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national nanotechnology strategy looks to boos

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    Not SRX specific, but if you are interested in this technology being used by medical devices and the part Australia is intending to play, hopefully.

    07 December, 2012 15:31 - Tim Dean (Australian Life Scientist)

    Small is big. Nanotechnology is here, and there are tremendous opportunities for Australia to capitalise on its strong research base and innovative businesses to become a world leader in developing nano-sized materials and processes.

    So says the Australian Academy of Science’s National Nanotech Research Strategy, released today, which outlines a plan to boost nanotech research and promote the technology as an economic driver.

    “Australia’s nanotechnology sector has the potential to make an immediate impact in key areas of importance to the nation,” said Professor Chennupati Jagadish, Academy Vice President and Secretary for Physical Sciences.

    “The global nanotechnology product market is projected to be worth $3 trillion by 2020: this plan will enable Australia to take full economic advantage of this technological revolution.”

    Amongst the emphases in the strategy is a focus on nanobiotechnology and nanomedicine, which is already being undertaken by several research institutions and biotechnology companies, such as pSivida and Starpharma, among others.

    Highlighted in the document is the nanopatch, developed by Professor Mark Kendall, and winner of numerous awards, which enables vaccines to be delivered through the skin without any needles.

    Amongst the strategy document’s recommendations is the provision of a clearly-defined career pathway for researchers working in nanotechnology if Australia to have a concentration of expertise working on areas such as health, medicine, agriculture, food and the environment.

    It also recommends further research into understanding the material/biological interface and the impact of nanoparticles on cell life in order to produce safer and more effective nanomedicines and nanodevices.

    Medical devices and diagnostics are also identified as areas where nanotech can potentially make a tremendous contribution to the development of new more effective products.

    Drug delivery is already an area of interest, and the strategy sees an opportunity in developing new slow release and targeted therapeutics that are triggered by specific stimuli.

    The strategy also recommends large interdisciplinary centres with biologically-driven and industrially relevant projects that focus on specific outcomes such as cancers, Anzheimer’s disease, arthritis and osteoporosis.

    “To realise our vision of a nanotechnology empowered economy, it is essential that multidisciplinary research in nanoscience and nanotechnology is supported through project funding, resourced networking and critical research infrastructure,” Professor Jagadish said.

    “Concerted effort must also be put into promoting Australian nanotechnology capability on the international stage.

    “We recommend that industry, academia and government form an alliance to maximise the potential economic, social and environmental gains made possible through nanotechnology.”

    The full strategy document can be found on the Australian Academy of Science website.
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