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Future Success for UK Nanotechnology Companies

14 January, 2010  

he Nanotechnology Mini-Innovation and Growth Team (Mini-IGT) Presents “Nanotechnology

A UK Industry View” Report to UK Government and Industry Report Gives Recommendations for Future Success of UK Nanotechnology Companies

Today, the Nanotechnology Mini-Innovation and Growth Team (Mini-IGT) will present a report giving its recommendations for the future success of nanotechnology in the UK.

It also reviews where the UK sits in comparison with competitors in relation to funding of nanotechnology, and considers a strategic approach to the commercialisation of nanotechnology based products offering a view of where the UK could be in 2020, assuming the recommendations are implemented.
The report entitled “Nanotechnology: a UK Industry View” details work carried out by the Mini-IGT following Lord Drayson’s launch of the Government evidence gathering website on 7th July 2009 with the announcement that the UK would develop a Nanotechnology Strategy.
The report has been prepared on behalf of industry to provide a market wide view of what is required to ensure that nanotechnology based industries are successful in the UK. It has been actively endorsed by a Steering and Review Group comprising 46 leaders from industry, academia, research and technology organisations and trade associations.
Recommendations have been listed under four headings: Policy and Regulation, Funding, Skills, and Engagement. Given that nanotechnology innovation and exploitation is business driven, the main recommendation is that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) should be responsible for leading and coordinating activities across Government to ensure investment provides added value for the UK. 
If this recommendation is implemented, funding can then be directed through the various bodies responsible to BIS to drive successful commercialisation of nanotechnology based products.
It is further recommended that more accessible and commercially focussed funding should be provided for SMEs as well as larger companies engaged in the development of nanotechnology based products to support innovation in the UK.
The event, attended by over 100 delegates from across UK industry and academia, also provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the cohesive and coherent vision of industry and the community for future nanotechnology research, development and exploitation in the UK to meet the scientific, technical and societal challenges we face.
The event programme includes speakers from Government departments, industry and academia and includes presentations and exhibitions showcasing UK activities in nanotechnology. In addition, presentations highlighting UK Excellence in Nanotechnology were given by: Professor Jeremy Ramsden, Chair of Nanotechnology, Cranfield University; Dr Paul Reip, Director, Government and Strategic Programmes, Intrinsiq Materials Ltd; Dr Daniel Lynch, Technical Director, Exilica Ltd;
Dr Benedicte Thiebaut, Principal Scientist, Johnson Matthey and
Dr Alan Smith, Managing Director, AZ-TECH.

The Mini-IGT comprises members of the Nanotechnology and Materials Knowledge Transfer Networks with support from Materials UK, and members of the Sensors and Instrumentation and Chemistry Innovation Knowledge Transfer Networks.

The four Knowledge Transfer Networks have worked very closely to prepare this report and will continue to work with BIS and other government departments to drive effective implementation of those recommendations endorsed and promoted by government.