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Home > Press > UK nanotechnology to get its own mark of excellence

UK Trade & Investment and the MNT (Micro and Nanotechnology Network) announce the launch of a new industry standard, the first of its kind for the nanotechnology industry in Europe

UK nanotechnology to get its own mark of excellence

September 08, 2005

The UK Micro and NanoTechnology Network (MNT), has initiated a MNT Quality Mark for firms involved in the nanotechnology industry. The objective of the MNT Quality Mark is to benchmark development and implementation of best practice and to set a strict minimum standard of performance and achievement.

The new MNT Quality Mark initiative follows the recent announcement that the UK has been awarded the Chair and Secretariat of the International Organization for Standardisation's (ISO) technical committee for nanotechnologies. Through this committee the UK can further support this emerging discipline and use standardisation to help ensure its successful global growth.

In an inaugural UK pilot, five companies have achieved this 'Seal of Approval' and will receive their awards at the end of September.

Chief Executive of UKTI, William Pedder said: "The MNT Quality Mark is a key milestone for the UK nanotechnology industry. It strengthens our position as a world leader in innovation and standardisation. It will be vital to help businesses act responsibly in maximising nanotechnology and gain a competitive advantage in a global marketplace. "

Director of the Micro and Nanotechnology Network, Professor Hugh Clare, commented:

"The launch of the MNT network in 2003 has seen the nanotechnology industry rapidly evolve and expand in the UK. The Government investment support, such as that provided by UK Trade & Investment, MNT network and the Regional Development Agencies, ensures that the UK is set to remain at the forefront of the global nanotechnology sector."

UK nanotechnology is a driving force for high-technology manufacturing and both the Government and industry have been working hard with the UK's research institutes to ensure they create the best possible opportunities for the application of this technology.

The global market for nanotechnology is forecast to exceed $1,000 billion within the decade.

The potential of nanotechnology is enormous and far-reaching. Increased energy efficiency, a cleaner environment, more effective medical treatment and improved manufacturing are just some of the expected benefits - all achieved while working at a scale 10,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

The UK Government is investing heavily in collaborative research and a new network of micro and nanotechnology facilities. The Government's continued funding of the Micro and NanoTechonlogy Network (MNT) is helping to drive the market forward by enabling industry access to leading nanotechnology research facilities and resources. Significant investment has been committed to applied research, and the UK is quickly establishing facilities offering services to technical industries including nanomaterials, nanomedicine, micro and nanofabrication and metrology.

NanoEurope 2005 held on 13 - 15 September in Switzerland is an excellent platform for the UK Government to show it recognises the importance of initiative development in the nanotechnology sector. Information on the MNT Quality Mark scheme will be available on the UK Pavilion at NanoEurope. Ten organisations representing the best of UK nanotechnology will be exhibiting their latest products and processes and will be available for cooperation discussions.


Notes to editors:

1. NanoEurope is taking place from September 13-15 in St Gallen, Switzerland Visit UK Trade & Investment at the UK Pavilion, Hall 9 Stand 17 or for further information.

2. UK Trade & Investment is leading a tour of the UK pavilion on September 13 at 3.15pm and hosting a networking reception on September 14.

3. UK Trade & Investment can offer briefing on the nanotechnology industry with a UK expert, at NanoEurope or via telephone.

4. The UK Trade & Investment NanoEurope press pack contains case studies from Thomas Swan, a manufacturer of single wall nanotubes for use in print, paper, energy storage and electronics; Smith & Nephew, a company that is at the forefront of developing applications for nanotechnology and Oxonica, who have recently launched a revolutionary sunscreen using a nanoparticle filter. Further case studies available on request.

5. Nano Europe will showcase ten organisations located in the UK who are at the forefront of global nanotechnology.
  • London Centre for Nanotechnology -
  • Nanoco technologies
  • Nanofactory -
  • NanoMagnetics Ltd -
  • Nanosight -
  • Oxford Instruments Plasma -
  • QinetiQ Nanomaterials Ltd -
  • Semefab (Scotland) Ltd -
  • Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd -
  • University of Bristol Colloid Centre -

6. Through the Government Micro and NanoTechnology (MNT) Network ( a national strategy has been put in place and the public and private sectors are encouraged to cooperate in applied research and the creation of vital facilities.

7. UK Trade & Investment is the government organization that provides integrated support services for both UK companies engaged in overseas trade, and foreign businesses focused on the UK as an inward investment location. For more information visit the web site at

8. The UK Micro and Nanotechnology (MNT) Network has been established by the DTI and the 12 Regional Development Agencies and Devolved Administrations working together, to provide a market-oriented focus for the facilities, people and organisations engaged in Micro and Nanotechnologies in the UK.

Clare Hinkley
020 7839 4321

Florence Palmer
UK Trade & Investment Press Office
020 7215 8483

Copyright UK Trade & Investment

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