Karnataka to promote nano-technology in a big way

Thursday, 23 August 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Bangalore: After pioneering IT and biotechnology in the country, the Karnataka government is embarking on an ambitious programme to promote nano-technology and nano-science in a big way in the state.

To unleash the nano revolution, the state department of IT, biotechnology and science and technology is organising a two-day 'Bangalore Nano 2007' convention Dec 6-7.

This will be done in association with the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) to focus on the integrated role of technologies, applications and market for commercialisation of nano-technology (NT).

The convention, the first of its kind in the country, will have the theme 'Bridging the research-industry gap in nano-technology' and is aimed at creating opportunities for researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and enterprises to showcase the advancements in the NT sphere.

"The convention will facilitate all stakeholders to explore investment opportunities in NT and NS (nano science), which are going to herald a new world order. They both have valuable societal applications for the common man," department secretary M.N. Vidyashankar said late Wednesday at a road show of the event.

Highlighting the potential of NT and the impact of its applications on societal transformation, Vidyashankar said nano-materials would bring about a revolution that could be equated with the impact the steam engine had in the 18th century, electricity in the 20th century and the Internet on modern society.

C.N.R. Rao, the JNCASR president and chairman of the scientific advisory council to the prime minister, said NT and NS would be able to create efficient filtering systems to supply clean drinking water minus viruses and toxins and clean energy through efficient solar cells.

"The central government has made a budgetary provision of 10 billion to promote and encourage the development of the NT industry. With NT and NS set to usher in the next revolution in science and technology, the global market for its products and applications is estimated to scale up to $1 trillion by 2015 from $15 billion presently," Rao pointed out.

For a first-move advantage, the state government has decided to set up a Nano-Tech Park on the outskirts of the city with a seed capital of 1 billion. The dedicated park will come up on a 15-acre land.

As part of nano-science and technology initiative, the union science and technology ministry is funding about 100 projects at a cost of 600 million. About 200 million has been invested in setting up six centres for NS at the Indian Institute of Science here and at IITs in Chennai, New Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Mumbai.

"The centres have been mandated to develop a nano product or device that will have a direct bearing on the people. Substantial work has been done in some of the S&T labs by synthesising and characterising a large variety of nano materials. For instance, the unique Y-junction nano-tube was invented at the JNCASR," Rao told the gathering.

The nano conference will deliberate on the relevance of NT and NS in research, medicine, healthcare, bio-technology, chemical industry, electronics, aerospace, defence, nuclear and their impact on lifestyle.

Karnataka Science and Technology Minister Ramachandra Gowda said the state government was committed to develop NT and NS to make Bangalore a hub. Other cities in the state could be a spoke for taking the benefits of the emerging technology to the common man.

"The state will extend full support to scientists, researchers and companies to set up nano facilities to undertake R&D projects and develop nano products and applications that will touch the life of a common man," Gowda noted.
Source: IANS
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