Ireland as a nanotechnology centre – report

31 Aug 2010

Forfás has released a report presenting a national framework to position Ireland as a knowledge and innovation centre for certain niche areas of nanotechnology.

Following its release, the Government is to set up a nanotechnology co-ordinating group to manage and oversee the policy recommended in the report, entitled Ireland’s Nanotechnology Commercialisation Framework 2010-2014.

“Government has invested wisely in nanotechnology in recent years and Ireland now has a world-class nanotechnology infrastructure. Facilities of research excellence were established and upgraded in CRANN in TCD and Tyndall in UCC. These facilities were complemented by the INSPIRE programme, a national initiative to promote collaboration and partnership between Irish nanotechnology researchers,” said Conor Lenihan, TD, Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation.

“The establishment of the Competence Centre for Applied Nanotechnology, an industry-led research initiative involving some of the world’s leading companies, such as multinationals Intel, Seagate, Medtronic and Analogue Devices and Irish companies Aerogen, Audit Diagnostics, Creganna and Proxy Biomedical will also reap rewards.”

The nanotechnology co-ordinating group will comprise key industrialists, academics and the enterprise development agencies and will be chaired by Martin Cronin.

National objectives for nanotech

Speaking at the launch of the report, Martin Shanahan, chief executive of Forfás, said: “Ireland’s national objectives for nanotechnology are centred on supporting the needs of indigenous and foreign enterprise and to ensure the creation of economic impact and value. To achieve these objectives, Ireland needs to maintain current funding levels but focus this funding into fewer, more strategic technology-application combinations, and have an increased focus on commercialisation.

“This report recommends that Ireland should focus its nanotechnology efforts across three technology domains – advanced materials, Beyond Moore, and nanobiotechnology – as they apply across four application domains – next-generation electronics, medical devices and diagnostics, environmental applications, and industrial process improvements. Implementing this strategy will see Ireland competing to win in the global nanotechnology market.”

Article courtesy of