More than 1,500 scientists will descend on Virginia Tech beginning June 24 bringing with them not just cutting edge research information but also an economic boost to the Blacksburg area in excess of $2 million.
The World Polymer Conference, MACRO 2012, is one of the largest conferences ever held in Blacksburg with 13 simultaneous sessions daily during the six-day meeting. It's all about large molecules macromolecules that are having a huge impact on such diverse areas as delivering drugs more accurately to cells and finding better alternative energy storage. Faculty members in Virginia Tech's Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute, which initiated the proposal to host the conference at the university, are some of the world leaders in this research field.
"When people think of polymers, they usually think of plastic packaging, but what scientists are studying now extends beyond plastics and focuses on improving the quality and quantity of our lives," said Tim Long, one of the conference organizers and a professor and associate dean of the Virginia Tech College of Science . "Through international collaborations, researchers are finding ways to use polymers for energy, health and the environment to create a safer and healthier world."
Scientific collaborations will be clearly in evidence at the conference with attendees being from 52 countries, 60 percent coming from outside the United States. With most of those coming to the meeting from outside of the Southwest Virginia area, hotels, restaurants, entertainment, and local transportation will experience increased business.
Experts in the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development estimate that the amount spent locally for rooms, food, and transportation will be about $1.8 million. The total expenditures in the regional economy will be close to $2.5 million when such things as conference registration fees, subsidies for graduate students to attend, meals, and refreshment br
|Contact: Susan Steeves|