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NanoKTN Launches new focus group EcoNano nanotechnology for Water

First Event: ‘Nanotechnology for Water’; 15th February 2011, University College London, London

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, is pleased to announce the launch of an industry focus group – ‘EcoNano’. For the launch event, the NanoKTN has partnered with the Environmental Sustainability KTN and University College London (UCL) to stage the ‘Nanotechnology for Water’ workshop which will explore ways in which nanotechnology can provide solutions to water treatment and purification including filtration, desalination and sensing.

Environmental issues are rarely out of the news headlines, and the challenges posed by provision of potable water, treatment of industrial and domestic waste water, and materials sustainability are predicted to escalate. Nanotechnology provides a new approach to solving these challenges. The NanoKTN ‘EcoNano’ focus group will develop an agenda to address environmental challenges such as remediation of water, air, and materials sustainability – i.e. supply issues for critical materials such as rare earths. Technology transfer has a key role in taking new technologies such as nanotechnology into the marketplace and developing commercial traction, and the EcoNano launch event will focus on nanotechnology awareness – not just for the ‘technology providers’ but crucially the whole supply chain.

Raising awareness of new developments to potential end-users is crucial to adoption, and interaction of different members of the supply chain and can lead to surprising and often cross-disciplinary collaborations. The group will focus on how nanotechnology can help to meet many of the current environmental challenges including pollution control and land and water remediation.

As the first in a series of events is aimed at raising awareness of the possibilities offered by nanotechnologies, ‘Nanotechnology for Water’ will be of interest to a wide variety of industry sectors including water utilities, materials and chemical processing, food and drink, pharmaceuticals and medical, international aid organisations, sports and leisure.

The workshop will bring togetherthe water industry, user industries, environmental industries and the research community to hear presentations from leading organisations such as Water UK, Anglian Water, British Water’s Innovation Forum, Promethean Particles, proaqua, IWA and the Universities of Aberdeen, Brighton, Bristol and Cranfield.

For example, Damian Lippok, Head of Innovations Management at proaqua, will discuss FE-NANOSIT, a project focused on the development of an energy and resource efficient treatment technology for waste water and contaminated ground water. This involves the use of highly reactive nano materials and nano-scaled catalysts, to make use of the high potential of nanotechnology in water treatment. Lippok’s presentation will give a short introduction to the technology involved, document the commercial potential, the current state of development and possible environmental impact.

Martin Kemp NanoKTN Theme Manager explains; "A number of nano-enabled water treatment products have already generated commercial success, and there is a great opportunity for UK industry to exploit the results of academic research to develop innovative products. With the commercialisation of nanomaterials and systems, cost-effective applications can now be realistically developed, and EcoNano will seek to facilitate adoption of innovative solutions by end-user industries."

Kemp continues, "Events like this are essential to enable those working within industry to openly promote and exchange ideas on the future development of nanotechnology in this area, to ensure that the UK continues to be at the forefront of nanotechnology innovation."

Networking is a key element of NanoKTN events, and in addition to the presentations, there is an opportunity for academics and research institutes to promote their research by displaying a poster. Abstracts are invited for consideration and should be sent to Natasha.taylor@nanoktn.com. A limited number of ‘commercial posters’ and exhibition spaces are also available for organisations to promote their products.

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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