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NanoKTN helps UK nanotechnology SME grow to industry leader

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, is pleased to announce that on-going support from its staff and events has helped a UK SME to secure business leads and forge relationships with key collaborative partners. As a result, scientific engineering company Plarion has grown to become a leading manufacturer in its field.

When UK-based Plasmon went into administration in 2008, a team of engineers with years of experience in the field established Plarion, which recently announced the development of its Discipher diagnostic solution. The low-cost, walkaway system is based on a DVD drive and DVD discs with microfluidic channels for rapid biochemical analysis. The on-board reagent storage and sample preparation, along with automated analysis software, offers significant time advantage through minimal user interaction, allowing a large number of tests to be done at the same time.

Plarion’s Systems Development Manager Jackie Cole has been directly involved with the NanoKTN since the company’s launch in 2009, attending events as an exhibitor, delegate and presenter. Actively engaging as a member of the NanoKTN has provided Plarion with vital intelligence about R&D facilities and services available in the UK, as well as providing opportunities to identify possible collaborative partners with specific expertise.

Launching itself as a new company in a competitive market meant it was crucial, particularly in the early days, for Plarion to extensively promote its capabilities. Through networking and market research, Plarion has found a niche where it is now developing unique technologies, establishing itself in a new field.

Jackie Cole, Plarion comments; "Being a member of the NanoKTN has been a huge benefit to us as a company, especially when we were entering the market as a new business. Attending events has enabled us to connect with other companies and individuals with similar interests and it is the definite focus of the NanoKTN’s events that has led to us generating more leads at these events than any others. Without the platform provided by the NanoKTN, many of our customers would not have heard of us."

Presenting at the NanoKTN’s event has been an integral part of Plarion’s marketing campaign for its low-cost generic diagnostic platform. Putting the company in direct contact with its target audience has ensured its products reach the right people.

The UK has long been a pioneer in technology innovation and the NanoKTN is dedicated to supporting the growth of UK capabilities and raising awareness of nanotechnology both in the UK and internationally. The NanoKTN’s primary aim is to encourage collaboration and knowledge transfer between key players in the UK industry, as well as start-ups and SMEs. One of the methods to ensure networking between these players is to facilitate interactions through networking at events.

Dr Alec Reader, Director of the NanoKTN adds, "At the NanoKTN, we are dedicated to facilitating the transfer of knowledge within industry. Our events have been extremely advantageous to our members and have helped many organisations strengthen business and generate connections, particularly for start-ups and speciality companies looking for exposure to raise their company profile. It has been a pleasure to work with Plarion, to watch them grow as a business and provide them with support and advice along the way."

Further information on the activities of the NanoKTN can be found on the website at www.nanoktn.com.

Established by the Technology Strategy Board, the NanoKTN is managed by Centre for Process Innovation Ltd, a leading technology development and consulting company.

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