of the C’Nano Grand Sud-Ouest French Competence Center which involves about 50 laboratories in the Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon regions with activities in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
In 1959 Richard Feynman foresaw the potential of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology:
I would like to describe a field, in which little has been done, but in which an enormous amount can be done in principle. This field is not quite the same as the others in that it will not tell us much of fundamental physics (in the sense of, “What are the strange particles?”) but it is more like solid-state physics in the sense that it might tell us much of great interest about the strange phenomena that occur in complex situations. Furthermore, a point that is most important is that it would have an enormous number of technical applications.
What I want to talk about is the problem of manipulating and controlling things on a small scale.
Richard Feynman, There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom, Caltech, 1959
Almost half a century later this field is now one of the most active in R&D and also one of the most promising. As it concerns to the scale of chemical and biological processes and to objects are made of a small number of atoms or molecules, it opens a huge potential for scientific and technological development.