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Nanotechnology is a high potential industry

"Nano science brings about economies of scale, shape and size, which no other science has been able to achieve"

Kapil Sibbal, Minister of State,
Science & Technology and Ocean Development

Shri. Kapil Sibbal, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology and Ocean Development, spoke about Nanotechnology on a two-day National Conference on “Nano-materials & Applications,” conducted by Amity Institute of Nanotechnology in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He said, “Nano science brings about economies of scale, shape and size, which no other science has been able to achieve. India is yet to make a substantial beginning in the field of Nanotechnology when compared with the progress made by U.S. , Germany and Japan . To increase the GDP of the nation, we have to invest more in Human Capital and bring a change in the educational structure of the country.” He further added that, “The avenues are large, visions are great but we need to proceed with caution since the effect of nano-materials on human body is still unknown. Moreover the regulatory aspects also need to be reviewed.”

Nano-technology is an inter-disciplinary subject between Physics, Chemistry, Bio-informatics and Bio-technology. Nanotechnology is a form of molecular engineering. This technique is developed to place every atom and molecule in a desired place. Nano-technology fits strong or weak materials together and makes it 1000's of times stronger, lighter and more efficient. Nanotechnology will result in a revolution in manufacturing, bioscience, medical science, environmental science, cosmetics, electronics, security and a variety of other fields. These applications will open new avenues of research in the world of science & engineering.

Nano is a `Greek' word meaning ‘dwarf’. Nano-materials are a thousand times smaller than the diameter of the human hair, which is around 60 microns. Nano-materials are very light, strong, transparent and totally different from the bulk material. They are very active and aggressive in any chemical reaction. Carbon is an important nano-material that scientists use. It can stand the hottest temperature and can be mixed with other materials to make them thousand times stronger. Diamond is another super nano-material. It is so strong that it can drive through the strongest steel.

Lack of real products in the market is likely to be a deterrent for raising the funds required for the commercialization of products. Companies dedicated to nanotechnology are unable to sustain research and development activities solely based on their revenues. Funding will be vital to further their research activities. Initially a lot of financial support from the government is required.

An added challenge for nanotechnology companies is the lack of sufficient consumer knowledge concerning the benefits offered by nanotechnology, as well as the complex nature of such products. Initially, nanotechnology products are expected to be more expensive than traditional products. Convincing the customer that the added value is worth the additional cost will be a key determinant of the growth of this technology.

Nanotechnology has a high revenue potential. Projected revenues from nanotechnology across all industries will reach $1 trillion by 2015. Nanotechnology is clearly in the infancy stage of its product life cycle, with positive returns on investments expected in the medium and long term.

For Comments: psjamwal@amity.edu

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