I was puzzled by a recent HSBC report claiming that technology would transform the UK landscape with places like Dundee becoming a computer gaming hub and Newcastle, where much of the post industrial activity consists of handing out or receiving government benefits would be transformed by nanotechnology. The report seems to reveal a previously unknown Geordie fervour for science as they claim that “Newcastle will become a science city, with the sector ranked top among Geordies for investment or to start a business in.”
Other conclusions are that “Liverpool, for example, is set to become a centre of excellence in stem cell research, while Manchester is tipped as a leader in robotics.” and “Glasgow is predicted to become a centre for renewable energies.”
While I’m always happy to see that Leeds is predicted to be a super city rivalling the City of London with its financial skills, I suspend my disbelief mainly in the hope that it may one day have a super football club as well.
I’m never quite sure how these predictions are arrived at, but it seems to be along the lines of assuming that if Newcastle has twice as much nanotech going on as a few years ago then nanoscience will underpin the regions economy by 2030, although I have to conclude that many of the science based conclusions are complete twaddle. Here’s what it says about nanotech:
Bristol – Cambridge – Durham –London – Newcastle – Oxford
Nanotechnology applies to a very broad field of science that focuses on the design and control of things on a minuscule scale. It has huge potential and is in current use in industries such as beauty, medicine and textiles. Richard Feynman, considered the father of nanotech, postulated in 1959 that, because it involves work at a minute level, nanotechnology would eventually enable us to build any substance from scratch.
Not too bad for a beginner, but I was truly shocked by their complete and utter rubbish written on Stem Cells:
Stem cell research :
Cambridge – Edinburgh –Liverpool – London – Manchester
The ageing population is driving the stem cell industry. Stem cells regenerate the skin and keep it looking youthful but diminish as we age.
Stem cell technology, traditionally used for burn patients, is seen as the holy grail of anti-ageing. One of the reasons the UK has become an international hotbed for the stem cell sector is the lack of industry legislation. Universities and
researchers are effectively operating in a legal vacuum.
So there we have it – technology hot spots predicted by a bunch of people who couldn’t even be bothered finding out what the technology actually is.