More UK Nanotech Investment?

Perhaps under pressure to come up with success stories ahead of next week’s Nanoforum meeting in London, a slew of huge announcements about British nanotechnology seems to be popping up. The latest is that Newcastle based EnFACE has received a £90,000 ($190,000) investment towards a development that could make airbags in cars more intelligent. Well we know that the Northern Rock affair has punched a huge hole in the UK’s finances, but £90,000 is hardly a huge amount which doesn’t justify the headline “Huge Push For Applied Nanotechnology Research With Funding Boost”. When we see investments in the millions on a regular basis, everywhere from Singapore to Moscow, it makes us wonder why the UK seems to be permanently cash strapped.Of course the other question is how much more intelligent do car air bag sensors have to be?  When the detect a sudden deceleration (i.e a crash) they deploy the airbag, what else could you add, a 4 nanosecond warning or a quick assessment of your chance of survival? Seriously though, it is good to see investments on this scale, as the funds for market research and proof of concept can be the hardest to get hold of, but often form a crucial stepping stone on the way from the lab to the VC. 

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