Scientists call for national centre to scale up nano tech

India needs to set up a National Centre for incubating researches done in various labs on Nano Science to enable technology for the benefit of the society, scientists and technologists said.

Last Updated: Feb 21, 2010, 17:37 PM IST

Mumbai: India needs to set up a National
Centre for incubating researches done in various labs on
Nano Science to enable technology for the benefit of the
society, scientists and technologists said.

Unlike the incubation centres for Information Technology,
the centres for Nano Science and Technology require special
type of infrastructure, and the Centre has to set up such a
facility as soon as possible since many of the researchers are
waiting to scale up their lab products, the experts said at
the three-day International conference on Nano science and
Technology at IIT which concluded Saturday.

"It requires a proper infrastructure to develop the
products from laboratory model to prototypes and scale up
further and so we have appealed to the Centre for creating
such a facility," the scientists said.

"Creating a specific kind of centre is essential and we
suggested that either Council of Scientific or Industrial
research (CSIR) could provide an ideal platform for Nano
incubators. If that is not possible, we also proposed that one
of the Nano centres of the Mission could be taken up for
incubation," the scientists said.

In Singapore there is `Exploiter` and in Taiwan `IPRI`
which are the centres for linking research and technological
products for industry.

Of course Nano products are wide ranged from devices
for drug delivery, medical diagnostics, photometrics,
semiconductors,sensors, varieties of new nano materials and
remote explosive detectors, said Prof Ramgopal Rao of IIT.

Nano technology is knowledge-intensive and enabling
technology which is expected to influence a wide range of
products and processes with far-reaching implications for
national economy and development, Prof Dhirendra Bahadur,
convenor of the meeting said.

Capacity building in this upcoming area of research is
of utmost importance for the Nano Mission launched by the
Centre so that India emerges as a global knowledge-hub in this
field also, he said.

For this, research on fundamental aspects of nano science
and training of large number of manpower needs prime
attention, he said.

Equally important, the Nano Mission is putting in efforts
for development of products and processes for national
development, especially in the areas of national relevance
like safe drinking water, materials development, sensors
development, drug delivery for this , it is forging linkages
between educational and research institutions and industry and
promoting private-public partnerships.

The Nano Mission is making efforts to achieve synergy
between the national research efforts of various agencies in
Nano Science and technology and launching new programmes in a
concerted fashion, Bahadur said.

International collaborations are also being entered
wherever required he added.

Earlier during the conference, the Chairman of national
Nano Mission Prof C N R Rao said India will set up National
Regulatory Board soon to regulate the industrial nanotech
products that are used in day-today life.

"Indian industries are coming out with various
nanotechnological products including water filters, biomedical
products, several chemicals, cosmetics and paints. Therefore,
we are in the process of formulating guidelines to regulate
the products for the safety and benefit of the society,"
Rao, who is also the Chairman of Scientific Advisory Council
to the Prime Minister, said.

Asked whether the guidelines have been formulated, Rao
said, "not yet, we are in the process of formulating the

Centre launched a Mission on Nano Science and Technology
(Nano Mission) in May 2007. An allocation of Rs 1000 crore
(approx USD 200 million) for five years has been made. The
Department of Science and Technology (DST) is the nodal
implementing agency of the Mission, its director Dr Praveen
Asthana said at the inauguration.