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The UK Department of Trade and Industry announced funds that will help Britain compete in a global nano market that is set to be worth $1 trillion within the next decade.
Twenty-five UK Nanotechnology projects are to receive £15m worth of funding for projects ranging from anti-corrosion coatings and electronics to composites, water purification and printing.
This new Government investment will provide up to a maximum of 50% of each project’s total value. A further £3m will be given to INEX, a microsystems and nanotechnology facility for industry based at Newcastle.
These grants are the first to be allocated from the Government’s £90m micro and nanotechnology manufacturing initiative in support of both nanotechnology applied research programmes and for the creation of new nanotechnology facilities across the country.
Further grants will be made available over the next five years to complete the initiative. The grants are part of the Government’s drive to help companies, research organisations and universities to exploit potential applications for the new technology so that the UK can be a leading country in this area.
Announcing the grants, DTI Minister Nigel Griffiths said: ‘Nanotechnology is an important and exciting emerging technology one that has the capacity to improve daily life for us all. It is about designing new products and improving existing ones by making things much smaller, faster, stronger, or more energy efficient.
‘We want to help organisations turn ideas into reality, helping create jobs and prosperity for companies in the UK.’These grants will form part of a range of Government schemes to support this important growth area’.
Lord Sainsbury announced the Government’s micro and nanotechnology manufacturing initiative last year.
Other Government programmes in support of the UK’s nanotechnology industry include £70 million from Research Councils for a wide range of activities including two cross-Council Interdisciplinary Research Collaborations in nanotechnology and the Basic Technology Research Programme.
Speaking on behalf of the UK Micro and Nanotechnology Network, chairman Dr Hugh Clare said ‘The commercial exploitation of nanotechnologies 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 MNT network is working closely with industry, government and academia to create a robust sector. These grants and those to follow will make a big difference to the industry and help us ensure that the UK becomes a world leader in the field.’
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