[RIO DE JANEIRO] Argentina and Brazil have launched a new, virtual nanotechnology centre that will coordinate research done in both countries.
Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Néstor Kirchner, president of Argentina, signed the document to establish the Argentinean-Brazilian Nanotechnology Centre in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina, on 30 November.
The new centre will follow the example of the Argentinean-Brazilian Biotechnology Centre, a success for the last two decades. It will operate virtually, bringing together nanotechnology research from groups working in Brazil and Argentina.
Using the science infrastructure of each country, the researchers intend to develop joint projects, raise human resources capacity, create interchange grants for researchers and organise activities.
The centre's overall aim is to help the two countries become more competitive internationally.
"The scientific exchange between Brazil and Argentina already exists in nanoscience," says José Albuquerque de Castro, a researcher at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a scientific consultant at the new centre.
"What we expect now is effective interaction with the industry. The entrepreneurs have to be informed of what we are producing in order to invest more in research and development," he adds.
The centre's first activity was a seminar held in Buenos Aires on 28-29 November, before its official opening. The next meeting will take place in Brazil in March 2006.
Nanotechnology is a field of research that concerns itself with creating tiny technologies, invisible to the human eye.
Many believe it promises to offer cheaper, more reliable solutions to problems faced in developing countries. Examples include cheaper, more efficient water filtration systems and improved systems from drug-delivery (see SciDev.Net's Quick Guide to Nanotechnology).