Feeds

UK boffins form nanotech taskforce

Says government has failed to act

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Nanotechnology will be the next industrial revolution, and if the UK wants a piece of the action, it has to move now to fund research in the subject.

So say academics from the University of Surrey, which has formed a nanotechnology taskforce, to develop a "coherent strategy for funding nanotechnology research".

The university says it was driven to act by the government's failure to do so, a failure it says is contributing to the erosion of the UK's technological leadership.

The researchers behind the taskforce argue that better communication is needed between academia and industry. This will help to identify the areas in which the UK could be a world leader, so that government funding can be focused where it will deliver the best possible results.

Chairman Dr Ian Gibson MP, said: "Nanotechnology will be the next Industrial Revolution, but if the UK wants to be a major part of it, the government needs to demonstrate its commitment to science."

The taskforce's stated goals include encouraging informed public debate about the technology, promoting its benefits, and addressing concerns about safety and ethical issues raised by the research.

Professor Ravi Silva, director of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey, commented: "The work of UK scientists and technologists has demonstrated the case for the widespread potential benefits that nanotechnology can offer to society and industry. What is now needed is a co-ordinated effort supported by strategic funding from the government, to turn this potential into real benefits."

Bootnote

Dr Gibson, Labour MP for Norwich North, in among his more sensible comments on the subject, suggests that the 2012 Olympics will be the ideal place to showcase our skills in nanotechnology.

We're not quite sure what he means.

Is he suggesting augmenting our athletes with muscle-building nanobots? Or perhaps referring to the very small medals haul we're likely to secure? If the current downward trend continues, we might well need nano machines to help us find and count the gold atoms Team GB brings home.

Either way, Gibson must surely be given some kind of award for least likely association of two subjects. Well done, sir. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.