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UK CAPITLALISED ON BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AT NANOTECH 2005 IN TOKYO

Investment and commercial opportunities in nanotechnology are increasing rapidly and the government, through UK Trade & Investment and the Microsystems and Nanotechnology Network, supported 24 leading companies and research institutions from across the country to demonstrate UK Micro & Nanotechnology capability at Nanotech 2005 in Tokyo. The key focus of UK@nanotech was to discuss joint ventures and the application of nanotechnology to the marketplace.

Lord Sainsbury, Minister of Science and Innovation, said: “Nanotechnology and its applications are vitally important for the future competitiveness and productivity of the UK economy. It is a radical approach to manufacturing and the UK has been active in the sector for over two decades with research strengths and business opportunities in key areas such as electronics; drug delivery systems; tissue engineering and instrumentation.

“The UK and Japan have a strong tradition of working together in areas of cutting edge technology. There are now over 150 Japanese research and development facilities in the UK, and many Japanese companies already have collaborative arrangements with British universities. The UK has leading scientists in nanotechnology spread across a wide spectrum of this critical field, and with the anticipated growth in this new approach to manufacturing the opportunity for co-operation between our two countries has never been greater.”

The UK is one of the world’s leading countries in the development of microsystems and nanotechnology. Solutions in water purification, medical imaging, microsystem fabrication and development of biosensors and polymer electronic devices are among some of the UK’s nanotechnology products and processes that were featured at Nanotech 2005.

International visitors from industry and the investment community had the opportunity to discuss the transfer of nanoscience from academia to business with some of the UK’s leading specialists in this new field of science.

Companies large and small can benefit from the development of nanotechnology and the government is committed to ensuring that the UK is in a strong position to exploit commercial opportunities by supporting the carefully regulated application of nanotechnology as widely as possible.


NOTES

1. Nanotech 2005 was held at Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo Exhibition Centre) from 23 – 25 February.

2. A directory of nanotechnology products and processes by the companies and research establishments present at Nanotech 2005 is available from the British stand and from the UK Trade & Investment press office in London. For more information visit the website: www.ukatnanotech.com.

3. Two years ago, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced an investment of £90m over six years to help UK business harness the commercial opportunities of Micro & Nanotechnology. Last November, through the Technology Programme, the DTI allocated c£15m to support Micro & Nanotechnology collaborative R&D projects. For more information about the UK Technology Strategy & Programme visit the website:
www.dti.gov.uk/technologyprogramme

4. The UK government, in its enterprise, skills and innovation white paper ‘Opportunity for All in a World of Change’ (February 2001) announced the establishment of the University Innovation Centre for nanotechnology, the core component of which is the Institute for Nanoscale Science and technology (INSAT) and its commercial arm INEX – both situated at the University of Newcastle.

5. The DTI established a national Microsystems Nano Technology Network (MNT) to create a robust infrastructure for the UK industrial and academic communities through Knowledge Transfer. This work has been done in collaboration with Regional Development Agencies. The network also drives market development and exploitation of nanotechnology throughout the UK by helping industry access cutting edge research and resources. For more information and access to the MNT directory visit the website: www.microandnanotech.info/

6. UK Trade & Investment is the government organisation that provides integrated support services for UK companies engaged in overseas trade and foreign businesses focused on the UK as an inward investment location. It brings together the work of teams in British embassies and FCO posts overseas and government departments across Whitehall. In England, international trade support is coordinated by nine International Trade Directors working in partnership with each Regional Development Agency. UK Trade & Investment services are delivered locally through a network of International Trade Teams typically located in Business Link operators of Chambers of Commerce. The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own arrangements for local delivery of services. For more information visit the web site www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk.

For further press information on UK Trade & Investment please contact:
Steve Parker +44(0) 207 072 4152, Clare Allen +44(0) 207 072 412
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