Maybe the largest challenge for our global society is to find ways to replace the slowly, but inevitably vanishing fossil fuel supply, and at the same time avoiding negative effects from the current energy system on climate, environment and health. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (N&N) can contribute to a positive development in this direction in several ways, for instance by contributing to more efficient harvesting of sun light, by providing thermoelectric materials to harvest energy from temperature gradients, by providing energy storage technology e.g. in batteries and for hydrogen storage, by enabling light-weight materials for transportation, by influencing the energy efficiency of industrial production and of household energy use (e.g., through fuel cells, catalysis, reduced friction losses), and by offering schemes to clean up harmful emissions resulting from various energy systems.
Topical areas covered by this conference are those where N&N will, or may, have an impact on the development of a sustainable energy system, including environmental aspects. The conference includes both basic science of relevance for energy/environmental technology and more application oriented research. The objective is to gather experts in the respective fields at one conference, with the aim to make both an inventory and exposure of the state-of-the-art N&N based energy research, technologies and opportunities. We thereby hope to foster scientific excellence in this area, to identify synergies between disciplines and people, and to catalyze global contacts and collaborations among world-leading experts and laboratories. The conference has a strong educational character in as much as it shall provide a younger generation of researchers with a vision, as well as the knowledge and tools to realize this vision.
The format of this conference follows the scheme of other research conferences organized by the European Science Foundation (ESF), i.e. there is a strong focus on scientific quality of the talks and on generous time for discussions and social interactions. This is achieved by complementing 20-25 invited talks by distinguished speakers/scientists with poster-sessions and a few young investigator talks. Joint meals and a social programme enable further opportunities for contact and informal networking. The conference venue is located in the beautiful Austrian alps (Universitätszentrum Obergurgl, Ötztal).