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NanoEntrepreneurs focus group to address issues facing the commercialisation of emerging Nanotechnologies

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, has announced the date of its fourth NanoEntrepreneurs workshop, aimed at supporting the development of nanotechnology. The event, organised in partnership with the FP7 NanoCom Project, will visit Cambridge, one of the most innovative regions in the world, to stimulate interactions between the nanotechnology community and sources of investment to further economic success in the UK nanotechnology market.

Emerging nanotechnologies are providing a tangible glimpse of future products, however, the road to embedding them into new and existing products is challenging. The commercialisation of ground breaking research is again at the top of the growth agenda in the UK. Taking research past development and into real cash revenues is not an easy exercise with many potential pitfalls and no one route to secure expanding wealth.

This one-day workshop will feature presentations on funding opportunities and showcasing experiences of real nanotechnology companies, giving their perspective on their own company histories, outlining some of the challenges they have faced over the years and overcome.

The keynote presentation comes from Professor Chris Lowe, Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, who has recently been awarded an OBE for his services to science and is an exceptional serial entrepreneur. With over 340 publications, 8 books and monographs, and over 60 patents, Lowe has supervised over 75 PhD students and has won a number of national and international prizes.

Jonathan Tudor, Investment Manager, Cody Gate Ventures LLP will look at the difficulties surrounding venture funding, with a focus on the hurdles in the current economic climate. Tudor will look at the importance of understanding how a venture capitalist thinks and evaluates opportunities, helping those seeking to raise finance to present their business opportunity in the best light. The presentation will focus on what to present to VCs, how to present it and the topics they will want to cover.

One of the biggest elements to commercialisation is the effective protection of intellectual property. This normally involves research and analysis before choices can be made about whether to licence to another company or to spin-out for example. The NanoKTN partnered with CambridgeIP to organise a survey which captures the needs and dilemmas of this emerging community. Results from the survey will be also be delivered at the event.

Other presentations will come from Veneto Nanotech, Cambridge Nanomaterials Technology Ltd, Nuformix, Plarion Ltd, Angel Capital, NetDyaLog Limited and Owlstone Ltd.

"Cambridge is regarded as one of the best regions to stimulate innovation in the UK and with a very dense concentration of academic talent, companies and entrepreneurs, it makes the ideal location for the event," says Dr Alec Reader, Director of the NanoKTN.

Reader continues, "By promoting the development of partnerships within the nanotechnology community we aim to improve the supply chain and keep the UK at the forefront of the international nanotechnology community."

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