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5 Feb, 2008 14:31

Russia announces big plans for nanotech

Nanotechnology funding in Russia still lags behind much of the developed world, with local investment into the sector still measured in millions, rather than billions as in the U.S. and Europe. But the government is looking to change this with a new deve

To carve out a 4% niche in the global hi-tech market by 2015 is the Russian State Nanotechnology Corporation’s ambitious goal.

With the sector currently worth about $US 300 million annually, it’s about to become worth a lot more, with nanotechnology a key part of the government's economic and technological development plans.

“A draft programme for the development of the nano-industry until 2015 was recently considered by the government. Under this draft programme, Russian companies are to make nano-commodities worth over 4 trillion roubles,” said Leonid Melamed, the head of Rosnanotech.

A key need is to create a globally competitive research sector which can spark advances in output and application. The next step will be to see Russia become a bigger player on the global scene using the private sector to commercialise products.

“The State Nanotechnology Corporation will actively co-operate with private business and private business will point out the most beneficial ways of the commercialisation of nanotechnology products,” promised First Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov.

In the short term, the Nanotechnology Corporation plans to create 'nano-clusters' where scientists and producers will work together. Over the longer term it’s expected that advances in medicine, microelectronics and aviation will follow, with the technology having the potential to change almost every facet of human life.