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International Junior Scientists Workshop

The Global Challenges - How can Nanotechnology help?

Venice International University, April 21 – 24, 2008

A workshop for PhD students and postdocs organized by
CeNS (Munich) & Swiss Nanoscience Institute (Basel)

Workshop Abstract

In 2008, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI, former NCCR Nano) and the Center for NanoScience (CeNS) Munich invited young researchers from around the world to discuss issues of global importance at an international Meeting of junior nanoscientists on global challenges.

As a key technology of this century, nanotechnology will play a leading role in the development of solutions for the global challenges. The upcoming threatening problems, which in turn pose rewarding research opportunities, will engross the current generation of young scientists. Their interdisciplinary education will allow them to tackle these challenges ahead.

The NCCR Nanoscale Science in Basel and the Center for NanoScience (CeNS) in Munich have started a joint effort to address this urgent issue by inviting 40 junior scientists to the island of San Servolo in the Laguna of Venice on April 21-24 for an intense workshop entitled “Global challenges and how nanotechnology can help”. The group was composed of advanced PhD students and postdoctoral researchers coming from China, India, Iran, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Africa, South America, USA and Europe. The first goal of this meeting was to foster the awareness for the global challenges by an analysis of the current major problems by this group of junior scientists. Since every change will require internationally consorted efforts, the initiation of a network amongst these scientists, which will sculpture our scientific and technological future, seems to be essential. The formation of such a network of junior scientists was therefore a major goal of this workshop. In a final round the junior researchers identified key problems where nanotechnology can provide solutions. Our hope is that powerful networks composed of these junior scientists will form to tackle the most urgent projects in the near future.


  • Prof. Hermann Gaub, Center for NanoScience (Munich)
  • Prof. Christoph Gerber, Swiss Nanoscience Institute (Basel)

Workshop Report


40 PhD students and PostDocs working in the field of nanotechnology. The selected participants come from: China, Japan, India, Iran, Pakistan, Europe, Afrika, South America and the USA.

Goals of the workshop

  1. Identify global challenges
    From gofer’s perspective of the lab to eagle’s view of the world!
  2. Identify, where nano-science can contribute to solutions
    Convergence with other technologies with the goal to develop sustainable low-key technologies.
  3. Formation of a world-wide junior nano-scientist network
    Direct personal contact will make joint projects possible, which otherwise might be stuck in the mud-holes of bureaucracy.
Workshop Organization

Dr. Marie-Christine Blüm
Center for NanoScience (CeNS)
Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
D-80539 München


Dr. Verónica Cerletti
NCCR / Swiss Nanoscience Institute
University of Basel
Klingelbergstrasse 82
CH-4056 Basel/Switzerland

Partner Institutions
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras

Venice International University

Isola di San Servolo
30100 Venice, Italy


Phone +39-041-2719511  
Fax +39-041-2719510