The last bits of the UK’s Micro and Nanotechnology Network have been put in place with the final five centres to receive funding being announced today.
The press release buries the lead somewhat, starting by informing editors that
The Nanotechnology Centres have been developed in line with current
Government policy on the environmental, health and safety, ethical and social
implications of nanotechnology. Further details of the Government’s activity
in this area and its response to the report carried out by the Royal Society
and Royal Academy of Engineering can be found at the Nanotechnology Issues
Dialogue Group website
before announcing who was funded.
Either someone got the press release backwards (notes for editors usually go at the end) or the UK Government is being a little on the oversensitive side given recent criticism of its response by the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering.
With the MNT network coming to the end of its useful life, let’s hope the DTI doesn’t now just tick the box marked ‘spent MNT money’ and wash its hands of the issue. While microtechnologies are pretty much mature, nanotech is still very much in its infancy, and governments still have a large role to play in integrating the fruits of scientific research into the wider economy.