Editorial Feature

Nanotechnology in South Australia: Market Report

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Australia is a continent situated between the South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The country’s overall area is 7,741,220 km2, and as of July 2012, it had a population of 22,015,576.

South Australia constitutes the southern central part of Australia and covers an area of 983,482 km2. The region had a population of 1,596,570 in 2011. This number has increased by 5.4% over 2006.

In 2011–2012, South Australia had a GDP of $91.9 billion, which was equal to 6% of the national GDP. The largest industry is the state-of-the-art manufacturing sector, which is now accountable for adding approximately $9 billion to the economy. It accounts for 10% of the workforce, almost 40% of research and development costs, and about 70% of its exports.

South Australia has abundant natural resources, rendering it an attractive option to overseas investors. The mineral and energy resources in South Australia are turning out to be increasingly popular, but despite this fact, they are yet to be tapped to the same extent as Queensland and Western Australia.

South Australia has a world-class cleantech industry and leads the country in renewable energy sources. Adelaide—the capital city of South Australia—is known as a center of excellence in bioscience.

Nanotechnology Companies

Nanotechnology is a multifaceted field with a huge number of applications in various industries. The following sections briefly describe the top nanotechnology companies in South Australia.

Bridge 8

As a foresight and communications consultancy, Bridge 8 creates novel futures by factoring education, evolving technologies, and public engagement via strategic future thinking.

The consultancy created AccessNano for the Australian Office of Nanotechnology, to facilitate schools across Australia to introduce nanotechnology into classrooms. The program inspires all students to be informed members of the community on the benefits and risks of emerging technologies. It also identifies career paths for adept science students.

Clean Futures

A joint venture of Bridge8 and Australian Cleantech, Clean Futures is based in South Australia. The extent of connections and capabilities it has can effectively fund and market technologies that give way to clean futures.

Praxis Dynamics

This consultancy aims to use scientific know-how to deal with industrial requirements. It specializes in providing numerical and analytical study of physical systems, scientific background surveys, and simulation and modeling services to industrial projects involving novel, intricate, or cross-domain devices and systems. Overall, Praxis Dynamics deals with all phases of research and development of the latest micro/nano systems and technologies.

Raustech Pty Ltd

This Australian research company is located in Adelaide, South Australia. Established in 1997 by Peter Hastwell, Raustech Pty Ltd is a late-stage pre-seed company. It has created and filed patents on a platform technology, which has promising use in many different sectors. The company’s technology involves the placement or synthesis of materials at predetermined sites with micron or nanometer precision and dimensions. Many high-value market opportunities require the placement of materials both for their production and operation.

Nanotechnology, transdermal drug delivery (TDD), DNA chips, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), semiconductor chips, flexible printed circuits, and large flat-screen TV displays are promising applications of the Raustech technology.

Coherent Scientific

This company offers a wide array of products for the Physical Sciences, Nanoindentation and Characterization, and Life Sciences markets.

Nanotechnology Education and Research

South Australia has some of the world’s leading universities that provide educational and research opportunities in nanotechnology. The following sections give a list of academic institutions and universities in South Australia, focused on studies that span distinct applications of nanoscience.

Flinders University

This university provides a Bachelor of Science (Nanotechnology), and supports the Flinders Centre for NanoScale Science & Technology. Through its world-class, fundamental research and expertise, the center offers new and powerful solutions to the difficulties faced by Australia, specifically in the general fields of water, health, energy, and security.

The University of Adelaide

The university supports the Nanomechanics Group through its School of Mathematical Sciences. Within the Nanomechanics Group, it uses mathematical modeling applying the calculus of variations, geometry, integral calculus, classical mechanics, and a host of other mathematical methods to deduce and describe the unusual behavior of nanoscale systems.

In addition, the University of Adelaide is known for Adelaide Microscopy, another research center formerly called Centre for Electron Microscopy and Microstructure Analysis (CEMMSA). The center was established in 1991.

Sophisticated equipment combined with wide-ranging professional experience at the center ensures clients’ complete confidence in the analysis of nanostructures of biological and non-biological materials. The university courses that comprise nanotechnology are a Bachelor of Science (Nanoscience & Materials) and an undergraduate course titled “Mathematics of Nanotechnology III.”

Recent Developments

According to researchers, if Australia wants to be a part of the estimated $3 trillion nanotechnology revolution by 2020, then it would have to implement nanotechnology in a big way. The nation will need to promote the whole spectrum of nanotechnology development, right from research to the end result of converting that novel technology for effective application in the sector.

With nanotechnology, the manufacturing sector can revolutionize its products, develop innovative products, and offer solutions to the difficulties faced by the country like aging and health. Researchers stand by this because they are aware that industries and economies, which do not make investments in nano-inspired technology, will be left far behind.

In January 2013, the Centre for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Flinders University had introduced a pilot program called NanoConnect to demonstrate to businesses how nanotechnology has the potential to enhance their processes and products.

From the same university, a scientist has also created solar cells based on carbon nanotubes as a substitute for silicon. It is believed that the carbon nanotube variant can be produced more cost-effectively and that it is more efficient at transforming solar radiation into energy.

In July 2013, Flinders University hosted the Australian Nanotechnology Network’s early career workshop.

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