Boffins, but maybe fewer investors than in the past, will be converging on London next week for the UK Nanoforum although the government claim that “The UK nanotechnology industry is one of the fastest growing and most innovative in the world, and is forecast to grow by 44 per cent over the next 12 to 15 years.”44% in 12 years? Surely they can’t mean that? Investors would be better off leaving their money in the bank at current interest rates. That aside, the program looks to be quite entertaining, with a certain nanomaterials company explaining how to lose 90% of your company’s value in just one year. Most of the other presentations look a little tired and familiar, with the lack of new faces perhaps substantiating that 45% over 12 years claim.In fact the only bright spot in the whole of the mythical “UK Nanotechnology Industry” seems to be Nanosight with Professor Kenneth Dawson of Ireland’s University College Dublin recently explaining that:
“Whist we still use dynamic light scattering (DLS) to find average particle size, we really need the complete particle distribution map in the sub-micron area in our work. The NanoSight instrument identifies and tracks individual particles, enabling us to see how they are organized (into clusters or otherwise) for the first time. It is impressive to see just how limited DLS is in these respects, where it will often smear or mask true cluster distribution.”
Unlike most nanotech conferences, it’s only fifty pounds to get in, so it may be worth toddling along if you are in town, if only for the usually excellent exhibition and some free biscuits.