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Cenamps, a national centre for emerging technologies, has secured a major contract to manage the newly created ‘Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network' (KTN), funded by the Government's Technology Strategy Board (TSB).
The Nanotechnology KTN will facilitate the transfer of knowledge and experience between industry and research, offering companies dealing in small-scale technology access to information on new processes, patents and funding as well as keeping up-to-date with industry regulation.
Previously served by a Micro and Nano Technologies (MNT) Network, a pioneer for all subsequent KTNs, the new Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network will build upon an existing network of 700 organisations, working with a mix of well established and young innovative companies such as BAE Systems, Proctor and Gamble, Farfield Instruments and Zyvex.
Dr. Mike Pitkethly, CEO of Cenamps said: "In creating a new KTN for micro and nano technologies, Government has recognised the positive impact that such technologies are having on society.
"Knowledge transfer with scientists from a range of disciplines within the KTN programme will allow us to bring the benefits of these enabling technologies to a far wider audience. The possibilities for new products and businesses are likely to open up dramatically, so this is very exciting for the UK."
The network has already been utilised successfully by Japan Regional Ventures, a company driving technological investment into two regions of Japan, in its efforts to find potential collaborators. Thanks to the support received, the company is ready to meet with representatives from TWI ltd, a company that oversees nanotechnology applications in welding, which can create more safety and stability in rails and building structures.
Likewise, Dr Richard Thompson of Durham University recently used the network to try and find collaborators for his Patterned Microfluidic Devices project. The venture aims to generate devices that could lead to new applications and improved performance in microfluidic systems; fluids that can be controlled at the nanolitre. Since posting his request, Dr. Thompson has received several responses from professionals with complementary expertise.
David Way, Operations Director at TSB, said: "The aim of this important network is to provide a market-oriented focus to broker collaborations that can allow the UK to exploit these new technologies. The TSB is playing a central role in guiding the development of KTNs to help the business community to interact and develop ideas and build relations with the science base and government."
Nanotechnology covers a wide range of disciplines that involve using materials whose properties at very small scale differ from those at larger scale and provide opportunities to design products with new and improved performance. For example the use of materials at the nano-scale (the smallest atomic scale in science) is being developed to give flexibility and functionality to the materials onto which they are applied. Its potential markets include aerospace, construction and energy as well as the chemicals, electronics and the healthcare industries. Examples of products already being developed include devices that can diagnose medical conditions and clothing that can detect and respond to a person's stress levels.
Cenamps ( http://www.cenamps.com ) is the Centre of Excellence for Nano, Micro and Photonic Systems, based in Newcastle and funded by One NorthEast, the regional development agency for North East England.
Cenamps’ remit is to attract to the North East business-driven R&D, accelerate technology commercialisation and support early stage investment, infrastructure development and knowledge management to entrepreneurs, researchers, investors and established companies wishing to explore and exploit the commercial opportunities offered by advances in small-scale technology.
Cenamps receives support through the European Regional Development Fund to regenerate the North East England region and create a vibrant economy. Cenamps works with universities, businesses and government organisations to stimulate and manage market driven R&D activities.
About Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs):
KTNs ( http://www.ktnetworks.co.uk ) have been set up by government, industry and academia to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and experience between industry and the science base. They bring together diverse organisations and provide activities and initiatives that promote the exchange of knowledge and the stimulation of innovation in these communities.
The first KTNs were set up in 2005 and the network continues to grow. They are active in sectors, technologies and market-based areas and they interact strongly with the government’s Technology Programme and overall technology strategy.
About The Technology Strategy Board (TSB):
The TSB ( http://www.berr.gov.uk/innovation/technologystrategyboard ) is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its mission is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life.
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