UK can be global leader in nanotechnology - CIA

14 July 2010 20:33  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--The UK has the potential to be a global leader in the nanotechnology industry, but key challenges still stand in the way of success, an executive with the UK-based Chemicals Industries Association (CIA) said on Wednesday.

Diana Montgomery, CIA deputy chief executive, said that nanotechnology could deliver real solutions to modern-day issues. But before the UK could experience manufacturing growth, the fragmented link between producers of nano-materials and the supply chain would have to be strengthened.

“The chemical industry sits at the head of many supply chains; we will produce materials that are the enablers for the technology’s formulations down the line,” she said speaking at the Nanotechnology – UK Challenges to Commercialisation conference in London.

Montgomery added that appropriate regulatory framework was essential for the sustainable development of nanotechnology at the UK level and eventually at an EU level.

“We need to make sure that we lobby, influence and support the regulators to get to a fair and proportionate regulatory regime,” she said.

Additionally, Montgomery said that a globally accepted regulation would help engage the public and give consumers confidence over the benefits of nanotechnology.

“It needs to be proportionate, there needs to be a level playing field, and the need for it to enable innovation while giving that guarantee to the public of safety,” she said.

Christopher Dale, senior executive of external affairs at BASF, said that nanotechnology was no longer a new idea, adding that it was necessary for the industry to start making larger collective steps.

“The nano-trains left the station some time ago ... and they are clearly gathering momentum,” he said.

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By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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