States of Innovation: Where Are We After 10 years of Nanotechnology Policy? The Case of Renewable Energy

Thursday, April 29, 2010 - Saturday, May 1, 2010
Lyon, France

To facilitate the promises of nanotechnology for the benefit of society, the last decade has seen major changes in innovation policy and practice. Approaches differ from country to country, but most have dedicated significant funding to accompany policy directives. Much important research and development has taken place, and yet in only rare cases have the policies worked out as originally planned. The desire to capture the impact of nanotechnologies is still strong, if a bit more wary.

This workshop convenes a global array of analysts and participants to take stock of these changes, to share problems and solutions, and to discuss where things should go.  One intended outcome is a delineation of policy and strategic suggestions that will be published for broad audiences.

The workshop will make particular reference to the state of the current nanotechnology leaders (the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Singapore) and of emerging players (India).  Its application area is renewable energy and in particularsolar photovoltaic technology, where nanotechnology should play a major role, and where rapid improvement should in principle enable sun-rich countries to come to new prominence in the global energy economy (Egypt).  Problems and possibilities will be articulated in five sessions:

1.     The Changing Roles of Intellectual Property

2.     Science and Innovation Policies in Historical Perspective

3.     Nanoscale Developments and Development Processes: Solar Energy

4.     Innovation Systems at the Crossroads: Comparative International Conditions

5.     Research and Innovation Policies Across Diverse Societies

Participants represent six countries and a range of academic, policymaker, and practitioner perspectives.