John Hardin, NC Dept. of Commerce
Greensboro, NC -- Within 10 years, it's possible nearly every product we buy will be impacted by nanotechnology, according to John Hardin, executive director of the office of science and technology in the NC Department of Commerce.
But what is nanotechnology? It's the ability to work at the atomic and molecular level, Hardin said.
The uses for that technology is growing, and that means more jobs.
About 250 people are expected to attend a Nanotech Conference at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro this week.
Presenters at the conference Wednesday said North Carolina has more than 70 companies and 30 university-based research centers related to nanotechnology. That ranks the state eighth in nation, they said.
The state's focus ranges from manufacturing to research.
UNC-Greensboro and North Carolina A&T University partnered to create a school of nanoscience and nanoengineering. Also, Wake Forest University and Forsyth Tech have programs.
"It's such a diverse field that you need expertise from across the economy and across academic disciplines and those need to work together. So the point of this conference is to get people from those diverse sectors together to talk to each other, to form partnerships and to come up with new and innovative ideas that will help propel the economy," Hardin said.
Drug therapies that target the cancer cell as opposed to all the other cells are examples of nanotechnology, he said. Also, the coating on auto parts to make them more heat and friction resistant is another example Hardin pointed out.
The conference continues Thursday.
Last year it was held in Raleigh. Next year the conference is scheduled in Charlotte.
WFMY News 2