The NanoKTN has established NiMeD to develop industry, academic and clinical partnerships, promote the benefits of nanotechnology in the medical device community and to identify key areas of unmet medical needs that nanotechnology can address. The UK has a significant track record in the medical device industry with one of the largest medical device markets in the world, valued at just under $8.4 billion in 2009 and expected to rise to $10.2 billion by 2014.
The NanoKTN is currently developing the steering committee for the NiMeD Focus Group and already has commitment from leading companies and academics such as Sharp Laboratories Europe, OJ-Bio Ltd, Queen Mary University of London, Cambridge Consultants and the Medical & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The steering committee will provide advice and direction for the activities of the group.
Commercially successful areas of nanotechnology, such as semiconductor manufacturing techniques, are now being used in the healthcare industry with very positive results. Recently the lines between the healthcare and electronics worlds have become blurred, creating an exciting field of new applications and markets using the nanotechnology techniques acquired in the semi-conductor world.
The electronics industry has been transformed by the strategy that smaller is better, and using these same techniques and applying them to the medical sector, the UK has been able to discover new market opportunities. This next level of miniaturisation, into nanoscale dimensions, is a booming area of research and development, with significant funding being invested worldwide.
Dr Mike Fisher, Theme Manager - Healthcare & Life Sciences, NanoKTN explains, “The NiMeD focus group aims to bring together companies activity developing and utilising nanotechnology in medical devices and the technical areas will be broad in scope, covering all aspects of miniaturised implantable devices, to coatings on macro devices. With over 2000 medical device companies in the UK, over 80% of which are SMEs, it is important to establish a solid supply chain early on.”
The NanoKTN’s primary aim is to encourage collaboration and knowledge transfer between key players in industry, as well as start-ups and SMEs. One of the key methods to ensure networking between key market players is to facilitate interactions through networking and event organisation.