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Yorkshire Forward Invests 5million (GBPO) in Nanotechnology

03 May 2005

Yorkshire Forward has issued a 5million (GBP)funding package for three University-based centres to help the region’s companies exploit an estimated $1trillion global market in Micro-and Nano- Technology (MNT).

Micro-and Nano- Technology (MNT) is a specialist area of science and technology that operates below one millionth of a metre. It is widely believed that MNT will be one of the key technology growth areas for the 21st century, and the DTI estimates that the global market for nanotechnology products could be $1 trillion in the next decade.

The Yorkshire Forward investment is aimed at building capability in this globally important field, by helping projects with substantial commercial potential to move from the development stage to the open market. The three projects being funded are:

The Nanofactory, based at the University of Leeds in partnership with the Universities of Bradford and Sheffield, has been given £2.121 million. The funds will be used to refurbish facilities and help to create the UK’s first Nano-Manufacturing centre with a focus on consumer products.

The York-JEOL Centre for Nanolithography and Analysis, based at the University of York, has been given £1.65 million. The funds will be used to refurbish space and help to purchase new equipment to offer a world-class facility open to industry.

The Polymer Interdisciplinary Research Centre, based at the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds and Bradford and host to the new Micro- and Nano-Moulding Centre, has been given £1.212 million. The funds will used to upgrade key equipment and enable the centre to focus on the commercial development of nanotechnology in the fields of polymer and composite materials.

Micro- and Nano- Technologies can produce sweeping changes in areas including environment, communications, health, security, manufacturing and energy production.

Micro-technology is already used in a range of common consumer products such as hard drive coatings in computers, chips in mobile phones and car air bag motion sensors. Nano-technology, a newer science, is used in products such as sunblock cream and bone replacements.

Susan Johnson, Executive Director of Business Development at Yorkshire Forward, said “there is already a substantial presence in micro- and nano-technology in our region but this investment will help businesses to really exploit this expertise and to bring new and exciting innovations to the market. The potential market in micro- and non-technology is huge and we want to make sure that, as a region, we are at the forefront of its commercial development. Helping these centres to become beacons for Yorkshire and Humber will also help us to develop national and international partnerships and increase inward investment to the region.”





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