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NanoThailand 2023

Updated: Mar 8

29 November - 1 December 2023, Pattaya, Thailand.

NanoThailand or Thailand International Nanotechnology Conference, one of the most exciting scientific conferences in Thailand covering all relevant topics of nanoscience and nanotechnology, is held every two years since 2008. The 8th edition - NanoThailand 2023 - in the theme of "Nanotechnology for Sustainable World" was co-organized by National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC) and Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC).

How was Cleantech & Beyond involved in this event?

Out of the 13 scientific sessions, this year also featured "Nanotechnology for Startups and Industrial Enterprises", in which Dr. Pimpisut Worakajit, our General Manager, was invited to give a presentation. Our core sensing technology is based on our unique thermoresponsive materials that change their properties upon thermal exposure. This change in fact includes physical transformation at the nanoscale, and our team of expert scientists have engineered the materials such that the change is irreversible - effectively enabling us to build temperature sensors that have a built-in memory function. Once the temperature exceeds the threshold, the status of the sensor irreversibly changes to the final state, allowing for subsequent detection of the temperature excursion event even when the temperature returns to normal. This is the basis that our DTI Digital Temperature Indicator is built on.

In the same session also saw Dr. Chuchawin Changtong, our long-time collaborator from IRPC Public Company Limited, discussed "Challenging Factors in Advancing Research to New Business: Case Studies". IRPC runs one of the largest integrated petrochemical complexes in Thailand, a mature global industry player. Looking forward to the future, IRPC has established IRPC Innovation Center (IIC) with the mission to engage in advanced R&D activities to uplift the core businesses, diversify into adjacent industries, and explore new business S-curves. However, translating advanced research into products and commercial enterprises is highly challenging. Dr. Chuchawin shared his insights on how the research team, industrial development team, and commercial development team should work closely together to drive the projects with a holistic approach. We are proud that Cleantech & Beyond was used as one of the example cases.

The Keynote Speaker of the session, Prof. Damion Corrigan from University of Strathclyde, who is also the Founding Director & Chief Scientific Officer of Aureum Diagnostics (low-cost electrochemical diagnostic assay platform) and Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer of Microplate DX (developing a novel method for selecting the best antibiotic to treat an infection), gave an inspiring talk about his journey from frontier research to technology translation. He discussed about the challenges along the way and the adaptations researchers have to go through when commercializing technology.

Prof. Guillaume Wantz from University of Bordeaux, Co-Founder of HEOLE and collaborator of Dr. Pichaya our CEO, gave a presentation on "Organic Solar Sails and Textiles for Marine Decarbonation and Building-integrated Photovoltaics". We are now familiar with the conventional photovoltaics, i.e., solar cells, as seen in solar rooftop or solar farms all around the world. These are mostly made of silicon, which is rigid and brittle. Organic solar cells or organic photovoltaics (OPVs) are made of molecules or polymers that can be printed onto flexible substrates, overcoming the usual rigidity of the solar panels and making the panels much lighter in weight. This would allow these flexible OPVs to be deployed in large areas and places previously not suitable for silicon solar panels. And when coupled with the ability of OPVs to generate power even under low light conditions, they will be able to significantly enhance humankind's ability to capture more of the precious sunlight.

Photos from HEOLE. See their news articles here.

One of the technological bottlenecks of OPVs is the long-term stability, but recent research advances are pushing the technology closer to practical applications. In his talk, Prof. Wantz showed the developments by HEOLE, which deployed organic solar modules as sails and textiles! (See news article here.) Sea environment is harsh and corrosive, so this demonstration really showcased that the technology is becoming a reality. HEOLE has conducted several tests at sea; their results measured 280 Wp of power, yielding energy between 1-2 kWh per day. With the average consumption of 1 kWh per 24 h, the catamaran was energy autonomous! Prof. Wantz also added on the deployment of OPVs in agricultural and building-integrated applications. Emerging solar cells, such as OPVs, are poised to make a huge impact on energy and sustainability in the near future.

Lastly, Dr. Paisarn Khanchaitit from NANOTEC, CEO & CTO of Spike Architectonics, presented the advanced and comprehensive manufacturing technology of microspikes or microneedles. The unique methods developed by his team enables the fast & large-scale production of microneedles with high aspect ratio and special design that increases the effectiveness of transdermal drug delivery. Their approach overcomes the limitations faced by the typical dissolvable microneedles and allows control over the dosage and time as well as unlocking the ability to deliver high molecular weight compounds or large particles. This technology has a high potential for both medical and cosmeceutical applications.

Cleantech & Beyond also had a booth in the exhibition hall (first photo of this article), which drew a lot of attention from Thai researchers. We are happy to see young-generation in science and technology very enthusiastic about developing basic research into practical innovation. NanoThailand 2023 achieved its goal of becoming a "platform for exchanging technological knowledge and sharing the latest research and innovation to contribute to a sustainable world" as quoted by Prof. Jumras Limtrakul, Former President & President Emeritus of VISTEC.

See more about the event in other aspects from the LinkedIn post by Dr. Pichaya, our CEO & CTO, who served as one of the organizers and the press release of the opening from NANOTEC.

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