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Posted: February 27, 2008
New vision for nanotechnology in Victoria
(Nanowerk News) A new framework for the development of Victoria’s nanotechnology sector was released today by the Innovation Minister Gavin Jennings.
Speaking at the opening of the 2008 International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Melbourne, Mr Jennings said nanotechnology would be a key transforming factor for industry and society in this century.
“Nanotechnology holds great promise to improve our lives and wellbeing and to help deal with challenges such as climate change and sustainable development,” Mr Jennings said.
"The Victorian Nanotechnology Statement, the first of its kind in Australia, focuses on industry development and investment attraction as key to securing the health, economic and environmental benefits that nanotechnology can generate.”
Nanoscience and technology refers to the applied science dealing with matters at the atomic or molecular level.
“Nanotechnology applications include lighter, stronger materials, more effective drug delivery, more environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and consumer products, functional coatings that generate power and improve energy efficiency, water treatment and sensors for medical and environmental monitoring,” Mr Jennings said.
“Since 1999, the Victorian Government has invested over $250 million in nanotechnology and related activities and we now have a strong core of nanotechnology research activity with eight universities and supporting infrastructure such as the Australian Synchrotron, the Melbourne Centre for NanoFabrication and MiniFAB, a micro-nano-bio company.
“Our challenge is to convert this research into products and services that improve our quality of life and deliver sustainable growth and economic opportunities.”
The Victorian Nanotechnology Statement provides a framework for a new strategic partnership between governments, industry and the research sector, focused around five priorities. They are:
Responsible Development – through regulatory frameworks and industry-designed and led protocols and addressing social and ethical issues through balanced and factual information and dialogue;
Boosting Industry Uptake – through industry-research clustering; product development capabilities and improving information and knowledge flow;
Forging Global Connections – through strategic alliances; boosting investment, export and brand promotion activities, and convening an international panel of experts to stimulate international business and research partnership opportunities;
Skills and Education – with a strong focus on developing vocational education and practical skills; creating strong secondary and tertiary education nanotech curriculum and engaging the community and stakeholders; and
Building Platforms for the Future – through protecting our ability to conduct basic research; utilisation of our research infrastructure by industry and coordinating research activity towards industry solutions.
“The Brumby Government is proud of the leadership it has shown on innovation issues including the Australian Synchrotron and developing a National Innovation Agenda,” Mr Jennings said.
“The Victorian Nanotechnology Statement presents another opportunity to encourage and stimulate further collaboration between all Australian governments, the research community and industry – in this case around nanotechnology, one of the key transforming sciences for the 21st Century.”