Indian defence research agency plans $110 mn nano foundry

December 9th, 2010 - 12:23 am ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Dec 8 (IANS) India’s state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to set up a nano foundry with Rs.500 crore (about $110 million) investment to roll out products for various applications, a top official said here late Wednesday.

“In the run-up to setting up the nano foundry, we are designing a nanofab as a national facility. The foundry will be set up in partnership with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs),” DRDO Chief Controller for R&D W. Selvamurthy said at the Bangalore Nano 2010 exposition here.

Noting that nanotechnology had several applications spanning from agriculture to defence, Selvamurthy said that the industry and academic institutions needed to work as centres of excellence instead of islands of excellence to achieve scientific and technological breakthroughs.

“Research in one specialisation need not be limited to applications in that specialisation but contribute a lot to other areas. For instance, a breakthrough in our labs are not only enhancing the capabilities of armed forces, but also contributing to businesses and public outside the defence purview,” Selvamurthy told delegates participating in the two-day event.

Joint collaboration between defence labs, industry and academia will enable the country to churn out products in healthcare, medicine, sensors and energy harvesting.

“Our research and development (R&D) facility for nanotechnology can be used by the private industry as well as academic institutions for developing nano materials and applications. One of our labs is working on safety of nanotechnology for individuals and environment,” the noted scientist said.

In this context, Selvamurthy said nanocomposite coatings, developed by the Ahmednagar defence lab in Maharashtra, could be used in several anti-corrosive industrial applications.

“Our defence bio-engineering and electro-medical in Bangalore is developing several biosensors to ensure safety of soldiers in the warfare and those applications can revolutionise medical diagnostics,” Selvamurthy added.

Drug maker Cipla is set to take up the production of nano particle drugs that can be directly deposited into lungs, though it was originally developed for soldiers at high altitudes.

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