A record number of over 300 participants attended TAPPI Nanotechnology Division’s 2017 International Conference on Nanotechnology for Renewable Materials on June 5-8 in Montreal, Canada. The conference attracted attendees from all over the world with a common interest in advancing the use of renewable nanomaterials, particularly cellulose nanomaterials. We congratulate Sean Ireland of FiberLean Technologies, whose contributions to the Nano division cannot be overstated, on receiving the 2017 NanoDivision Leadership Award, and Hiroyuki Yano of Kyoto University on the Nanotechnology Division and Technical Award.
Producers and end users are working to use these materials in a cost-effective way so that customers and consumers can benefit. In TAPPI Nano’s first ever End Users Panel, five major companies discussed their approach to incorporating biobased nanomaterials into their products- in depth coverage of this panel can be found here.
In addition to Vireo Advisor’s Monday workshop on Health, Safety, and Environmental Considerations for Bio/Nano Technologies, about 50 attendees kicked off the conference with a tour of FP Innovations, getting a chance to see the latest products including cellulose nanocrystals, filaments, and products of lignin.
The HSE workshop was well attended with participants from North America, South America, Europe and Japan of diverse technical, managerial, research, and academic backgrounds, where Dr. James Ede, and Dr. Kimberly Ong, and Dr. Jo Anne Shatkin, held interactive sessions on ‘Considerations for occupational health and safety practices for nanomaterials’, ‘Data development needs and strategies’, and ‘Ongoing regulatory and policy changes”. We hope TAPPI will support future workshops, as in our view the discussions were helpful to answering attendees’ questions about safety.
In addition to keynote presentations by leading Canadian organizations producing and supporting the commercialization of cellulose nanomaterials, including FP Innovations, CelluForce, and the Canadian Forest Service, there were over 140 oral presentations that highlighted the exciting industrial, biomedical, and commercial applications for cellulose nanomaterials, the new or improved manufacturing processes, the advances in understanding the physical-chemical fundamentals of these materials, and the ongoing research on how to ensure safe scale-up in production and commercialization.
Sustainability was a key theme of the conference, with presenters drawing attention to the ability of biobased nanomaterials to reduce or replace the use of non-renewable materials while still providing excellent functionality.
Attendees had many chances to mingle, create collaborations, and develop networks during the coffee breaks and reception, the well-attended poster sessions, the young professionals mixer, and during the beautiful conference dinner cruise, which coasted down the St. Lawrence River during sunset, providing beautiful views of Montreal, and a lovely backdrop to some fun dancing.
Next year’s TAPPI Nano Conference will be on June 11-14, 2018, in Madison, Wisconsin, where we expect the number of participants to grow even larger, and we look forward to meeting you there!