UK MNT in Peril?

The UK’s rust belt gets another seven million pounds from the Department of Trade and Industry today to “unleash the commercial potential of cutting-edge micro and nanotechnology,” although we suspect that in the former case they may be a few years too late, and in the latter a few too early.

But money is available and the money has to be spent, and quickly!

Hardly a week goes by without one ‘informed source” or another telling is of the chaos within the UK’s Micro and Nanotechnology Network whose demise, along with the Department of Trade and Industry looks increasingly imminent.

Part of the problem is that from the beginning, the network had no clear purpose. While a nanotech network was envisaged, the micro community threw a major hissy fit to get their hands on some of the cash, and as a result everything else from then on was fudged.

There is a whole book to be written about the network, but the clear lesson is to decide why you are doing something before you decide how it will be done. With the best of intentions, the network has had little real impact so far (we’d llke to hear of any success stores though) as a result of ninety million pounds, and perhaps it never will.

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