The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network, one of the UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, announced details of an exhibition it has organised at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) headquarters in London.
The exhibition will provide examples of excellence in British engineering, design and manufacturing under an overarching theme of nanotechnology's contribution to UK economic growth.
Nanotechnology has been defined as one of the key emerging technologies, which will provide wealth opportunities for the future of the UK. The UK has a strong legacy in the research and development of nanotechnologies and this is now being harnessed to provide innovative solutions to society’s greatest challenges.
UK nanotechnology companies showcasing their technology at the exhibition are IQE Ltd, Peratech Ltd, deltaDOT Ltd, Plastic Logic and Intrinsiq Materials Ltd.
“Nanotechnology is currently being used to deliver innovation and new products in some of the most exciting and significant growth markets in the UK, from medicine and pharmaceutical to high value engineering and energy,” Dr. Alec Reader, director at the NanoKTN, said. “At the NanoKTN, we are working within these emerging technology sectors to remove barriers to growth and to commercialize these products, to stimulate further growth for the UK. By working closely with partners in industry, academia and government, together we are delivering competitive advantage for UK companies and creating wealth and employment.”
UK nanotechnology manufacturers exhibiting at the event included:
• Peratech Ltd., based in Richmond, North Yorkshire, was established in 1996 to exploit QTC Materials and has filed a number of worldwide patents and this portfolio continues to be strengthened. The company has a turnover of £2M with 23 staff. With operations in the UK, Singapore and South Korea, Peratech has won several prestigious industry awards including the Saatchi and Saatchi Communication Award and the Tomorrow’s World Industry Award. Peratech works closely with Durham University, where a permanent research group continues to develop and advance the science of QTC Materials.
At the exhibition, Peratech showed a mannequin display of one of the first commercial applications of QTC, a set of washable QTC textile switches on the sleeve of a ski jacket that remotely control an iPhone in the jacket pocket. The jacket will be shown working, and the unique electrical properties of QTC will be demonstrated, including the latest printable ink form of QTC which is the basis for new types of electronic touch screens and touch controls with unique levels of functionality.
• IQE Ltd, based in Cardiff, has more than 11 manufacturing sites worldwide, 200 UK employees (650 globally) and a turnover of £88M (2012). The company is the leading global supplier of advanced semiconductor wafers with products that cover a diverse range of applications. IQE's products are found in many leading-edge consumer, communication, computing and industrial applications, including a complete range of wafer products for the wireless industry.
At the exhibition, IQE displayed its product samples (wafer products) and end applications (model cutaway handset, LED lighting display).
• deltaDOT Ltd, a spin out company from Imperial College London, UK, is based at the London BioScience Innovation Centre and employs 10 staff with a turnover of £389k. The company designs and produces High Performance Capillary Electrophoresis (HPCE) instruments, which are marketed worldwide and offer analytical services and contract research.
At the exhibition, the company showed its deltaDOT instrument, currently the most advanced scientific instrument in the field of capillary electrophoresis. The instrument can quantify a wide range of biomolecules such as proteins, amino acids, peptides and antibodies.
• Plastic Logic, based in Cambridge, UK, employs more than 200 staff worldwide. The company manufactures high-quality flexible plastic displays (color and monochrome) of various sizes. These unbreakable, daylight-readable displays are conformal, thin and lightweight with low power consumption, offering major advantages over conventional screens. Plastic Logic has recently won “FLEXI 2013 R&D Award” and “Elektronik Optoelectronic Product of the Year 2013.”
At the exhibition, Plastic Logic showed its bendable plastic displays, which enable revolutionary new design possibilities, and are set to transform markets as diverse as signage and automotive, to smart-wristwatches and other wearable devices.
• Intrinsiq Materials Ltd, based in Farnborough, Hampshire, is the nanotechnology leader in printable electronic inks, employing 21 staff with a turnover of £2M. Most recently, the company won a UK Business Innovation award for Emerging and Nano Technology in December 2010 (for nano copper inks).
At the exhibition, Intrinsiq Materials demonstrated a number of solutions, including a new antibody-based disease detection system, which when fully produced, will offer faster readings (10 minutes vs. three days) and will half the cost of this specific test.