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7 Apr, 2008 01:12

Nanotechnology to boost space industry

The Russian Federal Space Agency is teaming up with state tech giant Rosnanotekh to promoting nanotechnology in the country’s key industries. With a budget of $US 5 billion, Rosnanotekh is poised to inject life-saving funds into Russia's long-neglected sc

Head of Rosnanotech, Leonid Melamed, said the first project was to promote Russia’s space industry.

“The current task is to create competitive advantages for Russia`s space agency using nanotechnology. This will help our space industry not only to maintain its current market position but also to enter other international markets,” Melamed said.

Under the agreement there will be a special department within the corporation working on aerospace projects.
Nanotechnology involves the use of tiny structures to create devices such as solar-heating panels and computer chips. In Russia, scientists have made breakthroughs in the fields of metals, medicine and molecular chemistry. However, business has been slow to take up their ideas.

The reason for the delays is that profits from investing in this kind of projects take time to materialise.

Insurance analyst Evgeny Shago says: “that’s why many private investors do not want to invest into such long-term and risky projects. Currently, only government is ready to invest capital,”

Russia also has an eye on China and India, which are making major inroads into nanotechnology.

The creation of state corporations in key sectors has been central to industrial policy under Putin’s administration. So far, Russia has set up six state-run firms in four years.