Govt pins high hopes on nano industry

Plans to set up 10 incubators for nano ventures in tier 1 and 2 cities

Govt pins high hopes on nano industry

The Karnataka government has decided to establish 10 new-age incubators to encourage people to set up more nano technology start-ups and companies in Bangalore and other places in the State.

IT, BT Science and Technology Secretary, Srivatsa Krishna announced at the sixth edition of  the Bangalore Nano conclave on Thursday that incubators or cells to help build new companies will be set up in tier-two and tier-three cities in the next year. The project is being undertaken with aid from the World Bank.

Krishna said the Karnataka government was abreast of all developments in the world of nano science. “We are certainly not lagging where nano sciences is concerned. We are responding effectively to all that scientists ask for.” He said the State would go out of its way to be part of the $140 billion nano-sciences and technology market.

Chief Minister Siddaramiah who was the last person to speak, repeated an annoucement that was made three years back at Bangalore Nano itself  — that a nano park would be set up in Bangalore along with a nano-incubation centre. Scientist C N R Rao has mentioned the nano park several times over in the past few years, but nothing seems to have taken off yet. In any case Siddaramiah assured the over 500 delegates that the government would provide additional funds for nano initiatives, to the state’s science and technology vision group and to ventures in nano-science and technology.

The State government, Siddaramaiah said, would assist the Centre in setting up the Institute of Nano Science and Technology on 14 acres of land on Tumkur road.

The Centre is funding the institute under its Rs 1,000 crore nano mission announced in 2007. The chief minister’s announcement is also a repeat as this had been stated since the beginning of Bangalore Nano in 2007.

Stating that Bangalore has always been a trend-setter in encouraging new wave of industrial development, he said: “In knowledge-based industrial development, Bangalore has reached iconic stature. I am delighted to state that the city is acclaimed as one of the top 10 Technopolises in the world.” Calling on scientists to come up with tangible nano- technology-based solutions for food security, energy security, water purification, medicine and health care, he said: “The ultimate purpose of science and research should be to address the huge challenge in these areas.”

Science of the future

Prof Rao said the nano mission needs targeted funding to set up infrastructure and build capacity for research in nanoscience and developing nanotechnology. Stating that the application of nanotechnology and nano materials in daily life would determine the future of science, Rao said the nano sector had huge potential to meet the needs of people, be it safe drinking water, healthcare, energy and transportation. “Nano science has a lot to offer. As the science of the future, it has the potential to develop a number of applications for the benefit of masses in diverse areas such as water, food, shelter, healthcare and energy to name a few,”Rao said and informed the audience that scientists in Israel had developed a nano nose that sniffs cancer molecules when a cancer patient breathes out.
Though India was third in the world in publishing research papers in nanoscience, Rao said there were only two institutions of repute which had infrastructure to conduct research in the exciting field of nano. “The premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) in Bangalore are well equipped to carry extensive research in nanoscience and nanotechnology,” he pointed out.

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