Conclave on nano-technology in Tamil Nadu

March 19th, 2008 - 11:41 pm ICT by admin  


Chennai, March 19 (IANS) India’s nano-technology destination was outlined Wednesday at an annual conclave here with experts announcing that Japan will become a major technology transfer partner. Three centres of excellence for nano-technology have been identified in the country. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharshtra and West Bengal are emerging as hubs for nano-technology incubation, they said.

“Nano-technology is an enabling technology, applicable to all industry, so there will not be a special nano-technology industry. The greatest application will be in biology and material science,” said chairman, advisory group for the Confederation of Indian Industry sponsored conclave, G. Sundararaja.

By 2020, as many as two million specially trained nano-technologists will be required for an industry poised to grow from one trillion dollars to three trillion dollars. “The world has already invested $50 billion in nano-technology,” said A. Sivathanu Pillai, scientist and chief controller, R&D, Ministry of Defence.

Experts said USA and Japan were the biggest contributors to nano research contributing nearly $800 million each. Smaller countries like Canada and Sweden too made significant progress in nano and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).

“An area of concern is how to bring the industry in India to collaborate with nano-science in the universities and research institutions,” said V. Aiyagiri Rao, advisor, department of science and technology.

“We are trying to bring about the linkages through the National Nano-technology Mission,” which the government set up last year with a $250 million corpus fund for the next five years.

“This, however, is too little, about Rs.2 billion to be shared by several institutions every year,” said Pillai and he called for an “Integrated National Nano-technology Mission with focussed objectives”.

He said that instead of many centres for nano-technology research functioning independently, areas of research should be specifically identified and allocated for the nano-science sector.

“India’s economy is growing. Nano-technology will change the quality of life for the people of India,” he said, calling Indian industry “to take risks” and come forward to value-add by application of nano-technology to all the industry sectors.

Bill Dobson of the National Research Council, Canada said that “nano-technology has moved out of the lab and manipulation of material can have huge effect on society”.

Nomura Research Institute (NRI), a hi-end nano-technology innovator in Japan sponsored the CII conclave. “In Japan nano-technology research and application is taking place in large scale in many industries.

“However, after analysing the trend everyone is in agreement that by 2015, India will be very strong, especially in bio-technology,” said Naoki Ikezawa, chief industry specialist NRI.

“India has to do a lot of research first to become a leader.”

Japan spends more than a billion dollars in nano-research, said Ikezawa. “We in Japan think, we will be India’s best partner in nano-technology research,” he added.

“It is very difficult to find researchers in the nano sector and we do not have sufficient entrepreneurship in this sector,” said Sundararajan.

The Indian industry must come forward and give the facility, the already existing knowledge and product development atmosphere, for researchers to come up with newer nano applications.

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