David Kirkpatrick

January 12, 2010

Foresight 2010: the Synergy of Molecular Manufacturing and AGI coming January 16-17

Along with the usual presentations, this year’s conference celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Foresight Institute’s founding.

From the link:

Foresight 2010: the Synergy of Molecular Manufacturing and AGI

Join us in for an exciting conference focused on the Synergy of Molecular Manufacturing and general Artificial Intelligence and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Foresight.Register online here. The two day conference rate is $175 with discounts for early registration!

Several rapidly-developing technologies have the potential to undergo an exponential takeoff in the next few decades, causing as much of an impact on economy and society as the computer and networking did in the past few. Chief among these are molecular manufacturing and artificial general intelligence (AGI). Key in the takeoff phenomenon will be the establishment of strong positive feedback loops within and between the technologies. Positive feedback loops leading to exponential growth are nothing new to economic systems. At issue is the value of the exponent: since the Industrial Revolution, economies have expanded at rates of up to 7% per year; however, computing capability has been expanding at rates up to 70% per year, in accordance with Moore’s Law. If manufacturing and intellectual work shifted into this mode, the impact on the economy and society would be profound. The purpose of this symposium is to examine the mechanisms by which this might happen, and its likely effects.

This announcement also made today’s KurzweilAI.net newsletter:

Foresight 2010: the Synergy of Molecular Manufacturing and AGI
KurzweilAI.net, Jan. 12, 2010

The Foresight 2010: the Synergy of Molecular Manufacturing and AGI conference will be held January 16-17, 2010 in Palo Alto, CA.

Topic will include Roadmaps to Nanotechnology, Feynman’s Path: A top-down roadmap, Roadmaps to general Artificial IntelligenceRobotics, Autogeny: Principles underlying exponential manufacturing andintelligence, Additive manufacturing: A roadmap to nanofactories, Open source in manufacturing and AI, Accelerating change, and Space development.

For those unable to attend, video will be streamed for free at http://www.techzulu.com/live.html.

October 5, 2009

2009 Singularity Summit media page

Filed under: Media, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:35 pm

Via KurzweilAI.net —

Singularity Summit media page launched

KurzweilAI.net, Oct. 5, 2009

The Singularity Summit has launched a media page foruploading videos (including some SS09 sessions), photos, and tweets (#SS09).

October 4, 2009

2009 Singularity Summit in progress

If you’re looking for information on, or reporting from, the 2009 Singularity Summit, hit this link for some excellent blogging on the various presentations and goings on in New York this weekend.

From the link, today’s wrap:

I’ll do a full retrospective at the end of the conference, but will offer just a short wrap-up for the first day. Today’s talks were, for the most part, rather dry and technical. Technical is good and important, but the talks today were really too short to provide anything but a high-level overview, and far too many of the presenters went into more detail than audience members could plausibly absorb. (Perhaps the speakers mean to induce through frustration a subtle case for neural enhancement? Or maybe they just figured they were preaching to an audience already well acquainted with the basics.) As is pretty typical, alas, of almost any kind of conference, many of the speakers seemed to be modifying talks they had given elsewhere and just tacking on a bit to the beginning and end about how their remarks were relevant to the Singularity — when they actually weren’t as pertinent as many of the attendees were expecting. At the breaks, I saw a lot of the speakers milling around and found myself unable to think of anything interesting to ask most of them about their lectures.

Many thanks to blogger Ari N. Schulman for the posts.

And if you’re wondering what all this Singularity stuff is, here’s my Singularity related posts.

(Hat tip: Instapundit)

October 1, 2009

Preview of upcoming Frontiers in Optics meeting

Lasers, 3D television and other cool stuff. Sounds like a fun event.

The release:

Powerful lasers, futuristic digital cameras, 3-D television and more

Highlights of Frontiers in Optics Meeting in San Jose, Oct. 11-15

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1—The latest technology in optics and lasers will be on display at the Optical Society’s (OSA) Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics (FiO), which takes place Oct. 11-15 at the Fairmont San Jose Hotel and the Sainte Claire Hotel in San Jose, Calif.

Information on free registration for reporters is contained at the end of this release. Research highlights of the meeting include:

  • A Special Symposium: The Future of 3-D Television
  • Laser Fusion and Exawatt Lasers
  • 1,001 Cameras See in Gigapixels
  • All That Glitters is Now Gold
  • Prehistoric Bear Diet Revealed by Laser Archaeology
  • Illumination-Aware Imaging


With 3-D movies helping to drive record box office revenues this spring and companies like Sony and Panasonic rolling out the first 3-D-enabled televisions, a timely special symposium titled “The Future of 3-D Display: The Marketplace and the Technology” will feature presentations on current and future technologies driving the 3-D revolution. Some highlights:

  • Rod Archer, vice president of Cinema Products at RealD Inc., will offer in his keynote speech an overview of 3-D movie systems already in use in some 1,700 screens around the world. Archer will discuss the current state-of-the-art, the challenges and the opportunities of 3-D cinema technologies.
  • Martin Banks of the University of California, Berkeley will discuss the difficulties of creating 3-D images free of perceptual distortions that don’t cause headaches, as well as his own solution, a temporally multiplexed volumetric display, in which a high-speed lens is switched on and off rapidly in synch with the image being displayed to create nearly correct focus cues.
  • Kevin Thompson of Optical Research Associates will lay out the future for the coming generation of head-worn displays, based on his work with Jannick Rolland of the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics.
  • Masahiro Kawakita of NHK Science & Technology Research Labs, Japan will present an overview and a prototype of 3-D TV system based on integral photography technology.
  • Gregg Favalora of Acutality Systems will present an overview of one type of technology that moves away from glasses: volumetric displays, which project images onto high-speed rotating screens.
  • Brian Schowengerdt of the University of Washington will describe a volumetric display that scans multiple color-modulated light beams across the retina of the viewer to form images of virtual objects with correct focus cues.
  • Nasser Peyghambarian of the University of Arizona will present a prototype of a large-area 3-D updateable holographic display using photorefractive polymers. The rewritable polymer material is a significant breakthrough for holographic display technology.

The symposium is being organized by Hong Hua of the University of Arizona. For more information on the special symposium, see:http://www.frontiersinoptics.com/ConferenceProgram/SpecialSymposium/default.aspx#Futureof3DDisplay.


In the recent past, producing lasers with terawatt (a trillion watts) beams was impressive. Now petawatt (a thousand trillion watts, or 10^15 watts) lasers are the forefront of laser research. Some labs are even undertaking work toward achieving exawatt (10^18 watts) levels. Todd Ditmire at the University of Texas currently produces petawatt power through a process of chirping, in which a short light pulse (150 femtoseconds in duration) is stretched out in time. This longer pulse is amplified to higher energy and then re-compressed to its shorter duration, thus providing a modest amount of energy, 190 joules in a very tiny bundle.

Ditmire claims that his petawatt device has the highest power of any laser system now operating, even the one at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, owing to the very short pulse-compression he and his colleagues use.

The main research use for the Texas Petawatt Laser, as it is called, has been to produce thermonuclear fusion; the laser light strikes a target where fusion of light nuclei occurs, releasing neutrons into the vicinity. These neutrons can themselves be used for doing research. The first results of this fusion experiment will be presented at this meeting. Other applications include the study of hot dense plasmas at pressures billions of time higher than atmospheric pressure and the creation of conditions for accelerating electrons to energies of billions of electron-volts.

Another figure of merit for a laser, in addition to power, is power density. The Texas device is capable of producing power densities exceeding 10^21 watts per square centimeter. At this level many novel interactions might become possible.

To get to exawatt powers, Ditmire hopes to combine largely-existing laser technology and his already-tested 100-femtosecond pulses with new laser glass materials that would allow amplification up to energies of 100 kilo-joules. Ditmire’s current energy level, approximately 100 joules, is typical of laser labs at or near the petawatt level, such as those in Oxford, England, Osaka, Japan and Rochester, N.Y. With support from the government and the research community, building an exawatt laser might take 10 years to achieve, Ditmire estimates. (Paper FTuK2, “The Texas Petawatt Laser and Technology Development toward an Exawatt Laser” is at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13).


As manufacturers of consumer digital cameras compete in increments, adding one or two megapixels to their latest models, David Brady of Duke University is thinking much bigger. Working with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, he is designing and building a camera that could achieve resolutions 1,000 or even 1 million times greater than the technology on the market today.

The goal of reaching giga- or terapixels, says Brady, is currently being held back by the difficulty of designing a spherical lens that will not distort small areas of a scene. His idea is not only to modify the shape of the camera lens — making it aspherical — but to link together thousands of microcameras behind the main lens. Each of these cameras would have its own lens optimized for a small portion of the field of view.

“Now, when you use a camera, you’re looking through a narrow soda straw,” says Brady. “These new cameras will be able to capture the full view of human vision.”

The final result of the three-year project should be a device about the size of a breadbox, though Brady hopes to scale the technology down to create a single-lens reflex camera with a resolution of 50 gigapixels. (Paper CWB2, “Multiscale Optical Systems” is at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14).


In full sunlight at mid-day, gold objects are brilliant and richly colored. Put those same objects in a dark interior room with only fluorescent lamps, however, and they will look pale and slightly greenish — a problem arising from the inability of fluorescent lamps to render the optimal color temperature to reveal gold in its warmest light. That’s why museums and jewelry stores typically illuminate the gold objects in display cases with small incandescent bulbs, the only commercially-available lights that can emit soft yellow tones and warm color temperatures and render a true gold appearance.

Incandescent bulbs are a poor choice for other reasons, however. They are notoriously hot and can alter the temperature and humidity in display cases, potentially damaging priceless museum pieces. Besides that, the European Union is phasing out the sale of incandescent bulbs starting this fall (a similar phase-out will go into effect in the United States beginning in 2012).

Now Paul Michael Petersen and his colleagues at the Technical University of Denmark have designed an alternative, energy efficient and non-heating light source for gold objects. After they were contacted by curators at Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen, which houses the Royal Danish Collection, Petersen and his colleagues created a novel LED designed specifically to illuminate gold. Combining commercially-available red, green, and blue LEDs with holographic diffusion, the new light can achieve a temperature and color rendering akin to incandescent bulbs — with 70 percent energy savings and without emitting excess heat. They have been tested in a few display cases, says Petersen, and the lights will soon be installed throughout the museum. (Paper JWC3, “A New LED Light Source for Display Cases” is at 12 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14).


Twenty-six thousand years ago, a brown bear living in what is now the Czech Republic died, leaving behind a tooth that has since become a fossil. Now a team of engineers has developed a way to figure out not only what it ate but its migration patterns using a laser instrument that could be modified to take out into the field.

The technique, called laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), is able to identify the chemical composition of a material — such a tooth — by penetrating miniscule samples with high-energy pulses of laser light. This laser turns each sample into plasma many times hotter than the surface of the sun. In this experiment, the light released as the plasma cooled revealed the composition of each part of the tooth.

By checking the ratio of different elements in the root of the tooth, the team determined that the bear ate mostly plants during the hotter parts of the year. The changes in these ratios over time revealed the bear’s migration patterns and a gradual shift in its living territory in one direction.

It’s a simple and fast technique, say the authors, with an unusually high resolution and the ability to scan a wide area of a sample. “The device could be modified to be taken out into the field,” says Josef Kaiser of the Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic.

Next, the team hopes to use LIBS to solve the mystery of a cave full of dead snakes that died more than 1 million years ago — possibly from a disease — by analyzing the vertebrae left behind. (Paper JWC18, “Multielemental Mapping of Archaeological Samples by Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)” is at 12 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12).


Conventional imaging systems incorporate a light source for illuminating an object and a separate sensing device for recording the light rays scattered by the object. By using lenses and software, the recorded information can be turned into a proper image. Human vision is an ordinary process: the use of two eyes (and a powerful brain that processes visual information) provides human observers with a sense of depth perception. But how does a video camera attached to a robot “see” in three dimensions? Carnegie Mellon scientist Srinivasa Narasimhan believes that efficiently producing 3-D images for computer vision can best be addressed by thinking of a light source and sensor device as being equivalent. That is, they are dual parts of a single vision process.

For example, when a light illuminates a complicated subject, such as a fully-branching tree, many views of the object must be captured. This requires the camera to be moved, making it hard to find corresponding locations in different views. In Narasimhan’s approach, the camera and light constitute a single system. Since the light source can be moved without changing the corresponding points in the images, complex reconstruction problems can be solved easily for the first time. Another approach is to use a pixilated mask interposed at the light or camera to selectively remove certain light rays from the imaging process. With proper software, the resulting series of images can more efficiently render detailed 3-D vision information, especially when the object itself is moving.

Narasimhan calls this process alternatively illumination-aware imaging or imaging-aware illumination. He predicts it will be valuable for producing better robotic vision and rendering 3-D shapes in computer graphics. (Paper CtuD5, “Illuminating Cameras” is at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13).



FiO 2009 is OSA’s 93rd Annual Meeting and is being held together with Laser Science XXV, the annual meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Laser Science (DLS). The two meetings unite the OSA and APS communities for five days of quality, cutting-edge presentations, fascinating invited speakers and a variety of special events spanning a broad range of topics in physics, biology and chemistry. The FiO 2009 conference will also offer a number of Short Courses designed to increase participants’ knowledge of a specific subject while offering the experience of insightful teachers. An exhibit floor featuring leading optics companies will further enhance the meeting.

Useful Links:

About OSA

Uniting more than 106,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit: www.osa.org.

May 11, 2009

EntreTech Forum coming May 19

Warm (this morning) from the inbox:

The EntreTech Forum Presents … PHOTONICS/OPTICS – Understanding the Latest Applications of Light-based Technologies in Medical, Consumer, Industrial, and Defense Sectors

BOSTON, May 11 /PRNewswire/ — On May 19th, The EntreTech Forum will bring together some of the region’s educators, researchers and entrepreneurs to focus on photonics/optics academic/commercial nexus of innovation, and to answer key questions around:

  —  understanding the local resource base for photonics-based innovation
  —  distilling the key drivers that define success or failure for
      early-stage research-driven photonics entrepreneurs
  —  defining for the audience what the next great ideas in
      photonics/optics technology will look like

Whether for treating disease, advancing solar energy cells or enhancing semiconductor performance, recent advances in photonics and optics have created myriad opportunities for entrepreneurs to break new ground across a tremendously wide spectrum of commercial activity. As ever, the Greater Boston area’s potent mix of university resources and entrepreneurial culture have made our region a leader in a new and constantly evolving technological field.

  Tuesday, May 19, 2009 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

      The Enterprise Center at Foley Hoag,
      The Bay Colony Corporate Center
      1000 Winter St., Ste. 4000
      Waltham, MA
      Cost: $25 – public;  $10 – students & active military

For information, registration and directions visit our web site http://www.entretechforum.org/

  Pre-Registration Available Online http://theentretechforum.camp7.org/

  Directions & Map http://www.entretechforum.org/7_contact.htm

  — Moderator:
      Andrew Fairbairn, Managing Principal, Fairbairn Ventures

  — Panelists:
      Jonathan Rosen, Executive Director, Institute for Technology
       Entrepreneurship and Commercialization, BU School of Management

      Stephen Saylor, President & CEO, SiOnyx

      George Tegos, Instructor at MGH, Wellman Center for Photonics

  About The EntreTech Forum

The EntreTech Forum consists of moderated monthly panel discussions on emerging academic research and the commercialization of this technology. It was designed for those interested in technology innovation and marketing collaboration and networking with fellow entrepreneurs, business and government executives, investors, and technology researchers.

The technology-innovation presentations feature entrepreneurial and corporate accomplishments along commercialization pathways with discussions of tech transfer and technology incubation and research from universities, industry and government. The multi-disciplinary subjects of raising and utilizing different forms of capital, building alliances and structuring deals are included as part of the programming, and serve as tools for the entrepreneur and researcher to commercialize science and technology.

The EntreTech Forum is an affiliate of Northeastern University’s School of Technological Entrepreneurship (STE) and is directed by a governing board of business principals, investors, and researchers.

For information and directions visit our web site at http://www.entretechforum.org/

Source: The EntreTech Forum

Web Site:  http://www.entretechforum.org/

April 29, 2009

International solar energy conference

Filed under: Business, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:35 pm

A release from the wee hours of this morning:

International Conference on Solar Energy Features Leading Experts and World’s Top Solar Companies

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands and MUNICH, Germany, April 29/PRNewswire/ —

    – Conference in Munich, Germany Will Include Chief Executives of World’s Largest Solar Manufacturers, Top Investors and Analysts

– Forecast for Solar Industry in Coming Years Revealed, Rare Opportunity for High-Level Networking

 Solarplaza, a leading consultancy on the global solar industry, is pleased to announce “The Solar Future” Conference to be held in Munich, Germany on May 26. For a single day, the world’s top minds will come together to discuss the future of the fastest-growing renewable energy at a critical time for the industry.

Speakers will include such experts and CEO’s as Bruce
Sohn, President of First Solar, Dr. Shi, CEO Suntech Power, Anton Milner, CEO Q-cells, renowned analyst Travis Bradford of the Prometheus Institute; Stephen O’Rourke, analyst with Deutsche Bank Securities on Wall Street; and David Rubin, chairman of the board of directors of the Solar Electric Power

Solar energy, at the cusp of a historic turning point, is headed toward grid parity in the coming years. And, as demand surges worldwide, major industry leaders are preparing for unprecedented implementation in solar technologies across the globe.

“Most people think that solar energy is something for the future, when prices have come down and cell efficiencies
have further improved,” says Edwin Koot, CEO of organizer SolarPlaza. “Well, this is your wake up call, because this future is closer than you could imagine.”

With huge strides worldwide in such developments as electric-powered vehicles, the implications for the solar industry are
greater than ever. From Spain to Italy to California, solar energy is rapidly becoming competitive in pricing with conventional fossil fuel sources, which marks a new phase for the industry called grid parity.

In 2008, demand for solar energy exploded more than 100 percent. While present economic conditions has challenged the global marketplace, solar stands to win, reaching grid parity at a faster pace. Revenues in the solar industry is expected to top $50 billion in 2012.

“This grid parity is the Holy Grail for the solar industry and only the beginning of an unprecedented growth path,” Koot says. “At that time, market potential will become unlimited.”

More information, visit http://www.thesolarfuture.com.

About SolarPlaza:

Solarplaza.com is the independent global platform for knowledge, trade and events for the solar energy (PV) industry.

Source: SolarPlaza

January 31, 2009

Third Iraq Aviation & Defense Summit

Had this release come across the inbox today and thought some readers might find it interesting.

The release:

Brigadier General Shihab Ali, Al-Hurriya Air Force Base
Commander will give a keynote presentation at the 3rd
annual Iraq Aviation & Defense Summit. The 3rd IADS will
take place on April 1-2, 2009 in Washington, DC.

Washington, DC–January 19, 2009–IADS Officials confirmed
today that Al-Hurya AFB Commander Brig. General Shihab Ali
will speak to conference attendees beginning at 11:00 am on
Wednesday, April 1-2, 2009 and will answer their questions
afterward. Brig. General Ali will also be available for
One-on-One meetings throughout the 2-day event.
Other recently added featured speakers include Al-Basrah
Int’l Airport Director Abdulameer Abdullah, Baghdad Int’l
Airport Board Chairman Thair Phatohe.

Brig.General Shihab Ali is serving as the commander of
IqAF’s Al Hurriya Air Base. Al Hurriya AFB is home to the
largest IqAF academy. As a senior IqAF officer, Brig.
General Ali possesses a comprehensive understanding of
the IqAF affairs.  He will share his first-hand knowledge
and understanding of the most pressing issues and
present an overview of the current and future challenges
and threats facing the IqAF.

In addition to featuring speakers from Iraqi Air Force,
Iraqi Army, Iraqi Navy and Security Forces; the 3rd Iraq
Aviation & Defense Summit will also be featuring addresses
from key experts whom have served as advisors in the
Multi-National Security Transition Command (MNSTC-I),
whom were responsible for developing, organizing, training,
equipping, and sustaining the Iraqi Security Ministries
(Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Ministry of Interior (MoI))
and their associated Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) i.e.
the military of Iraq and the Iraqi Police.

The third-annual 2009 IADS will welcome respected experts
covering a wide range of subjects. Agenda topics include
giving first-hand insight on the following important

_ Coalition Military Assistance Training Team (CMATT),
   which organizes, trains, and equips the Iraqi Army;

_ Civilian Police Assistance Training Team (CPATT),
   which organizes, trains, and equips the Iraqi Police;

_Coalition Army Advisory Training Team (CAATT),
  responsible for building the Iraqi Army;

_Coalition Air Force Transition Team (CAFTT),
  responsible for building the Iraqi Air Force;

_Maritime Strategic Transition Team (MaSTT),
  responsible for supporting the Iraqi Navy, Marines
  and Coast Guard;

_Civilian Police Assistance Training Team (CPATT),
  building the various Iraqi police agencies;

_Intelligence Transition Team (ITT),
  responsible for building the military and police
  information organizations;

_Iraqi National Counter-Terrorism Task Force (INCTF),
  assisting  Iraqi special operations;

_Security Assistance Office (SAO),
  assisting the purchase of equipment and overseas training;

_Joint Headquarters Assistance Team (JHQ-AT),
  responsible for advising the Iraqi Joint Headquarters;

_Ministry of Defense Transition Team (MOD-TT),
  responsible for advising the MoD staff;

_Ministry of Interior Transition Team (MOI-TT),
  responsible for advising the MoI staff.

With hundreds of companies expected to attend the
two-day event, the expanded agenda will cover a range
of topics related to the Iraqi aviation, security & defense
challenges. IADS Chair, Samir Farajallah, hopes this will
give greater context to the other parts of the conference
program which will focus on security issues, contracting
and subcontracting opportunities, funding,
project management, international cooperation,
and cultural training.

About IADS
In its third year, IADS, the Iraq Aviation and Defense
Conference & Exposition, is the world’s largest and most
respected event focused on Iraq’s Aviation, Security and
Defense challenges and opportunities. IADS is the only
event where you hear from those who are responsible for
shaping the future of aviation, security and military
requirements in Iraq. For three consecutive years IADS has
featured senior Iraqi Ranking Military Officers,
Policy Makers & Government Decision Makers.

The IADS Exposition
The 3rd Iraq Aviation & Defense Summit and Expo will
provide Exhibitors the opportunity to network and to
have direct access to senior ranking military officers from
Iraq’s Ministry of Defense, Iraqi law enforcement agencies
and governments’ decision makers.

About New-Fields
Founded in 1994, New Fields today is a leading information
provider and conference/trade-shows organizer on defense,
homeland security to governments, defense and law
enforcement agencies, industries and academia
around the world.

Industry Speaking Opportunities, Sponsorship and Exhibition

December 8, 2008

TechConnect World Announces TechConnect Summit presenters

The release from this afternoon:

TechConnect World Announces the First Dozen Corporate Partners to Present at TechConnect Summit, May 3-7, 2009 in Houston Texas

Premier Matchmaking Event Accelerates the flow of Clean-, Bio-, and Nano-Technologies from Development to Implementation

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ — TechConnect World, in association with the Nano Science and Technology Institute (NSTI), and the Clean Technology and Sustainable Industries Organization (CTSI), today announced the initial companies participating in the TechConnect Summit, scheduled to take place May 3-7, 2009 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston Texas.

“The Mission of the TechConnect Summit is to provide the corporate partnering and technology matchmaking needed to bring solutions to market quickly,” said Dr. Matthew Laudon, President of CTSI.  “The partnering sessions help large companies streamline their R&D efforts by sharing their issues and challenges with the broad research community attending the event.”  The first dozen companies scheduled to discuss their current projects, and highlight the challenges and opportunities associated with these efforts include:

  1. Air Products & Chemicals
  2. Applied Materials
  3. BASF
  4. Eastman Kodak Company
  5. General Electric
  6. Genzyme
  7. Honda Motor Corporation
  8. Lockheed Martin
  9. Medtronic
  10. Merck Research Labs
  11. Omron
  12. Sanyo

The TechConnect Summit is an information and networking exchange where executives from Fortune 500 companies present technological challenges in the areas of Clean technology, Nanotechnology, and Biotechnology – to the academic and research communities – who in turn, share their ideas and technology solutions for addressing the needs presented.  Through the IP and Venture Forums, TechConnect helps early-stage companies and universities showcase their ideas to larger corporations and investors, to cultivate partnerships and funding opportunities.

Additional submissions for the IP and Venture Forum are being accepted until January 28th.  Interested parties should visit: http://www.techconnect.org/Summit2009/

Exhibitors and sponsorship opportunities are available for technology transfer & technology licensing offices, research organizations, or companies looking to find buyers or investors for their solutions.  More than 5,000 corporate buyers and technology executives from Fortune 500 companies are expected to attend the expo, as are industry leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, and members of the media from more than 70 countries.  To view the list of participating companies, please visit: http://www.techconnect.org/Summit2009/press/past_participants.html

About the TechConnect Summit:

The purpose of the TechConnect Summit is to bring together the world’s leading technology transfer offices, companies, and investment firms to locate promising technologies and early stage companies from across the globe, and match these organizations to the world’s technology users (mid to large size companies), developers (universities, research institutions), and investors (venture capitalists, investment banking firms) to streamline the innovation pipeline and create an environment for technology matchmaking amongst the groups.

The TechConnect Summit, in partnership with the NSTI and the CTSI, has spent the past decade building the world’s largest international community of nano, bio and clean technology experts, from academia, business, and government to advance the development and deployment of these technologies.  It is the only such event in the U.S. that focuses on all groups related to technology research, development, and commercialization.  For more information, please visit: http://www.techconnect.org/Summit2009/

Source: Nano Science and Technology Institute (NSTI)

Web Site:  http://www.techconnect.org/Summit2009/

Company News On-Call:  http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/639160 .html

Program for the Future going on right now

From KurzweilAI.netProgram for the Future: A Summit & Workshop on Collective Intelligence is going on right now at the Tech Museum of Innovation, Adobe and Stanford University.

Program For The Future explores collective intelligence
KurzweilAI.net, Dec. 8, 2008Program for the Future: A Summit & Workshop on Collective Intelligence, to be held December 8th – 9th
conference at the Tech Museum of Innovation, Adobe and Stanford University, aims to discover the best new Collective Intelligence tools through a global competition and enhance our capability for problem-solving, decision-making and knowledge organization.

The event will also allow for virtual attendance, including an online video stream and asking questions (limited registration).

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October 23, 2008

KurzweilAI News on Twitter

Filed under: et.al., Media, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:57 pm

From KurzweilAI.net — I often blog from the daily update offered by KurzweilAI, and today’s bit is about them. The Singularity Summit is coming up and KurzweilAI is using Twitter to provide tweets this coming Saturday.

KurzweilAI News now on Twitter, covering Singularity Summit
KurzweilAI.net, Oct. 23, 2008KurzweilAI News is now on Twitter as @KurzweilAINews, currently focused on the Singularity Summit, tweeting it live on Saturday Oct. 25.

To follow @KurzweilAINews, go to the Twitter login page (join, if new) and enter “follow KurzweilAINews” in the “What are you doing?” form. News tips always appreciated via email.

October 13, 2008

Congrats Ray!

From KurzweilAI.net — Ray Kurzweil, inventor of the Kurzweil 250 synthesizer, was inducted into MIX magazine’s TeCnolology Hall of Fame at this year’s Audio Engineering Society conference.

TECnology Hall of Fame award presented to Ray Kurzweil for Kurzweil 250 Synthesizer
KurzweilAI.net, Oct. 13, 2008

The TECnology Hall of Fame 2008 award was presented to Ray Kurzweil as the inventor of the Kurzweil 250 synthesizer, which was inducted into MIX magazine’s TECnology Hall of Fame 2008 at the 2008 Audio Engineering Society conference in San Francisco on October 4. It joined the list of 85 innovations so honored, going back to the Edison cylinder in 1877.

Amy Kurzweil accepts award from
MIX Executive Editor George Petersen

The award was presented by George Petersen, Director of the TECnology Hall of Fame and Executive Editor of Mix magazine, and accepted by Kurzweil’s daughter, Amy Kurzweil.

Music is the only cultural expression common to every human society that we are aware of,” said Kurzweil in prepared remarks read by Amy. “Musical expression is the communication of human emotion and insight through sound and has always used the most advanced technologies available, from the drums of ancient times, the cabinet-making crafts of the eighteenth century, the mechanical linkages of the nineteenth century, the analog electronics of the mid twentieth century to the digital technology of the last couple of decades. It has been very gratifying to have played a role in helping to continue this ongoing advance of our musical tools. I have admired the AES for decades and greatly appreciate this recognition.”

“After inventing a number of firsts–text-to-speech synthesis, the CCD flatbed scanner, Omni-Font optical character recognition and a print-to-speech reading machine for the blind–Ray Kurzweil met Stevie Wonder, who encouraged him to apply computer control to acoustical instruments,” Petersen remarked. “As a result, he founded Kurzweil Music Systems in 1982 with Wonder serving as its musical advisor.

“A year later–almost 25 years ago to this day–visitors crammed into a packed demo suite on the fifth floor of the New York Hilton Hotel during the annual Audio Engineering Society convention and marveled at the Kurzweil 250. The first ROM-based sampling keyboard to successfully reproduce the full complexity of acoustic instruments, the 250 offered natural-sounding pianos, thick drums, lush strings, choirs and more and its 88-note, velocity-sensitive wooden keyboard provided a piano-like playing experience.

“The Kurzweil 250 weighed 95 pounds and cost almost $16,000, but the 250 sounded great and was popular with recording studios and top performers, and Kurzweil followed it with a long series of innovative—and more affordable—products. This year we are pleased and honored to present this award to Ray Kurzweil.”

MIX magazine is the world’s leading publication for professionals in the recording, sound and music production industries. Introduced in 1983, the Kurzweil 250 is considered to be the first electronic musical instrument to successfully emulate the complex sound response of a grand piano and virtually all other orchestral instruments.

This is apropos of nothing …

… related to my usual blogging, but a toilet expo sounds like quite the experience. I barely resisting every joke that’s running through my head right now.

The release:

Macau to Host the 2008 World Toilet Summit & Expo

Experts from over 40 Countries Will Convene in the Enclave to Address the
                World’s Most Challenging Sanitation Issues

HONG KONG, Oct. 13 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ — Health and sanitation experts from around the world are expected to discuss new ways to provide safe and hygienic toilets for the world’s population at the ninth annual World Toilet Summit and Expo scheduled to take place at The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel, Macau, on November 4-6, 2008.

Jointly organised by the World Toilet Organization (WTO) and MP Asia (MPA) in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, the three-day meeting will feature more than 70 speakers from over 40 countries, to exchange ideas on improving basic sanitation to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases that endanger millions of people worldwide every year.

Themed ‘Driving Sustainable Sanitation through Market-based Initiatives’, this year’s Summit is positioned as an action-oriented platform to establish partnerships in the private, public and humanitarian sectors. There will also be active discussion on sanitation policies, design and technology, school and disaster sanitation, and funding facilities.

Coinciding with the United Nations (UN) International Year of Sanitation, the event will not only address current sanitation needs and challenges, but how these issues can be resolved through sustainable practices as well as a collaborative approach that combines the efforts of the community, and the public and private sectors.

Agenda highlights will include a special track by The International Code Council covering global standards and practices necessary for building toilets in urban environments. Leading practitioners Lien Aid and Unilever Vietnam will also provide insights into their experiences in Asia, whilst panel discussions will showcase the latest toilet innovations and designs.

According to UN estimates, 2.5 billion people — around 40 per cent of the world’s population — live without access to basic sanitation. Lack of organised sanitation means that an estimated 1.8 million children die of diarrhea annually, whilst half of the population in developing countries suffers from health problems caused by water and sanitation defects at any given time.

To address this crisis, the UN, as part of its Millennium Development Goals, has set a mandate to halve this figure by 2015, with the aim of remedying the situation by finding ways for toilets to be available for everyone in the world by 2025.

Given the magnitude of the problem, Mr. Jack Sim, Founder of the WTO, states the objective of the Summit is to facilitate discussions on evolving sanitation practices to ensure UN objectives are achieved. “The Summit will examine challenges faced by different countries, whilst providing opportunities for participants to discuss shared issues and find solutions to common problems,” he remarks.

Displays of new, sustainable technologies will be showcased at the summit exposition, which comprising over 100 exhibitors, will feature innovations from self-cleaning toilets and solar-powered commodes that run without water, to recyclable systems which by converting waste into biogas can be used to provide hot water for bathing and washing purposes.

In addition, Mr. Sim notes that other critical issues to be discussed include the lack of funding for sanitation projects worldwide, which is one of the biggest problems faced by countries with poor facilities. Another focal point is the need to educate people, particularly in developing regions on the proper use and maintenance of toilets in order to improve public health and enhance their quality of life.

Commenting on why Macau was selected as the venue for the 2008 Summit, Mr. Sim expresses that public lavatories across many parts of China, unfortunately, still fall short of international standards, and the staging of the event locally would showcase how improvements could help the host nation lower public health costs and increase the well-being of citizens.

With the upcoming Asian Games in Guangzhou, and World Expo in Shanghai in 2010, and the recent Sichuan earthquake, he notes that tourism sanitation as well as disaster sanitation has both become timely and essential issues for industry professionals in China. “Over half of the 2.5 billion people in the world without basic sanitation are living in either India or China,” Mr. Sim concludes.

“Subsequently, this is a stark reminder of the challenges facing developing nations despite their rapid economic growth.”

Interested parties can register for World Toilet Summit & Expo by visiting http://www.worldtoiletevents.com/ for details.

Source: World Toilet Organization

Web site: http://www.worldtoiletevents.com/

October 2, 2008

NanoManufacturing Conference & Exhibits 2009

Filed under: et.al., Media, Science, Technology — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:38 am

Coming up April 1-2, 2009, no joke.

From the link:

Event Information

NanoManufacturing Conference & Exhibits 2009
Sheraton Bloomington Hotel S
Minneapolis MN USA
April 1 – April 2, 2009



Looking to understand what nanotechnology means for you? Need to understand how and why nanotechnology can improve your products, process and may even cut costs? Interested in learning about the latest applications and trends in top-down fabrication and bottom-up assembly techniques? Then this event is for you!

This conference will highlight the current, near-term, and future applications of nanotechnology and how they are transforming the way we manufacture products. Peer networking, information sharing, and technology exchange among the world’s nanomanufacturing leaders will be a key feature of the event.

Attend the Conference to:

  • Learn about the latest nanotechnology applications and trends in top-down fabrication and bottom-up assembly;
  • Explore ways you can use nanotechnology to make your products; and
  • Network with experts and manufacturers from different industries including automotive, sensors, aerospace/defense, and coatings.

October 1, 2008

International Symposium on Alternative Energy

This conference begins tomorrow at Chicago State University.

The release:

International Symposium on Alternative Energy Opens October 2-3 at Chicago State University

CHICAGO, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A group of scientists and engineers from around the world will share their research on the latest alternative energy and technologies at a symposium co-sponsored by Chicago State University, October 2-3. The Center for Alternative Energy Technology’s second annual global symposium will focus on fuel cells, bio-fuels, solar cells, hydrogen (generation, separation and storage), wind power, and sustainable energy for urban and rural buildings. Sessions will be held in the university’s New Academic Library, 9501 South King Drive.

“The significance of this conference can not be over emphasized,” said CSU Professor of Physics Justin Akujieze. “Oil-based energy brings with it enormous pollution that puts our mother earth in danger. Already, signs of this danger can be seen with the overall trend in global warming resulting in the melting of the polar ice caps. This warming will produce changes in the weather that will affect prime agricultural regions and alter food production.”

Val R. Jensen, Vice President of Marketing & Environmental Programs for Commonwealth Edison, will be the keynote speaker on Thursday at 9:40 a.m. in the library’s fourth floor auditorium. Mr. Jensen is a nationally recognized expert in the field of energy efficiency, and has been affiliated with some of the most progressive programs in the United States.  He is leading various Com Ed environmental programs and initiatives, including the recently approved “Energy Efficiency Portfolio,” designed to boost Illinois into the number two spot for energy saved through voluntary customer usage reductions.

Several alternative energy experts from Chicago State University’s faculty are delivering research papers at the symposium: Fuel Cell Technology: Concise Module Introducing Students to Electrocatalysis and Integrating Fuel Cell Concepts into Undergraduate College Science (Justin Akujieze, LeRoy Jones II and Asare Nkansah); Sulfonated Dendritic Polymer Membranes for Fuel Cell (Setor Akati and Asare Nkansah); Using Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy to Investigate Electron-Transfer Processes in Dye Sensitized Solar Cells (Robert J. LeSuer and Nichole Squair); Computational Investigation of the Effect of Oxidation State on Conformational Ensembles: Applications to Possible Molecular Wires for Solar Energy Devices (A. Eastland, Q. Moore and K. L. Mardis)

In addition, representatives from various local and state government officials, including representatives from Senator Barack Obama’s and Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.’s offices, will attend the symposium.

The first CAET Symposium was held in August 2007 at Chicago State. Leading scientists and engineers from the U.S., China, India, France, Canada and the U.K. contributed to the symposium. Activities included technical sessions and panel discussions focusing on the research and development of processes and materials for cost effective, real world energy production from alternative sources.

Chicago State University was founded as a teacher training school in Blue Island, Illinois on September 2, 1867. Today, the university is a fully accredited public, urban institution located on 161-picturesque acres in a residential community on Chicago’s Southside. CSU is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor of Illinois. The university’s five colleges — Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Pharmacy — offer 36 undergraduate and 25 graduate and professional degree-granting programs. CSU also offers an interdisciplinary Honors College for students in all areas of study and has a Division of Continuing Education and Non-Traditional Programs that reaches out to the community with extension courses, distance learning and not-for-credit programs.

Source: Chicago State University

September 28, 2008

The trouble with moon dust

The release from the Geological Society of America:

NASA’S Dirty Secret: Moon Dust

Boulder, CO, USA–The Apollo Moon missions of 1969-1972 all share a dirty secret. “The major issue the Apollo astronauts pointed out was dust, dust, dust,” says Professor Larry Taylor, Director of the Planetary Geosciences Institute at the University of Tennessee. Fine as flour and rough as sandpaper, Moon dust caused ‘lunar hay fever,’ problems with space suits, and dust storms in the crew cabin upon returning to space.

Taylor and other scientists will present their research on lunar dust at the “Living on a Dusty Moon” session on Thursday, 9 October 2008, at the Joint Meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA), Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS) in Houston, Texas, USA. NASA will use these findings to plan a safer manned mission to the Moon in 2018. Taylor will also deliver a Pardee Keynote Session talk on Sunday, 5 October 2008 entitled “Formation and Evolution of Lunar Soil from An Apollo Perspective.”

The trouble with moon dust stems from the strange properties of lunar soil. The powdery grey dirt is formed by micrometeorite impacts which pulverize local rocks into fine particles. The energy from these collisions melts the dirt into vapor that cools and condenses on soil particles, coating them in a glassy shell.

These particles can wreak havoc on space suits and other equipment. During the Apollo 17 mission, for example, crewmembers Harrison “Jack” Schmitt and Gene Cernan had trouble moving their arms during moonwalks because dust had gummed up the joints. “The dust was so abrasive that it actually wore through three layers of Kevlar-like material on Jack’s boot,” Taylor says.

To make matters worse, lunar dust suffers from a terrible case of static cling. UV rays drive electrons out of lunar dust by day, while the solar wind bombards it with electrons by night. Cleaning the resulting charged particles with wet-wipes only makes them cling harder to camera lenses and helmet visors. Mian Abbas of the National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will discuss electrostatic charging on the moon and how dust circulates in lunar skies.

Luckily, lunar dust is also susceptible to magnets. Tiny specks of metallic iron (Fe0) are embedded in each dust particle’s glassy shell. Taylor has designed a magnetic filter to pull dust from the air, as well as a “dust sucker” that uses magnets in place of a vacuum. He has also discovered that microwaves melt lunar soil in less time than it takes to boil a cup of tea. He envisions a vehicle that could microwave lunar surfaces into roads and landing pads as it drives, and a device to melt soil over lunar modules to provide insulation against space radiation. The heating process can also produce oxygen for breathing.

But the same specks of iron that could make moon dust manageable also pose a potential threat to human health, according to Bonnie Cooper at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. “Those tiny blebs of pure iron we see on the surface of lunar grains are likely to be released from the outside edges of the particle in the lungs and enter the bloodstream,” she says. Preliminary studies suggest that the inhalation of lunar dust may pose a health hazard, possibly including iron toxicity. Members of NASA’s Lunar Airborne Dust Toxicity Advisory Group, Cooper, Taylor, and colleagues are studying how moon dust affects the respiratory system. They plan to set a lunar dust exposure standard by 2010, in time for NASA engineers to design a safer and cleaner trip to the Moon.


Thursday, 9 October, 8:00 AM – noon
George R. Brown Convention Center, Room 310AD

View abstracts, session 345: “Living on a Dusty Moon”
Paper 345-1 (Taylor): “Formation of Lunar Dust: Unique Properties for a Human Outpost” (8:00 AM)
Paper 345-9 (Cooper): “Physical and Biological Hazards of Lunar Dust and Their Impact on Habitat and Space Suit Design” (10:00 AM)


Click on photos for larger images.


The surface of the Moon is covered in powdery gray dust that caused unforeseen problems for NASA astronauts. Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt took this picture of Eugene Cernan during their third and last walk on the lunar surface in December of 1972. Image credit: NASA


Larry Taylor

Lunar dust as seen under a microscope. Each is covered in a glassy coating that may be smooth and round or jagged and sharp. Particle types shown include plagioclase (lower left, white), volcanic glass beads (upper right, smooth and black), impact-glass beads (upper left, black but rough), rock chips (rough and gray) and agglutinate (center, rough and gray, with hole). For scale, the smallest round bead at upper right is approximately 1 mm in diameter. Image credit: Larry Taylor


Larry Taylor

Flecks of metallic iron (white) embedded in the glassy coating of lunar dust. All lunar impact glass contains grains of iron a tenth of a micron across or less. Image credit: Larry Taylor


Larry Taylor

Lunar dust melts readily when exposed to microwave energy. Professor Larry Taylor of the University of Tennessee envisions a lunar paver fitted with microwave generators that could sinter, or melt, lunar soils into landing strips or roads. Image credit: Larry Taylor

September 22, 2008

West Coast Green 2008 Conference to be powered by SolaRover

Filed under: Business, et.al., Science, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:37 pm

Here’s the release with full details of the conference and SolaRover’s role in providing power for a number of areas at the event:

Sep 19, 2008 20:23 ET
West Coast Green 2008 Conference To Power Up with Solar from SolaRover

SolaRover mobile solar generator to provide 10 kW of power to key areas at the September 25-27th event

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 19 /PRNewswire/ — Today West Coast Green, the nation’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green innovation, building, design and technology announced that SolaRover, a mobile solar power systems provider is joining forces with the conference to provide solar power to several major areas at the event, eliminating the need for conventional electricity in those areas. This is the most extensive known diversion of power to solar electricity that has been accomplished to date at the venue.

SolaRover will provide a 10 kW mobile solar generator with 14 175-watt solar panels, enough to power the Innovation Pipeline exhibit, the conference showhouse; the SG Blocks(TM) “Harbinger”, designed by Lawrence Group, and the Civic Auditorium including audio/visuals where Nobel Laureate Al Gore will deliver his keynote address Saturday, September 27th from 9:30 – 11 a.m. The generator weighs 5,800 pounds and contains 28 batteries that charge when the sun is high to prolong the operation period to eighteen continuous hours.

The solar generator will be placed on the tradeshow floor next to the SunEdison exhibit within the Innovation Pipeline. The Innovation Pipeline will receive 60 volts of power, the showhouse will be powered with 240 volts, and the SunEdison exhibit will receive 120 volts of power.

“SolaRover delivers noiseless, fumeless, emissions-free power that requires zero maintenance,” said Daniel Tiel, CEO of SolaRover. “Our systems are ideal for events like West Coast Green and we are pleased that we will be able to help make this event even more sustainable than it currently is.”

“West Coast Green is taking a number of measures to green the 2008 conference like event signage made from recycled materials, food sold at the event packaged in biodegradable, compostable food ware and biodiesel truck service for deliveries,” said Christi Graham, Founder and President of West Coast Green. “The SolaRover generator, however, is an amazing demonstration of the kinds of new technology companies that are changing the face of business out there. We are thrilled to have them as a partner.”

About West Coast Green:

As the largest conference and expo in the nation dedicated to green innovation, building, design and technology, West Coast Green serves as the central gathering point for innovators, business leaders and building professionals. Nationwide, 14,000 designers, green professionals and homeowners come together to network, share resources, grow strategic alliances and foster new ideas that will change the face of the built environment. This year’s conference will feature over 400 exhibitors showcasing the latest in resource-efficiency among a stunning array of green and healthy building technologies that allow us to work and live more efficiently in our homes and work spaces. Over 200 experts and visionary leaders will be presenting their latest developments, insights, and inspiration at the expanding frontiers of the field. At the heart of West Coast Green is a commitment to revolutionize the way people build and live in their homes, by realigning ourselves with the natural world. Whether you’re determining regional construction standards, expanding your green business, or simply looking to make your house a smarter, healthier home, West Coast Green is the place to get inspired about making positive change.

About SolaRover

SolaRover(TM) Mobile Solar Power Systems provide pure, consistent electricity for all types of commercial, industrial and emergency applications — wherever and whenever needed. Categorically clean, absolutely silent and far more economical than comparable diesel generators over the long term, SolaRover systems offer today’s best investments in portable power generators. With unparalleled engineering, leading-edge components, rugged steel construction and a variety of practical options, SolaRover sets the benchmark high. http://www.solarover.com/

Source: West Coast Green

Web site: http://www.solarover.com/

EPA to host nanotech conference

This should be interesting.

The release:

Sep 18, 2008 09:00 ET
EPA Hosts Environmental Nanotechnology Conference in Chicago, Oct. 7 – 9, 2008

CHICAGO, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 will host the 2008 International Environmental Nanotechnology Conference: Applications and Implications, Oct. 7 – 9 at Chicago’s Hyatt Regency Hotel, 151 E. Wacker Dr.

Researchers from Asia, Australia and Europe will join U.S. scientists and government officials to discuss nanotechnology applications for environmental cleanup, pollution control and the implications of releasing engineered nanoparticles into the environment.

Opening remarks Oct. 7 at 8 a.m. will be provided by EPA Region 5 Deputy Administrator Bharat Mathur, EPA Office of Research and Development Assistant Administrator George Gray and EPA Nanotechnology Manager Jeff Morris. The conference agenda includes over 100 presentations and poster sessions. About 40 exhibitors will be represented at the poster session the evening of Oct. 9. Registration for the entire event is $475.

Partner agencies represented at the conference include the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Science Foundation, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Department of Energy and University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Lakes Centers for Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5