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Nanotechnology in Hungary: Market Report

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Introduction
Nanotechnology Organisations
Nanotechnology Companies
Nanotechnology Education and Research
Recent Developments

Introduction

Hungary is a landlocked country located northwest of Romania in Central Europe. It covers an area of 93,028 km2 and had a population of 9,958,453 as of July 2012.

Hungary has transformed into a market-based economy in the recent years. It is a full member of OECD, the EU, and the World Trade Organization.  The GDP of the nation in 2012 was reported as $196.8 billion.

Nanotechnology Organisations

Hungary has an organisation committed to promoting nanoscience as well as exploring the challenges and future of nanotechnology. A brief introduction to this organisation is provided below:

  • NANOBAKT Ltd. - NANOBAKT Ltd. was founded in 2008 by private individuals in order to initiate research and development as well as production in the field of nanotechnology in Hungary. Their main projects include different applications of nano silver (additives, Nanosept disinfectant, prosthetics) as well as the development and manufacturing of titanium nanotubes and nano iron.

Nanotechnology Companies

Nanotechnology penetrates and cross boundaries of both industries and applications. The main nanotechnology companies in Hungary that cater to these diverse sectors are listed below along with a brief introduction to each of them:

NanGenex - NanGenex, a member of the DRGT Group, is a Druggability Enabling High Throughput NanoActive™ Technology Platform Company. The company utilizes its integrated platform to provide breakthrough solutions to pharmaceutical and biotech companies in order to develop new generations of NanoActive products with significant performance benefits over conventional approaches. The technology platform enables NanGenex to generate proprietary NanoActive™ materials by altering their physico-chemical properties to substantially improve their solubility, dissolution rate and bioavailability.

Technoorg Linda Ltd - Technoorg Linda Ltd is operating in several fields of Nanotechnology. The main activity of the company is developing and manufacturing of ion technology based instruments for extended use in specimen preparation and depth profiling connected to transmission- and scanning electron microscopy. These products are fully compatible with all brands of electron microscopes and cover the entire range of the thinning process from mechanical sample preparation to ion milling and end-polishing. The applications are suited for many purposes in the fields of materials research, geology, semiconductors and optics, like multi-layer systems, semiconductors, diamond, composite materials, metals, ceramics, glasses, rocks and minerals.

ThalesNano - ThalesNano specializes in developing and providing microscale flow instruments for chemistry by exploiting benefits of combining microfluidics, mesofluidics and nanotechnology with flow chemistry. The company was founded in 2002 and is located in Budapest, Hungary.

GetNano Ltd. - GetNano Ltd. was established in 2006 and specialises in nano coatings distributing H2OFF® products available through so-called Nano Stops. All H2OFF® products meet the highest prevailing quality standards and R&D is financed by high-end nanotechnology companies throughout Europe. Their automobile products guarantee safe & sound & cost-effective solutions for windshields, plastic covers, bodies and alloy wheels alike.

Nanotechnology Education and Research

Hungary is home to numerous universities that offer research and educational opportunities in nanotechnology. Given below is a list of universities and academic institutions in Hungary and the nanotechnology-related academic courses or research opportunities that they offer.

Institute for Technical Physics and Materials Science - The Nanostructures Department is part of the Research Centre for Natural Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. It is a part of the Institute and is involved in several nano-based research projects including: structure and composition of carbon nanostructures produced by different methods; nanostructures produced by high energy (E > 100 MeV) heavy irradiation; tunneling through carbon nanostructures; continuous carbon nanotube production in an underwater AC electric arc; and nanotubes from fullerene decomposition.

Hungarian Academy of Sciences - is involved in nanotechnology through the following departments:

  • Chemical Research Center (CRC) - The research conducted in the field of Materials Chemistry includes: synthesis and characterization of nanolayers; formation of advanced nano-and micrometer-sized materials in a RF thermal plasma reactor; development of functional micro-and nanosized composite particles; and studies on electrochemistry: corrosion and electrosorption.
  • Institute of Nanochemistry and Catalysis Chemical Research Center - The Institute’s main research fields include: nanostructured materials; self-assembled nanolayers; surface characterization and modification; and heterogeneous catalytic reactions.

University of Szegedis one of Hungary's most distinguished universities with a key focus on Research, Development, and Innovation. One of the main areas of research interest at the University is nanotechnology and materials science with topics such as examination of nanodispersions, self-organizing films and biocomposite materials and research of nanostructured materials being explored.

University of Pannonia - The Doctoral School of Molecular- and Nanotechnologies deals with Materials engineering, MEMS and NEMS technology, functional micro- and nanoparticles, nanocomposites and nanostructured coating, development of new sensing  principles, nanocatalysts, bionanotechnology, directed evolution and protein design.

Semmelweis University - is a research intensive institution, which has been committed to high-quality scientific research for nearly two-and-a-half centuries. Research performed at the University’s six faculties covers a wide range of scientific disciplines. The major fields of research in which Semmelweis University has achieved an international reputation include nanotechnology.

Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics - is a part of the Wigner Research Centre for Physics. The following departments are all involved in in-depth nano-based research:

  • Neutron Spectroscopy Department
  • Theoretical Solid State Physics Department
  • Experimental Solid State Physics Department
  • Department of Complex Fluids

Recent Developments

The 5th Szeged International Workshop on Advances in Nanoscience (SIWAN) was held between 24 and 27 October, 2012 in Szeged, Hungary. SIWAN is a forum that provides participants with a platform for displaying their research findings and gaining further information from in-depth presentations by top nanotechnology researchers.

In October 2012, ThalesNano revealed that they had sold 700 of their novel flow reactors systems, and that the number of publications based on these flow reactors has crossed 150. The product was officially launched in 2005, and has gained immense popularity.

Levente Tapasztó and his team at Institute for Technical Physics and Materials Science affiliated with the Research Centre for Natural Sciences Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) were able to regulate the structural rippling of graphene with an accuracy of less than 1 nm (0.7nm) for the first time.

The previous record stood at 300 nm wavelength. This sets a new record in graphene research. The research will provide an opportunity for exploring the mechanical behavior of membranes in a range where the wavelength of the deformation can be measured against the lattice constant.

While Hungary has quite a few companies and academic institutions involved in nanotechnology, the growth of this field will be slow at beast as the country struggles to come out of recession following the global financial crisis. They were bailed out in 2008 by the IMF and have been looking for further support in late 2011.

With the parties unable to agree in terms, the latest round of financial assistance has not yet been forthcoming. For this reason, it is expected that spending on science and nanotechnology will lose favour to other initiatives that will bring short term economic and employment benefits.

References

  1. Hungary Economic Profile 2013
Date Added: Jun 25, 2013 | Updated: Jul 16, 2013
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