nanoTruck – Meeting Place Nanoworlds: Portrait

The "nanoTruck – Meeting Place Nanoworlds" initiative by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research intensifies information about the opportunities and challenges of nanotechnology

Bonn, Berlin - Where are the greatest opportunities in nanotechnology for humanity and the environment and who is investigating possible risks? What can nanotechnology contribute to solving important questions of the future and which products, procedures and therapies already provide answers today? And finally: which training and study opportunities are there in nanotechnology?

The “nanoTruck – Meeting Place Nanoworlds” initiative by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is putting the key questions about nanotechnology at the centre of a nationwide dialogue with interested citizens. In a vibrant exhibition world, exciting workshops and stimulating discussions the way will be paved to form individual opinions, evaluations and career planning.

The main attraction of the BMBF initiative, which has now been extended until 2013, is the double-decker nanoTruck exhibition and communications centre. As a mobile ambassador and "interpreter" of a sophisticated key technology it is coming directly to the people to present "nanotechnology live“. Under the slogan "meeting place nanoworlds“ the imposing exhibition vehicle will be visiting Germany's schools and market squares, vocational information and trade fairs, science shows and technology events. The start of the new event series "Let’s talk nano" in the BMBF nanoTruck took place at the Hannover Messe International from 4 to 8 April 2011.

One of the most important aims of the "nanoTruck“ initiative is providing open, transparent and comprehensible information and communication about one of the most significant key technologies of the 21st century. As a vivid instrument of dialogue embedded in the German government’s Nanotechnology Action Plan 2015, it depicts the central fields of action – "promoting research, intensifying technology transfer and ensuring nanotechnology is handled responsibly“ – clearly and practically. Content reference points to issue related BMBF projects, such as the Year of Science 2011 "Research for our Health", joint events with other nanotechnology communicators at national and state level as well as networking with the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) round off the concept of the next journey into the nanocosmos.

Using opportunities – acting responsibly

Large displays and interactive exhibit stations in the nanoTruck show the way through the variety of issues concerning nanotechnology research and applications. Fascinating product innovations, revolutionary procedures and new therapies play just as important a role as projects about accompanying safety research and initiatives to promote current dialogue with citizens. Thus in the topic area "Life and Leisure" examples of innovative nano-applications stand alongside background information about dealing with nanotechnology safety in the topic area "Using opportunities – acting responsibly". Interesting insights and exciting stories about everyday nano-practice are provided by the audio island on the bottom deck and the nano-cinema on the top deck of the nanoTruck.

In the nano future laboratory

But not only the topic areas and interactive exhibits offer useful information about the "tiny things with the capacity for greatness" in the nanoTruck. A range of tried and tested as well as completely new experiments and hands-on items help to better understand the opportunities and challenges of nanotechnology. You can get closer to the key technology through stories by writers and science journalists in the new event format "Reading nano". As part of special teaching practices young people can examine the nano-structures of materials and substances they have brought with them using what is probably the only mobile electron microscope in Germany. And in the ideas workshop “Our nano” school classes can be inspired by the numerous application examples in the nanoTruck and work on their own nano-innovations.

The nanoTruck topics

The exhibition in the nanoTruck, the only mobile exhibition concept on nanotechnology in Europe with integrated laboratory and event space, is divided into six topic areas. They are dedicated to the most up-to-date questions on nanotechnology and give transparent, comprehensible answers:

  • Life and Leisure – everyday nanotechnology
  • Protecting health
  • Nano in dialogue
  • Nanotechnology - from small structures to the big picture
  • Energy as a future resource
  • Contributions to environmental protection and sustainable development

These topic areas are supplemented by four large displays with additional information:

  • Nanotechnology in Germany
  • Nanotechnology – small things, great significance
  • Nanotechnology – ideas for all areas of life

Nanotechnology – using opportunities, acting responsibly

Facts, figures, data

The nanoTruck by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research visits about 100 locations throughout Germany on around 220 exhibition days per year. More than 110,000 visitors find their way into the double-decker exhibition vehicle at schools and universities, at city and municipal centres, as part of science and technology days or at vocational information and trade fairs.

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