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NanoKTN and IoN secure £100K for UK Nanotechnology SMEs at recent Japanese mission

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, and the Institute of Nanotechnology (IoN), a professional membership organisation for the nanotechnology industry, are pleased to announce that the International NanoMicroClub (INMC) NanoMission to Japan has so far secured new contracts and sales worth £100K for attending UK SMEs.

The mission, supported by the Technology Strategy Board funding, was established to help raise the profile of UK nanotechnology and give UK nanotechnology SMEs the opportunity to drive international business development. The UK mission team comprised BHR Group, Bio Nano Consulting Ltd, Promethean Particles, Mantis Deposition, Mode Diagnostics Ltd, Izon Scientific Ltd, Nanoco, Engrid Consulting, and Oxford Advanced Surfaces.

The mission visited the world’s biggest nanotechnology conference in Tokyo, Japan, nano tech 2011, where the nanotechnology market is mature and advanced. It also liaised with the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce who ran the official UK stand on behalf of UKTI this year, to ensure the mission team had a presence on the UK pavilion.

Many UK companies in high and emerging technology sectors, particularly where the numbers in the global market are particularly low, see export markets as very important to their success. Indeed some UK companies export over 90% of their output in the advanced analytical instrumentation sector alone.

In total, the mission team had 59 meetings, some of which have already yielded sales worth over £100K, three opportunities have also been highlighted for further business development from Japan, and one company has also secured a distributor in Japan as a result of attending meetings. Other companies have secured NDAs, promising business leads and potential collaborative projects.

Dr Sandy Gordon, Business Manager, Promethean Particles added, "We found the mission incredibly useful, yet again allowing us to maintain contact with our existing customers, as well as develop relationships with new potential customers. Whilst these new contacts are still developing we view the event as crucial in contributing to our success in the Japanese market and fully intend to return to Tokyo Nanotech again next year to build on our initial successes."

Brian Borrill, Sales Manager, BHR Group said, "As a direct result of our attendance at the exhibition we are now in negotiation with a large multi-national Japanese company for them to represent us in Japan and we have made contact with a Spanish company with whom we are discussing an FP7 collaboration."

Dr Vincent Benoit, R&D Manager, Mode Diagnostics Ltd, "The seminars, conference streams and networking opportunities were useful in the context of our technology and business development activities and a partnering relationship has been established as a direct result of a meeting at the event."

Alec Reader, Director of the NanoKTN adds, "The level of interest and acceptance in Asian countries for nanotechnology is very high, with many of the Asia Pacific nations running nanotechnology initiatives which are very advanced and well-funded. They are building integrated innovation hubs which contain all requisites of the supply chains necessary for successful commercialisation and it is crucial that UK SMEs attend international events like nano tech, to ensure the future of UK nanotechnology is securely embedded in the global market."

"International exchanges, like this mission to Tokyo, are valuable opportunities for the UK’s SME base, as many future customers will come from overseas rather than along the motorway. The Nanotech Executive Committee from Japan met with us just last month and they were overjoyed to learn of the success of our mission." stated Del Stark, Business Development Manager of the Institute of Nanotechnology. For more information about the INMC and to view the mission reports please visit www.nanoktn.com.

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