Words from the director

Dear colleagues,

It is summer in Basel. The streets are noticeably emptier, while more and more people are taking a swim in the Rhine.

The relaxed holiday atmosphere can be particularly conducive to a nice glass of wine. However, the vast amount of fungicides that go into the production of a good wine is something that I only recently became aware of.

We learned all about it at a meeting of the Interreg project Vitifutur in June. One of the goals of this project is to come up with ways to reduce this massive use of fungicides. The event was hosted by the Nano Imaging Lab, which for some time now has proven to be a valuable asset to the SNI with its comprehensive range of imaging services. You can read about the problems facing regional winegrowers and potential sustainable solutions in the title story of this summer issue of SNI update.

Another notable event in June was the Swiss NanoConvention (SNC). In my role as director of the Swiss Micro & Nanotechnology Network, the originator of the SNC, I was delighted to have the privilege of awarding the first edition of the Startup Prize this year. The award went to the company Resistell AG for developing a device to detect antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria.

I was also very happy to see that Daniel Riedel, an alumnus of the SNI’s PhD School, received a PhD Prize for his excellent publication as lead author in the journal Physical Review X. Besides this award, which is sponsored by the Hightech Zentrum Argau, Daniel has received a number of other distinctions in recent months. We have therefore included a more in-depth look at his outstanding doctoral dissertation here.

In this issue of SNI update you can also read about two Nano Argovia projects and various SNI activities. Please remember to submit your applications for the next Nano Argovia call and your pictures for this year’s Nano Image Award, and don’t miss the short video about the SNI’s outreach activities. I wish you all a wonderful summer, and look forward to our Annual Meeting in September.

Kind regards,

Prof. Christian Schönenberger, SNI Director