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Ben Feringa's nanocar on the Grote Markt

30 November 2016
Ben Feringa and the giant Nanocar
Ben Feringa and the giant Nanocar

Since Wednesday morning, the Grote Markt in Groningen has a new eye-catcher: a giant nanocar. The nanocar is a four-wheel molecular car, a spectacular machine designed by UG scientist Ben Feringa, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry this year.

The giant nanocar is a tribute to Ben Feringa, and is the result of a collaborative effort between the city of Groningen and Marketing Groningen together with the UG. The nanocar will be on the Grote Markt until Friday, when it moves to the square in front of the Academy Building (Broerstraat 5), finally ending up at the Zernike Campus.

The original nanocar actually measures a millionth of a millimetre – a nanometre. The enlarged model on the Grote Markt measures 4 by 6.5 metres and will be joined on Wednesday afternoon by the ‘Your future energy’ truck, where UG staff will explain Feringa’s inventions. Take a selfie with the nanocar and enter the competition. First prize is a 3D miniature statue of yourself.

Ben Feringa in the spotlight

Until 10 December, a portrait of Alfred Nobel will be projected onto the Martini Tower. In addition, the UG and Marketing Groningen have developed an ‘explanimation', a video explaining why Ben Feringa's invention is so spectacular. This will be published on the websites of the UG and City of Talent, and shared on social media.

Nobel Prize lecture

The reason for all these Nobel Laureate activities is the Nobel Prize lecture given by Feringa in the Martinikerk in Groningen on 30 November. This is the same lecture he will give at the Nobel Prize award ceremony in Sweden on 10 December. The ceremony in Groningen started with an official University cortège (a procession of professors and invitees to celebrate important highlights), which walked to the Grote Markt and the giant nanocar on to the Martinikerk, where Feringa gave his lecture. The lecture was broadcast on livestream via the UG and City of Talent websites.

Exhibition about Feringa

A free exhibition about Feringa and about the Groningen tradition of unusual inventions will open at the University Museum on 26 January 2017. There is already a mini-exhibition on now, at the museum entrance, about Groningen Nobel Prize laureates. This mini-exhibition was realized in collaboration with ‘De Verhalen van Groningen’ (Stories of Groningen) and will be open until 31 December.

The Groningen Agreement

The giant nanocar, the projection on the Martini Tower, the ‘explanimation', and the selfie competition are all part of the ‘Groningen, City of Talent’ campaign set out in the Groningen Agreement (Akkoord van Groningen). The Groningen Agreement is designed to provide a platform for talented Groningers to share their talents with the world.

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Last modified:05 April 2019 11.49 a.m.
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