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Posted: Feb 1st, 2006
Survey results: envisioned developments in nanobiotechnology
(Nanowerk News) A worldwide expert survey on 20 future developments in Nanobiotechnology (NBT), entitled "Envisioned Developments in Nanobiotechnology" was compiled by the EU network of excellence "Nano-to-Life" (N2L) and presented in December 2005. 139 experts from 30 countries participated in the survey. For each development the experts assessed the likely year of realization, impact on science and technology, environment, quality of life and the labor market, and commercialization prospects in medicine, security, environment, agro-food and consumer products. Limits to commercialization and actions needed to foster the realization were assessed as well. The results provide input to the strategy of N2L and the envisioned European Institute of Nanobiotechnology.
The web-based survey consisted of 20 statements on future developments in NBT, with a time horizon of 25 years. Specific objectives were:
(1) to prioritise the various developments based on their impacts on science &
technology and important socio-economic achievements
(2) to assess the commercialisation prospects of the various technologies and to
identify the most promising ones
(3) to identify the necessary measures to foster the realisation of the envisioned
(4) to identify consensus, or disagreement, on issues relevant to the long-range
development of NBT.
Nano2Life is the first European Network of Excellence in nanobiotechnology supported by the European Commission. Its objective is to support Europe position as a competitive player and to make it a leader in nanobiotechnology transfer by merging existing European expertise and knowledge in the field of Nanobiotechnology. Founded in 2004, N2L comprises 23 major European organizations and 41 industrial companies within the field of Nanobiotechnology as well as associate members from EU candidate countries, South Korea, Japan, Australia and North America.
The major findings of the survey were:
— Practical and commercial applications of NBT developments under
consideration will be realized mainly in the area of medicine and health. In
other areas practical use and commercialization are questionable or
— Much scientific research activity is still needed in order to develop the NBT
field and to identify its potentially successful applications in different areas.
— The following topics are of high priority, taking into account their overall
impact and their commercialization prospects: Labs on chip; Self-assembly for materials and devices; Bio-engineered materials based on bio-inspiration/bio-mimicry;
Biosensors for detection of single molecules based on nano arrays; Biodetection with smart nano-surfaces.