Posted: June 26, 2007

Nanotechnology Task Force launches to drive UK research strategy

(Nanowerk News) The UK’s Nanotechnology Task Force (Task Force), convened by the University of Surrey, launches today with a conference to discuss the future of nanotechnology in the UK.
The Task Force has been created in response to concern over the Government’s failure to develop a coherent strategy for funding nanotechnology research. This, the Task Force considers, is vital to the proper development of the science and technology in the UK. The current absence of a coordinated approach to investing in UK nanotechnology is, the Task Force believes, contributing to the UK relinquishing technological leadership to other developed economies.
By encouraging communication (and collaboration) between industry, Government and academia, the group aims to identify specific areas of the science and technology in which the UK can be a world leader. Funding of research, the Task Force argues, should then be channelled to harness the UK’s innovation and creativity of scientists in order to help the country gain a competitive advantage.
Founded by leading scientists across the UK and chaired by Dr Ian Gibson MP, the Task Force has also been established to encourage informed public debate about nanotechnology, promote its benefits and address concerns over issues such as safety and ethics.
The official launch is part of the Task Forces’ conference ‘Nanotechnology – is Britain Leading the Way?’. The event, featuring speakers including Nobel Prize winner Professor Sir Harry Kroto FRS, will focus on examining specific areas of opportunity for nanotechnology in the UK, including health, sustainable energy, economy and sports.
Founding Task Force member, Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey, commented: “The innovative work of UK scientists and technologists has demonstrated the case for the widespread potential benefits which nanotechnology can offer to society and industry. What is now needed is a coordinated effort supported by strategic funding from the Government, to turn this potential into real benefits. We hope the Task Force can help deliver this.”
Dr Ian Gibson MP said: “Nanotechnology will be the next Industrial Revolution, but if the UK wants to be a major part of it, the Government needs to demonstrate its commitment to science. The work of the Task Force will help direct the focus of research and there is no better place than the 2012 Olympics to showcase the benefits of nanotechnology and incorporate it into the exciting renovation in East London.”
Source: University of Surrey