Nanotechnology Commercialisation

Commercialisation of nanotechnologies have the potential to drive innovative and competitive industry by enabling advancements in many key manufacturing sectors such as energy, automotive, aerospace, construction and biosciences. However, there are challenges and barriers that would be necessary to overcome.

  • Government support is important to provide funding and create positive climate for commercialisation of nanotechnologies
  •  Information access, funding opportunities, technology development facilities and consultancy and management support is essential  for nanotechnologies growth
  • There are many opportunities for individuals, private companies and public organisations to play vital roles in nanotechnologies commercialisation process.


Challenges for commercialisation of nanotechnologies

  •  Technologists and policy makers need to provide environment that encourage entrepreneurial spirit and that nurtures nanotechnologies.
  •  Inventors need to see wider perspective and find courage and strength to step into unknown.
  •  Entrepreneurs need to stay motivated and find resources to bring nanotechnologies to life.
  • Investors need to identify high growth potential nanotechnologies and to stay committed.

Barriers for commercialising nanotechnologies

  •  Technology readiness
  •  Manufacturing and organisational capability
  •  Investment environment
  •  Public perception
  •  Regulatory environment
  •  Health and Safety
  •  Standards
  •  Skills, training and knowledge transfer
  •  Supply chain

Technology, manufacturing and organisational environment in the UK

  •  The UK has a world-class reputation in nanotechnologies research with a nationwide network of research institutes and universities.
  •  Companies developing nanotechnologies and end users are present across a wide range of sectors and many of these companies are SMEs.

Investment environment

  •  Identify nanotechnologies with potential for high growth
  •  Identify entrepreneurs that are capable of delivering high growth potential nanotechnologies and provide them support
  •  Provide adequate public and private capital and maintain financial support
  •  Provide specially designed support for start-up companies and SMEs in nanotechnology area.

Public Perception

  •  It is necessary to improve public understanding of the benefits which nanotechnologies could bring and about their potential in the future.
  •  People must also have confidence that sufficient risk assessments are taking place by companies using nanomaterials in their products.

Regulatory environment

  •  It is necessary to provide companies developing nanotechnologies information in advance regarding the regulatory regime which will be necessary when their product goes to market.
  •  It is important that nanotechnology regulations are not excessive and preventing businesses from venturing into the nanotechnologies market, or from using nanotechnologies within their own operating markets.

Health and Safety

  •  It is essential for commercialisation of nanotechnologies to understanding risks associated with the use of nanomaterials and any resulting exposure to them.
  •  Research into this area is essential in order to understand how different nanomaterials may impact on human health and the wider environment.


  • The establishment of standards is an important step towards the commercialisation of research and fostering of innovation; they establish a common framework and understanding, providing the bridge between research and industry

Knowledge Transfer

  •  To avoid duplication and facilitate the development of best practices there is a need for greater communication amongst industry and with the academic community in order to create an environment of sharing knowledge and the identification of shared challenges.
  •  Training for industry and development of skills needed in industry
  •  Access to information on patents and funding, project partnering services, and technology brokerage.

Creating a nanotechnology industry supply chain

  •  Provide strategic leadership and direction to the wide range of sectors engaged in the development and application of nanotechnologies.
  • Highlight developments or industry needs that provide potential commercial opportunities across sectors that can use nanotechnologies.
  • Encourage the development of new industrial collaborations, supply chains and networks.

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