Thanjavur: Asia can meet water, energy challenges

Nanotechnologists in Asia outnumber those in the U.S.

Asia is all set to be show the way to the rest of the world

Nanotechnology has the answers to face these challenges

THANJAVUR: Asian countries were geared up to face the global challenges of drinking water, energy and healthcare sectors, said Seeram Ramakrishna, Vice-President (Research Strategy), National University of Singapore, here recently.

Inaugurating the Asian conference on Recent Advances in Polymer Science (RAPS 2010) at Shanmugha Arts Science Technology and Research Academy (SASTRA) University, Prof. Ramakrishna pointed out that Asia invested US $ 400 billion in research and development which was on par with that in the United States.

Growing population, continued exploitation of natural resources and increased life expectancy have brought to the fore three key challenges, namely water, energy and healthcare.

Prof. Ramakrishna said that Asia currently had 400 million people above 60 years which was expected to increase to a whopping 1,231 million by 2030. Nanotechnology had the potential answers to face these challenges. The number of nanotechnologists in Asia outnumbered those in the United States and, therefore, Asia was all set to be show the way to the rest of the world.

He described various advanced technologies that had been developed in Asian laboratories using polymeric and metal oxide nano fibres made by a versatile technique called electro-spinning which was pioneered by Prof. Ramakrishna.

Examples of polymeric nanofibrous scaffolds for regenerating nerves, heart tissue, skin and bone, metal oxide nanofibres for photovoltaic applications, polymeric membranes for ultrafiltration applications were highlighted during his talk.

The two-day conference organised by the Department of Chemistry of SASTRA University, had eminent speakers from Indian Institute of Science, National Chemical Laboratory, Indian Association for Cultivation of Science, Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute for Medical Science & Research, Anna University and Central Electrochemical Research Institute addressing the participants on advances made in high temperature polymers, polymeric nano-composites, medical polymers, industrial and conducting polymers.

K. Uma Maheswari, Associate Dean, Chemistry and Bioengineering, welcomed the gathering and D. Venkatesan, convenor, proposed the vote of thanks.

From THE HINDU

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