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Sunday, November 18, 2007


From 21-11-2007 to 22-11-2007- Marseilles, FranceLeader : The Economist /EPAEM/ANIMA - Partner : VdM/ Région /CCIMP

Conference : EURO-MEDITERRANEAN BUSINESS SUMMIT « The steady rise of Euro-Mediterranean Partnerships »

ANIMA - 3ème Euro-Mediterranean Business Summit 2007 (€-MBS) - 21 November 2007
Economist Conferences and ANIMA, with the support of several regional partners are once again organising a “Euro-Mediterranean Business Summit”. During the past few months, considerable effort has been made around the Mediterranean region to improve the business climate, open economies to outside investors and encourage trade. Net investment into the MENA region has more than quadrupled since 2000. But more private investment, both domestic and foreign, is still sorely needed to increase capacity. For their part, governments need to create a sound regulatory environment for cross-border investors and risk-takers. The need for high-quality public services and infrastructure such as road transportation, airports, railway restructuring, ports, IT, housing and other facilities is acute. With it comes the challenge of harnessing and successfully combining expertise and resources from the private and public sectors. Public private partnerships (PPP), privatisation programmes and other such arrangements are now at the forefront of governments’ economic agendas! Topics for discussion will include: · Has the framework within which the public and private sectors interact truly grown more robust in recent months? If so, to what extent does it reduce investors’ risks? · How reliable is the regulatory framework for PPP in the Euro-Med region? · What can the private sector contribute to the discussion? How can partnerships be financed? · What has been their investment experience in the region? What lessons have they learned? · What is the future of information, telecommunications and innovation in the region? · Where can best practices be found and how can they be more widely shared? Economist Conferences are gathering major Gulf investors, international companies and government leaders in Marseille on November 22nd, 2007 to address these questions.



Saturday, November 10, 2007


The Rise of Nanotech

If you have heard about nanotechnology at all, you may be aware of its science-fiction-sounding hype. Proponents picture a future in which tiny bots would magically repair tissue to prolong our life span. On the dark side is the disturbing vision of "gray goo," where self-replicating nanodevices destroy the planet. The reality of the burgeoning field of nanotech, however, is hardly less startling in its transformative potential. Some have proclaimed it "the next industrial revolution."

"Nanotechnology" broadly applies to control of materials and components only a few billionths of a meter in size. Already manufacturers sell several hundred products that use nanotech, mainly skin lotions. Next up are advances in biotechnology and electronics-and a merging of the two.

Consider, for instance, molecular building blocks called bis-amino acids, which chemists string together into protein-like structures. Applications include medicines, enzymes for catalyzing reactions, sensors, nanoscale valves and computer storage devices. Other researchers are using natural molecular machines to process information: they receive input from other biological molecules and output a tangible result, such as a signal or a therapeutic drug.

Nanoscience advances are pushing traditional electronics in new directions as well. George Gruner describes applications that encompass sensors, solar cells, electronic paper and bendable touch screens. Imagine a morning "paper" with headlines that change as news breaks.

Or how about an invisibility cloak? Harry A. Atwater explains how optical signals squeeze through minuscule wires, producing so-called plasmons. Plasmonic circuits could help to move lots of data and improve the resolution of microscopes, the efficiency of light-emitting diodes, and the sensitivity of detectors. Such materials could alter the electromagnetic field around an object to such an extent that it would become invisible. The nanoregime offers enormous promise indeed.

Plenty of Room Indeed
There is plenty of room for practical innovation at the nanoscale. But first, scientists have to understand the unique physics that governs matter there

Nanotechnology and the Double Helix
DNA is more than just the secret of life-it is also a versatile component for making nanoscopic structures and devices

Bringing DNA Computers to Life by Ehud Shapiro and Yaakov Benenson
Tapping the computing power of biological
molecules gives rise to tiny machines that can speak directly to living cells

Carbon Nanonets Spark New Electronics by George Gruner
Random networks of tiny carbon tubes could make possible low-cost, flexible devices such as "electronic paper" and printable solar cells

Less Is More in Medicine by A. Paul Alivisatos
Sophisticated forms of nanotechnology will find some of their first real-world applications in ­biomedical research, disease diagnosis and, ­possibly, therapy