RUSSIA's promises to invest billions in public funds to develop its nanotechnology sector are being greeted with caution by major British tech companies.
President Dmitry Medvedev affirmed that his country will invest 318 billion rubles in the development of an infrastructure in nanotechnology to increase exports of products built in Russia with the use of this technology.
"We want to lead the process and we have the intellectual potential, the organizational skills and the funding," he said.
However, according to Oxford Instruments, a British nanotechnology company, the money may still take time to become available.
Frazer Anderson, director of business development for its Bristol-based plasma technology arm, said: “Their timescales are much broader than ours. If they talk about 10 billion dollars, they will probably do it in the next 10-15 years. "
However, Anderson says his company has seen an increase in investment from governments around the world in technology as part of its fiscal stimulus packages.
“We see that President Obama has stepped up efforts on solid-state and solar lighting. The same is observed in China and India focuses on photovoltaics, "he said.
This trend has led to increased demand for Oxford equipment, used to create thin-film or nanotech devices in everything from the motion sensors on Nintendo's Wii console to Osram's LEDs and pure research at institutes like MIT and Harvard, or the Max Planck in Germany.
Oxford exports 90% of what it sells and all manufacturing is done in the UK. He has just sent a £ 200 million team to the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.
Anderson noted that to get jobs in Russia, companies have to understand the procurement process. According to him, the country has three purchasing agencies for technology acquisitions. All three have recently been privatized, but function in a similar way to when they were owned by the state. UK companies wishing to sell have to use a licensed broker. However, these companies will only negotiate with Russian agents.
The UK Nano and Emerging Technologies Forum, organized by UK Trade & Investment, will take place in London on 3-4 November. The event will be attended by Rusnano, a Russian agency that finances projects in nanotechnology.
Source: The Telegraph