THE Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), launched the Nanotechnology in Manufacturing Initiative (NiMI) today.
Supported by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and SPRING Singapore, this initiative explores nano-materials for industry applications and addresses challenges in the adoption of nanotechnology for manufacturing.
To date, 13 companies: 3M; CEL Coatings; Gaia Science; Haruna (S); K-Solar 3G Technologies; Pidilite Innovation Centre; PJI Contract; Shimadzu (Asia Pacific); Sunny Instruments Singapore; Toray Industries Inc; TÜV SÜD PSB; Vestas Technology R&D and Wangi Industrial are participating in the initiative.
Estimates of the global nanotechnology market in 2010 range from about US$15.7 billion (S$20.6 billion) to US$1 trillion. By 2015, the market worth is estimated to be more than US$2.4 trillion.
Nanotechnology, which involves techniques to observe, manufacture, manipulate, evaluate and characterise particles to create new materials, enhanced functionalities and nano-products, revolutionises the way we make things.
It provides cheaper and cleaner energy, cleaner water, lighter and stronger materials, faster, more powerful and energy-efficient computer, exponential increase in information storage capacity, self-cleaning surface and reduction or elimination of pollution.
NiMI aims to develop industry capabilities, enhance manufacturing competitiveness, and share knowledge and best practices in exploiting nanotechnology for manufacturing.
NiMI will facilitate collaborations and synergise R&D efforts among industry partners. In its first phase, NiMI will focus on the application of nanotechnology in the processes of forming, joining and coating.
Specifically, these translate into the development of high performance complex composites for automotive applications; large area carbon nanotube growth; development of lead-free solders with nano-fillers for use in the electronics industry; nano-adhesives for improved performance; nanocomposite physical vapour deposition coatings and modular-based profilometer, to name a few.
“The NiMI initiative will enable the companies to leverage on each other’s complementary strengths, to create commercially viable high-value nano-enabled products. This partnership will act as a springboard for the growing community of the Singapore-based nanotech cluster to add value to their existing manufacturing capabilities. IE Singapore will continue to support the growing nanotech clusters, to bring Singapore-made nano-enabled end-products to the global marketplace,” said Reginald Wee, Group Director (Technology Business), IE Singapore.