Knowledge for Development

Feature articles

Supporting international cooperation in environmental nanotechnology

The ICPC-NanoNet project can support international research cooperation in environmental nanotechnology between the European Union and International Cooperation Partner Countries to the EU (emerging economies and developing countries). This article focuses on the case of nanotechnology for water purification. The article can be found online here


ICTs and nano and biotechnology can transform ACP agricultural science and innovation

The Advisory Committ ee on S&T for ACP Agricultural and Rural Development (AC) is a think tank of leading ACP experts who meet regularly to deliberate on critical issues concerning ACP agriculture. In 2009, the AC had at the top of its agenda the issue of ICTs transforming agricultural science and innovation: implications for ACP agriculture. The AC further explored the key scientific disciplines that would be needed for transforming ACP agriculture, the opportunities new technologies such as ICTs and nano- and biotechnology offer for improving agricultural research and innovation and the investments needed in research infrastructure to allow ACP scientists to actually use and benefit from these technologies.


Nanotechnology in Agricultural Development in the ACP Region

Science has advanced to the point that cutting edge research involves working with individual atoms and molecules. Nanotechnology holds the promise to exceed the advances achieved in recent decades in information and computer technology and biotechnology. Its applications are expected to have dramatic impacts, such as building tremendously faster computers, constructing lighter aircrafts, finding cancerous tumors still invisible to the human eye, or generating vast amounts of energy from highly efficient solar cells, and possibly improving agriculture (Anane-Fenin, 2006).


Science, Technology and Innovation at the NANO Scale

Much is expected of Science, Technology and Innovation at the NANO-scale (STI-NANO). In making a case for in-depth US commitment to the development of STI-NANO, Mr. Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, stated: "I think what you're dealing with, between nanoscale quantum behavior and biology, it's clearly bigger than the impact of physics on the 20th century” (1). Richard Smalley - Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and co-discoverer of carbon nano-balls (fullerenes), testified before the US Congress that: “the impact of nanotechnology on health, wealth and the standard of living for people will be at least the combined influences of microelectronics, medical imaging, computer-aided engineering and man-made polymers in the 20th century” (2).


Nanotechnology - new dossier

Science technology and innovation at the nano-scale (STI-NANO) is being positioned as the new frontier for driving industrial expansion and providing answers to societies’ problems. This folder presents an overview of the development trends and potential of STI-NANO and examines the implications for ACP countries – more specifically with regard to agriculture and medicine. Prof. Ishenkumba Kahwa, professor of Supramolecular Chemistry and Head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of the West Indies presents the opportunities and reviews the prospects and challenges for ACP countries. He presents the market potential and global efforts to take advantage of the new technology to provide competitive advantage for several developed and developing countries. He also cautions of the need to address safety and ethical issues to respond to consumer concerns. In his lead article, Dr. Anane-Fenin from the department of Physics at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana pleas for ACP countries to gain access to nanotechnology facilities and instrumentation for researchers both in academia and industry. Both lead articles discuss the potential of STI for ACP countries and the need for ACP countries to invest in STI-NANO research and development and build alliances; south-south, south-north and south-north-south development strategies’ to ensure that they contribute to the evolving knowledge pool and using science for socio-economic development. Links to related websites and publications complement the lead articles and provide interesting background information in this challenging field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Visit the new dossier .