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U.K. to invest $150M in nanotechnology research

Posted: 07 Jul 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:nanotechnology? semiconductor chips?

The British government is injecting $150 million over the next six years to fund nanotechnology R&D and help commercialize the technology.

The investment will support collaborative research and a new network of micro- and nanotechnology facilities. The government expects the investment will also secure additional industry and regional spending anticipated to exceed $315 million.

The U.K. Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) funding will be split, with ?50 million ($83,506,870) earmarked for applied research and ?40 million ($66,807,197) for support of new and existing facilities that will make up a U.K. MicroNanoTechnology (MNT) Network.

The MNT Network will provide access to academic and industrial facilities throughout the U.K. Scottish Enterprise, the Welsh Development Agency, and Invest Northern Ireland are working with the English Regional Development Agencies to maximize the commercial opportunities in the U.K.

The DTI said potential uses of nanotechnology include: nanochips for monitoring blood sugar levels for diabetics or the performance of pacemakers; faster computers with greater data storage; and new materials that are lighter, stronger, more energy efficient and cheaper to produce.

Lord Sainsbury, science and innovation minister, said, "estimates predict a global market in nanotechnology worth over $1 trillion in a decade. I want to make sure the U.K. wins a share of this prize with a prosperous, world-class nanotechnology sector."

Last month the government commissioned a study by the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering to examine current and future developments in nanotechnology to understand whether it raises new ethical, health and safety, environmental or social issues not already covered by current regulations.

- John Walko

EE Times

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