Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Purging nano’s innovation bottleneck

Abstract:
There is plenty of innovation in micro- and nanotechnologies, but bringing new devices to market is often prohibitively expensive. Many micro devices have small production volumes, while design, packaging and testing are costly. Now European researchers are breaking down the barriers by developing design methodologies that focus on manufacturing, packaging and testing.

Purging nano’s innovation bottleneck

Europe | Posted on January 10th, 2008

In laboratories dotted across the continent, dedicated and ingenious researchers work feverishly for years, or even careers, to increase our understanding of science at the small scale. Along the way, they develop new, innovative devices to detect pressure, acceleration, temperature or direction - and that's just the beginning.

Researchers now explore tiny devices that eject a dose of medicine at pre-determined intervals. They create entire, micron-sized laboratories or computer systems on a chip. They are discovering just how much room there is at the small scale, as physicist Richard Feynman famously predicted almost 49 years ago.
Ugly, but it works

But innovation at the sharp end lags behind scientific advances. Often the devices only exist in the laboratory as a demonstration. These prototype lab demonstrations look ugly, but often work and they prove functionality at the nano- or micro-scale. They also often determine whether the invention will ever see the light of day.

"For certain types of device, targeting very large volumes in sectors like the automotive and, more recently, the computer gaming industry, there is a promising future," reveals Patric Salomon, a partner with the PATENT-DfMM network of excellence (NoE). "But for many others, the lab is the only place where these devices are ever really used."

The reason? Up to 80 percent of the unit cost for micro- and nano-devices is in the packaging and testing phase, and the unit cost must often come in under a euro. "Many innovations are just too expensive to commercialise," notes Salomon.

But not, perhaps, for much longer. The PATENT-DfMM network was set up to find a way to cut the cost of packaging, testing and manufacturing micro and nano-devices. To do it, the 22-strong consortium had €6.2 million funding from the EU.

"We had a lot of control over how we assessed projects for funding within the network," says Salomon. "As a result, we were able to get quite a significant impact." In the end, the NoE supported over 60 small-scale projects.

These looked at ways to simplify the "Design for Micro Manufacture" process. In essence, researchers learn about manufacturing constraints before starting a design and they take these into account during the concept phase, to optimise units for manufacturing processes. This drives down costs and the time to market.

The network funded research into ways of re-using one design, or its building blocks, for a different type of product. It also studied more efficient ways to test for robustness and perform quality control. Already, these projects have had an important impact, though Salomon admits that they are difficult to quantify.
The end of the beginning

But that's just the beginning. PATENT-DfMM also conceived a series of service clusters, groups of specialists in particular areas of micro- and nanotechnology, offering services in design for manufacture, testing and reliability.

"These target specifically SMEs and can provide help for companies seeking to commercialise a nano- or microtechnology," notes Salomon. So far, PATENT-DfMM has set up two; one specialised in miniaturised health-monitoring systems (HUMS), while another focuses on reliability (EUMIREL).

In all, it offers hope of a commercial life for the thousands of lost innovations gathering dust in labs across the continent, and more importantly, to make sure future inventions are "designed for manufacture" from their initial development phase.

####

About ICT Results
The ICT Results service was developed in 2003 for the European Commission's Directorate-General Information Society and Media. It changed names in 2007 and is now operated by a consortium with experience in research, editing, communication and marketing services, led by ESN and partners Assystem.

ICT Results features online news and analysis on the emerging results from information and communications technology research. It reports on prototype products and services ready for commercialisation, as well as work in progress and interim results with significant potential for exploitation.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
NoE Patent-DfMM Co-ordinator:
Andrew Richardson
Director, Centre for Microsystems Engineering
University of Lancaster, Dept. Engineering
Lancaster LA1 4YR, UK
Phone: +44 1524 593018
Fax: +44 1524 381707
E-mail:

NoE Patent-DfMM Networking and Dissemination:
Patric Salomon
Managing Director
4M2C PATRIC SALOMON GmbH
Cranachstrasse 1, 12157 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 2435 7870
Fax: +49 721 1515 82528
E-mail:

Copyright © ICT Results

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Physicists build reversible laser tractor beam October 20th, 2014

Removal of Limitations of Composites at Superheat Temperatures October 20th, 2014

1980s aircraft helps quantum technology take flight October 20th, 2014

Ucore's McKenzie to Deliver Presentation to Rare Earths Conference in Singapore as Highlight of Fall 2014 Marketplace Schedule October 19th, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

HP Supercomputer at NREL Garners Top Honor October 19th, 2014

First Canada Excellence Research Chair gets $10 million from the federal government for oilsands research at the University of Calgary: Federal government announces prestigious research chair to study improving oil production efficiency October 19th, 2014

Superconducting circuits, simplified: New circuit design could unlock the power of experimental superconducting computer chips October 18th, 2014

QD Vision Wins Prestigious Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency October 16th, 2014

Announcements

Physicists build reversible laser tractor beam October 20th, 2014

Removal of Limitations of Composites at Superheat Temperatures October 20th, 2014

1980s aircraft helps quantum technology take flight October 20th, 2014

Ucore's McKenzie to Deliver Presentation to Rare Earths Conference in Singapore as Highlight of Fall 2014 Marketplace Schedule October 19th, 2014

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

Nanodevices for clinical diagnostic with potential for the international market: The development is based on optical principles and provides precision and allows saving vital time for the patient October 15th, 2014

Aculon Receives Patent for Application of Enhanced Bonding Layers on Titanium October 9th, 2014

harmaEngine will join Nanobiotix’ pivotal trial for NBTXR3 in Soft Tissue Sarcoma to accelerate its development in Asia-Pacific: PharmaEngine to make milestone payment to Nanobiotix in October 2014 to recognize the value created October 8th, 2014

‘Small’ transformation yields big changes September 16th, 2014

Alliances/Partnerships/Distributorships

European Commission opens the gate towards the implementation of Nanomedicine Translation Hub October 16th, 2014

IRLYNX and CEA-Leti to Streamline New CMOS-based Infrared Sensing Modules Dedicated to Human-activities Characterization October 15th, 2014

New VDMA Association "Electronics, Micro and Nano Technologies" founded: Inaugural Meeting in Frankfurt/Main, Germany October 15th, 2014

VDMA photonics steering committee with new members stronger than ever October 14th, 2014

Research partnerships

IRLYNX and CEA-Leti to Streamline New CMOS-based Infrared Sensing Modules Dedicated to Human-activities Characterization October 15th, 2014

Scientists Map Key Moment in Assembly of DNA-Splitting Molecular Machine: Crucial steps and surprising structures revealed in the genesis of the enzyme that divides the DNA double helix during cell replication October 15th, 2014

Unique catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells synthesized in ordinary kitchen microwave oven October 14th, 2014

Bio-inspired 'nano-cocoons' offer targeted drug delivery against cancer cells October 14th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE





  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE