Peppercorn nano-tech trade mission secures £500,000 trade

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN) has pulled over half a million pounds into the UK following a trade mission to Germany.

“The total costs to the NanoKTN were estimated to be £6.2k, which was converted into £510k of income to participants and represents an 82 times return on Technology Strategy Board funds invested,” claimed NanoKTN director Alec Reader. “This income was split between £245k of sales won and £275k of research funding.”

The figures have come out of a review of the mission, organised with the Government’s Science & Innovation Network, which occurred in March 2008.

“Whilst some positive feedback was received immediately after the mission, it often takes months, in some cases years for contacts to turn into contracts,” said Reader. “We have been in regular contact with the mission participants and can now report that 18 months after the mission, some significant commercial activity has resulted for each of the UK companies.”

Surrey Nanosystems secured an order £200,000 order for manufacturing equipment from LudwigMaximilians University to support solar cell research.

Diamond Hard Surfaces now has a joint venture with an undisclosed German company. “The company has already received several orders and with combined technology is considering a product launch in late 2009,” claimed the NanoKTN.

The National Physical Laboratory in Middlesex collaborated with BASF on a Nanotoxicology EU proposal on metrology, pulling in £25,000.

Surrey-based solar cell infrastructure firm TwentyNinety, has a deal to test equipment for a “large international JV photovoltaic manufacturer”.

University of Southampton’s spin-out Ilika Technologies now has “on-going interactions with a number of large German chemical companies and materials companies”.

The University of Oxford’s Begbroke Science Park gained a contract to manage the second British-German Nanotechnology Forum, as well as securing lecturer secondments and student exchanges, as well as speaker invitations to workshops and events in Germany and the university.

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