If the UK wants to remain a leading knowledge economy, it cannot afford not to be at the forefront of nanotechnology. The NanoKTN works to make sure the UK stays ahead
Nanotechnology is used in the development and manufacture of products in a number of different areas, including medicine, electronics, coatings and energy-saving technology, all with positive effects such as decreasing drug side-effects and improving sports equipment performance.
A number of commentators over the past few years have speculated that nanotechnology is the wave of the future. It appears to be following the classic technology adoption curve. When a new technology appears, there is initial excitement created, which hypes its promise to be the next great answer to all our problems.
In 2009, Applied Nanodetectors Ltd (AND) released the prototype of a mobile phone that can detect various diseases from the user?s breath. The handset uses AND?s chip, which integrates sensors to detect various gases such as CO2, NOX and ammonia (NH3). Using nanotechnology to detect asthma, diabetes, lung cancer and alcohol concentration, this device can automatically inform the user or their doctor of early detection of an illness.
And Sphere Medical in Cambridge has combined nano and microtechnologies to develop a tiny diagnostic chip that analyses blood in real-time and gives doctors access to information about critically ill patients. The future of nanotechnology has been at the centre of many discussions in recent years. Ideas have gone from the far-fetched and elaborate to more realistic patents with beneficial and revolutionary affects.
There are still many areas where nanotechnology can be predicted to provide signifcant benefits. Some will come to fruition, some won?t. The important thing is that we should explore these ideas with nanotechnology so that we do benefit from technological advancement. As with most technologies, nanotechnology will develop over time. It is still in its first phase of development and industry leaders believe major growth in nanotechnology will occur over the next 10 years, providing industry, academia and research facilities support it now. A balance needs to be struck to ensure that the science moves forward, but does so carefully with public support. If the UK wants to remain a leading knowledge economy it cannot afford not to be at the forefront of nanotechnology.
The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the UK?s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, was set up by the Technology Strategy Board, to promote and facilitate knowledge exchange, support the growth of UK capabilities, raise nanotechnology awareness and provide thought-leadership and input to UK policy strategy. The activities of the NanoKTN are divided into five themes: Healthcare & Life Sciences; ICT-Hardware; Engineering Applications; Chemical & Consumer Products; and Metrology, Instrumentation & Standards. For each theme, the NanoKTN runs focus groups acting as three-way communication channels between industry, academia and funding authorities.
The NanoKTN?s focus groups identify the gaps in the supply chain as well as identifying the UK?s potential in nanotechnology innovation. This information provides leverage for channelling government funds into specific areas of need.
The NanoKTN is offering free membership to the nanotechnology supply chain and is encouraging anyone interested in receiving information about events, specific focus groups targeted at their markets, and the latest in government and public policy, to sign up today.
Becoming a member of the NanoKTN gives you access to the key companies and leading academics who work in the micro and nanotechnology field, as well as access to a broad range of benefits and services.
For further information on the UK MNT community and the NanoKTN, contact:
Added the 26 April 2010 in category Innovation UK Vol6-1