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June 15th, 2007
If the next hot technology race is pointing towards nanotechnology or molecular science in the scale of one billionth of a metre, Tamil Nadu hopes to bid for a place. State officials of the planning commission are currently mulling fledgling steps to steer the state towards a nanotechnology policy with a thrust upon developing products for medical use.
Officials at a meeting last week at the office of the State Planning Commission hinted at plans to work on a Rs 100 crore project in health care with technical transfer from the University of Arkansas. "There is a huge opportunity for the use of nanotechnology in health care. It is larger than IT or even bio-technology. We can see that we can bring down the product cost of devices for medical purposes drastically by building devices through this technology," Mr Sivathanu Pillai, chief controller, Research and Development, DRDO, who spoke at the meeting last Friday said. What is making the technology more attractive is also the annual growth rate of this sector which is believed to be in the range of 50 per cent. The growth rate of both IT and bio-technology sectors stand at 30 per cent a year.
At present, Tamil Nadu has a "Centre for Life Sciences" which is a unique project in India, exploring the possibility using nanotechnology in life science. The Centre is a collaborative effort between the DRDO and Coimbatore-based Bharathiar University. It has been established at a cost of Rs 18.8 crores with DRDO contributing Rs 14 crore.
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