Nano key in the UK

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A new era with a network of 22 UK Nanotechnology Centres will be ushered in at a reception to be held today at the Technology Strategy Board’s annual conference.

A new era with a network of 22 Nanotechnology Centres across the


will be ushered in at a reception to be held today at Innovate 2006, the

Technology Strategy Board’s

annual conference.

The network of Nanotechnology Centres, formerly Micro and Nanotechnology Capital Facilities, has been supported with £50m in government funding.

Science and Innovation Minister Lord Sainsbury said: ‘The government firmly believes that nanotechnology, through the development of new materials and products, has the potential to deliver huge benefits to both society and industry. Innovate 2006 and the Nanotechnology Centres are a powerful example of our commitment to developing the UK’s knowledge-based economy.

‘Now that the final pieces of the Nanotechnology Centres network are in place, with the final five centres opening recently, the UK has created a world-leading network of facilities that will significantly increase industry’s ability to exploit nanotechnology.’

The Nanotechnology Centres have been established through the DTI’s £50m MNT Capital Facilities Programme. The programme has established a network of dedicated open access facilities by formalising access to spare capacity in universities and industry.

Prof Hugh Clare, Director, Micro and Nanotechnology (MNT) Network, who will host the nanotechnology networking event, commented: ‘The commercial exploitation of nanotechnologies, supported by the innovation activities of the Nanotechnology Centres, presents a great opportunity for UK business. A well funded and supported nanotechnology sector means more high quality research, more sustainable jobs and increased wealth creation.’

The Nanotechnology Centres will turn cutting edge ideas into business success. The event celebrates the finalisation of the entire network of 22 Centres, which are now all formally “open for business”.

More than 1,000 delegates are due to attend Innovate, where the Technology Strategy Board will release its second annual report, highlighting some of its successes, including more than 500 collaborative R&D projects worth £750m.