NanoCanada ramps up for 2022 international conference in Edmonton with virtual launch celebration
18, Oct, 2021
On 21 October, deep tech collective NanoCanada is holding a virtual launch celebration for its summer 2022 conference, From Earth to Space. The launch will feature a series of panels throughout the day, running from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. EDT. Produced by Alberta Innovates, with partnership from Inventures Unbound, the free launch event will have over a dozen Canadian and international experts discussing topics of health and nanomedicine, sustainability, and solutions for the future.
Marie D’lorio, founder and president of NanoCanada, says the event will serve as a prelude for the main event in June 2022, and kickstart conversations around innovation, and integration of cutting edge materials and fields.
“What we're trying to do is show how some of the emerging technologies, advanced materials, nano, quantum and so on, really underpin a lot of the breakthroughs that we see nowadays, and how, in order to solve the large challenges that we have on earth, we actually need to collaborate and integrate some of those technologies,” D’lorio says.
Regarding those taking part in the event, the NanoCanada team has snapped up thought leaders from research laboratories and technology corporations from around the world, and universities across Canada. Barry Sanders, for instance, is a professor at the University of Calgary, and director at the Institute for Quantum Science and Technology. Sanders will be taking part in the panel on “The Future and Beyond” panel, and from his initial interactions with fellow panelists, what’s struck him is how eclectic the viewpoints will be.
“There are all kinds of different perspectives coming,” Sanders notes. He points to his panel’s inclusion of Frédéric Bouchard, a professor of philosophy from the University of Montreal, as an example of one of these unique perspectives. “It's not just an all-tech meeting; it considers societal impact as well.”
Other professionals come from the walks of bioengineering, earth observation and research, inorganic materials research, and molecular engineering, to name a few. And given the presence of these panelists on the forefront of societal solutions, there’s a high level of topicality at play. D’lorio highlights University of British Columbia Assistant Professor Anna Blakney, and the work she’s done in the field of mRNA vaccines, to demonstrate this.
“[Blakney] really speaks to how you nowadays with training of young people have to think about a wide disciplinary perspective,” D’lorio says. “The wider you think about it and the bigger the problems that you take on, the more you have to bring those perspectives, whether they be social or ethical or legal.”
While the original conference was slated to begin the day of the launch, safety concerns from rising COVID-19 numbers caused a push back. This change in plans has allowed NanoCanada more time to foster partnership, though, as well as wrangle up more exceptional speakers from around the globe. “It did afford us more time to do that. That's been very, very precious,” D’lorio says.
Ultimately, Sanders likes the idea that the conference will cover not only the immediate future around nano and other technology solutions, but something even beyond that.
“The idea is that it's not just about the future that we see,” Sanders says. “In the panel, we're given a license to think beyond what we can imagine.”
Those interested in attending the free virtual launch celebration can sign up here. Click here to get more information on the From Earth to Space conference, slated for 8 to 10 June 2022 in Edmonton, Alberta.