Current challenges to product development within the life sciences also will be a focus of the summit. UD's Kristi Kiick (center) currently is collaborating with Fraunhofer's Jessica Chichester and Mark Jones on a project to develop the ability of engineered polymer gels to increase the stability, immunogenicity and/or therapeutic efficacy of proteins produced by Fraunhofer.

Fraunhofer-Delaware Technology Summit

Fraunhofer, UD summit explores energy and life sciences challenges and solutions

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(Editor's note: Due to concerns about Hurricane Sandy, the summit has been canceled. Plans are being made to reschedule the event in 2013.)

2:55 p.m., Oct. 16, 2012--Two research powerhouses, Fraunhofer and the University of Delaware, are joining forces to host their first technology summit, “Energy and Life Sciences — Solutions for Sustainability,” on Oct. 29-30. 

The first day is a full-day conference at UD’s Clayton Hall Conference Center. The second day will feature laboratory tours and follow-up discussions. 

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Scientists and researchers, industry executives, and government and foundation program officers and decision makers are encouraged to attend. Registration is available through the conference website. In addition to talks and panels, participants are encouraged to exhibit posters related to the topics of the conference. The registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 19.

The inaugural Fraunhofer-Delaware Technology Summit will focus on current challenges in product development within the life sciences and in future energy systems, with topics ranging from “Advances in Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing” to “Bio-Based Energy.”

Keynote presentations will be given by Thomas M. Connelly, Jr., executive vice president and chief innovation officer at DuPont, who will focus on “Global Trends in Life Sciences,” and by Lee Davis, senior vice president at NRG Energy, and president of NRG Energy Northeast, who will address “The Rapidly Evolving Energy Landscape.” 

“These leaders will set the stage by highlighting challenges and discussing the path ahead for converting laboratory-based scientific discoveries into new applications with the potential to significantly impact our lives, our environment and our future,” said Karl Steiner, senior associate provost for research development at UD. 

Steiner co-organized the summit with Vidadi Yusibov, executive director of the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (FhCMB), which is based in the Delaware Technology Park in Newark, Del. The center houses nearly 90 researchers. In July 2011, UD, FhCMB and the state of Delaware formalized a six-year partnership agreement that is providing new opportunities for researchers at Fraunhofer and UD to work together.

“Thanks to this collaboration among Fraunhofer, UD and the state of Delaware, the summit will bring together leaders in basic research, translational sciences and industrial applications from across the state and around the world,” Steiner said. “We are excited to provide a unique opportunity for the scientific community to meet, network, get new ideas and move forward in solving some of our major challenges in energy and the life sciences.”

Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization, with initiatives focusing on health, security, communication, energy and the environment. It has more than 80 research units, including 60 Fraunhofer Institutes, and more than 20,000 staff, primarily engineers and scientists. 

The University of Delaware is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a research university with very high research activity — a designation accorded less than 3 percent of U.S. colleges and universities. UD ranks among the nation’s top 100 universities in federal research and development support for science and engineering. The University has more than 70 research centers, will open a new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory in 2013 and recently began phase-one development of the 272-acre Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) campus.

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