Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network announce partnership with Nanocentral on two workshops

8th June 2010, Hotel Russell, London

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the UK's primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, is pleased to announce it will be partnering with Nanocentral on two workshops at the NanoMaterials2010 conference in London. The workshops are concerned with addressing 2 current issues in commercialisation, integrating nanotechnology in food applications and the measurement and characterisation of nanomaterial systems. These workshops will involve the key leaders in their respective fields and highlight the best practise and give an opportunity to encourage intelligent debate. Industry is encouraged to register and attend these workshops as a way of connecting and catalysing innovation.

The first workshop, Nanotechnology and Food Contact Materials, being hosted by the NanoKTN, alongside NanoCentral and Leatherhead Food Research on day one of NanoMaterials2010, will provide a route to high-value, multifunctional products including food packaging with big benefits to food safety, quality, shelf life and recyclability. The current global value of such products has been estimated at over £2.5 billion, so development of a strong industry in the UK is of vital importance to the economy.

'Nanotechnology and Food Contact Materials,' will investigate and discuss challenges faced by nano-enabled products in direct contact with food including food packaging. By bringing together packaging professionals, the workshop aims to identify new opportunities and collaborative partnerships, through evaluation of the current landscape.

A series of industry case studies will be presented that will look at nano-enabled products applied to food contact surfaces, including improved anti-microbial performance, gas permeability, prolongation of shelf life and enhanced recyclability.

"The uptake of nanotechnology-based developments in food packaging applications is increasing. In the food and drink sectors, such applications have risen significantly over recent years. There are numerous opportunities for nanotechnology within packaging applications and events like these are of vital importance if we are to see the necessary advances take place in this market," says Barry Park, Theme Manager at the NanoKTN.

The NanoKTN's second workshop on 'Measurement and Characterisation,' in partnership with NanoCentral and Intertek, is aimed at a commercial and pre-competitive academic audience who are concerned with making repeatable and well characterised prototypes and products.

The commercialisation of nanotechnology depends on being able to measure to a high level of accuracy at the nano-scale which enables manufacturing process development to be controlled, and for products to be designed for end user properties quickly and efficiently. One example of this challenge is the nano-composites market (extensively used in transport and aerospace applications) where control of processing parameters at economic prices is important.

The challenge for that industry is to measure those properties preferably in 3D to ensure mixing consistency of the nanomaterial and its carrier to eliminate flaws and structural strength without compromising other properties such as transparency and electrical conductivity. All of these developments give a real competitive edge to companies when products are compared to other suppliers in the market place who use more traditional material systems.

During the workshop, Stuart Maclachan from CERAM will outline international efforts to standardise nano-materials and to encourage best practise in specifying them between clients and vendors. There will also be presentations from developers of products, analytical service providers and also from the National Physical Laboratory who have extensive skills and experience of analytical characterisation.

"The workshop will look at pressing issues and promote an open exchange of ideas, offering delegates the opportunity to evaluate issues surrounding measurement and characterisation. We are confident that the focus group will bring together key industry professionals and will result in a clearer understanding of some of the key issues in the supply chain," explains James Johnstone, Theme Manager at the NanoKTN.

Members of the NanoKTN will receive discounted rates to the two workshops and NanoMaterials2010 are also extending this offer for the third workshop 'NanoMaterials SHE'. The workshop, hosted by SAFENANO and AssuredNano, will deliver knowledge on the latest best practice in delivering nanomaterials safely to help companies take a responsible stance in addressing potential consumer and societal concerns.

"The workshops at NanoMaterials2010 are an integral part of the Conference, providing specific updates and advice within key nanotechnology enablers. If you are currently, or seek to be, active in nanomaterials/nanotechnology, these workshops are must attend events," says Stephen Cash, Chief Executive Officer at NanoCentral.