International institutions, entrepreneurs, and manufacturers gave a ‘thumbs up’ to nanotechnology recently during May’s sixth biennial ‘Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology Meeting’ held in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
The event connected nanotechnology specialists from both industry and academia and was a chance to combine progress in the lab with real world solutions for the sourcing of new raw materials for industry.
Hosted by scientists from the Nanotechnology Centre of the Technical University of Ostrava (VŠB-TU) in cooperation with the Institute of Geonics of CAS, the symposium was well attended with representations from a wide variety of businesses. These include; the electronics and software company Prevac, the Electron Scanning Microscope manufacturer NenoVision, and the scientific instrument supplier Tescan.
This year’s event focused on five central themes, Nanotech for Energy, Nanotech for Medicine and Pharmaceuticals, Nanotech for Environmental Solutions, Advanced Nanomaterials, and Nanomaterial Characterisation. But crucially, the conference gave all attendees ample opportunity to meet potential partners, discuss opportunities and challenges in the field of nanomaterials and nanotechnology, as well as gather information about the latest developments and trends.
As one such attendee, Alexandra Chepak, a Market Development Manager at NANO CHEMI GROUP described, “Our aim is to share our vision and working experience with nanomaterials in the B2B sector. We will present news on some of our current cases, describing how and where we implement our materials, new developments we are working on, as well as the challenges we are facing, particularly with the introduction of nanomaterials to the manufacturing sector. We also hope to hear the experiences of other attendees and look forward to meeting with nanotech professionals to discuss potential co-operations.”
As a representative of NANO CHEMI GROUP, Alexandra alongside her colleague Lev Lyapeikov, a Product Development Manager, gave a short presentation in which the team outlined how the company approaches the transitioning of cutting-edge nanotechnology into real world business output.
Here they explained how the process has four main stages;
1. Customer Development.
A stage for defining industry needs and challenges which uses market research to gauge business potential.
2. R&D stage.
Here the work begins in the lab to construct, test, modify, and re-test potential nanotechnology solutions to raw material problems. This stage involves the use of made-to-order products as well as adapting ‘off-the-shelf’ nanoproducts.
3. Product Development.
A clearly defined phase of production, application, certification, and sales.
Combining the new nanotechnology product into existing processes.
While NANO CHEMI GROUP is a very new company, it has been able to draw on the experienced team of its parent company AG CHEMI GROUP which has been supplying manufacturers with raw materials since 1994. As a result, NANO CHEMI GROUP has already come a long way to create a market position for the supply of nanomaterials for industry.
The first issue of company bonds has already sold out, and plans are well under way for expanding production and implementation of nanomaterial-based solutions, especially for use in the manufacture of flooring, composites and plastics.
The company’s success is a clear indication of how nanotechnology is shifting from the laboratory into everyday products and business.
As a result, when reflecting on whether the NanoOstrava conference was an academic or industry focused event, Alexandra summed up the blend that the event achieves, replying that, “I would say it´s a mix of everything, as the participants are mainly from the scientific community it does focus heavily on the academic side. But at the same time, all new technologies, materials, and later developments hold great value for industry, so we see the event as a jumping-off point for turning valuable nanotechnology discoveries into valuable businesses.”
Photo credit: NANO CHEMI GROUP, Issotrava, & NanoOstrava