April 04, 2004

Too Litttle, Too Late

A scathing report into the way the UKs Department of Trade and Industry has mishandled UK nanotechnology was published on Friday. Unlike CBS Marketwatch, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee have very obviously done their homework, and the report makes grim reading for the mandarins at the DTI.

One of the key charges made in the report is that the DTI has focussed "on micro, to enable nano to develop later, rather than getting the UK up to speed on nano as fast as possible." In essence the UK is still playing catch up to South Korea and Singapore, rather than capitalising on some of the excellent academic work going on around the country.

Other findings will be depressingly familiar to British readers. For example railway, computing, or aerospace could all be substituted for nanotechnology in the following passage from the committee. "In this inquiry we find the DTI culpable of failing to build on an early successful nanotechnology programme in the 1980s in order to maintain the UK’s prominent position in the field."

Not all is lost, however, and the report does conclude that the UK can "still produce a strategy that will maximise the impact of the UK’s limited financial resources to make the UK the major player in nanotechnology that our early progress in this area should have produced."

Posted by Cientifica at April 4, 2004 05:57 PM | TrackBack
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