Irish nanotech firm targets the military industry

19 Jan 2007

A specialist nanotechnology subsidiary of Dublin medical technology company Alltracel Pharmaceuticals has joined the growing array of Irish technology companies that are targeting the multi-billion euro military industry.

Nanotechnology is a term that is used to describe a variety of techniques to fabricate materials and technology devices on the nanoscale. One nanometer (nm) is one billionth of a metre.

Alltracel subsidiary Nanopeutics, which is in the process of commercialising its Nanospider technology for the global woundcare market, has signed an exclusive technology and product concept development agreement with HemCon Technologies.

HemCon is the haemorrhage control market leader in the civilian and military market. Its products are made for hospital, dental and clinical settings where rapid control of bleeding is of critical importance.

The successful conclusion of research and development work on Nanospider is expected to lead to a license and supply agreement exclusively for military market usage.

“This collaboration with HemCon for the military market is another significant milestone for Nanopeutics’ advanced woundcare technology,” commented Alltracel’s chief executive Tony Richardson.

“HemCon is a true woundcare innovator with unrivalled experience in the specialist military market and we are delighted to be teaming with them on this exciting market opportunity,” Richardson added.

Nanopeutics is just one of a growing array of Irish tech firms targeting the defence industry.

Irish chip firm ParthusCeva three years ago won a deal with QinetiQ, a British Ministry of Defence spin-off, to supply it with global positioning system technology.

The development of suspension systems for military vehicles accounts for 60pc of Navan-based Timoney Technologies’ business.

Irish software star Iona Technologies’ software is used in the firing mechanism for Tomahawk cruise missiles and by the US Army Tank Command for battlefield simulations.

A report by Amnesty International four years ago pinpointed more than 60 Irish-based firms that have manufactured or distributed military, security or police products between 2000 and 2001.

By John Kennedy