Nanotechnology breakthroughs will be essential in developing game-changing solutions to address world issues, such as energy shortages, environmental concerns and greater connectivity, said Alcoa (NYSE:AA) Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Mohammad A. Zaidi at Rusnanotech '09, the second international nanotechnology forum held in Moscow Oct. 6-8.
"I believe that future growth drivers in business will focus on energy, environment, connectivity and the biomedical field," Dr. Zaidi said. "In all of these fields, we know that nanotechnology could enable huge opportunities for advancements. Based on what I've seen in the field of nanotechnology in the last five years, it's obvious that the future rate of change will far surpass anything we've ever experienced to date."
Dr. Zaidi's presentation kicked off the panel discussion, "Nanotechnology in Machinery," on the first day of the international forum, which was attended by more than 6,550 representatives of industry, government and science from 36 countries.
"At Alcoa, we are a world leader in light metals technology. We invented the commercial aluminum smelting process in 1888 and haven't stopped innovating since," he said. "Nanotechnology enables us to explore new game-changing solutions for our customers, offering products that are more durable, scratch resistant, abrasion resistant, heat resistant and blast resistant. For our market segments, we see nanotechnology as a huge enabler of new functionalities and an enabler of energy and environmental efficiencies."
The speech also highlighted a number of initiatives that Alcoa scientists, researchers and engineers are working on for the major markets that Alcoa services. Examples include nanotechnologies that enable stronger electrical transmission cables at higher temperatures, with greater electrical conductivity and reduced transmission losses to fulfill growing urban load demands, and nano-coatings for the oil & gas market that provide more durable oil risers and drill pipes enabling deeper off-shore exploration at lower cost.
"As a global, Fortune 100 corporation with operations in 31 countries around the world serving such a wide range of markets, nanotechnology offers Alcoa tremendous opportunities," Dr. Zaidi said. "In the same light, we believe that we offer the field of nanotechnology tremendous opportunities as well. Our breadth of market intelligence, combined with our expertise in material and design integration and our presence in both the U.S. and Russia, enables us to be in a unique position to be an industrial test bed for the most promising developments in this exciting field of technology."