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The Exploitation of Micro- and Nanotechnologies

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Venkat Ramesh.

Now, in the first decade of the 21st Century, we are witnessing a quiet manufacturing revolution resulting from the rapid advances that took place in the 20th Century in science and technology. Miniaturisation technologies, lead by micro-nanotechnologies, the product of molecular physics, chemistry and engineering and more recently biology, are key drivers. These technologies are already having a profound impact on the way people live and work; the ubiquitous use of computers in industry and commerce, mobile telephones and satellite links for communication, are just are some examples. The further application of these technologies to manufacture new products and systems is well underway in the US, Asia and Europe. Their potential disruptive nature can produce paradigm shifts in manufacturing and coupled to public concerns about some aspects of nanotechnology, have produced barriers that need to be overcome.

Most Governments in the industrialized world are funding research and infrastructure development because of the economic and social impact it will have on their countries. Funding in excess of $10 billion has been committed for the next five years. Companies are being encouraged to reap the benefits from this investment by acquiring a share of the predicted $1 trillion markets for micro-nanoproducts by commercialising new products and systems.

This talk examines the basics issues facing entrepreneurs, companies and nations who wish to exploit these technologies. Examples will be given of new products now on the market that are helping to shape the future.

David Tolfree has over 40 years experience in research, project management and the marketing and promotion of research facilities, mainly at the CLRC ’s Daresbury Laboratory. He is the founder and Executive Director of Technopreneur Ltd, (TpL), an independent consultancy company. Its particular expertise in microsystems and nanotechnology exploitation is internationally recognised. He is currently the European Vice-President of MANCEF (Micro and Nanotechnology Commercialisation Educational Foundation). He is also one of the founders and a Fellow of the UK Institute of Nanotechnology.

This talk is part of the SciSoc – Cambridge University Scientific Society series.

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