Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (English
Following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry & Technology, Mr John Tsang, at the 2005 International Conference on Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials this (August 8) morning:
Mr Kwok (Jimmy), Mr Lau (Bernard), Prof Chin (Roland), Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to join the "2005 International Conference on Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials". May I first extend my warm welcome to all of you who have travelled great distance to come to Hong Kong, and I wish you all a fruitful and enjoyable stay here in Asia's World City.
The theme of today's Conference is the application of nanotechnology in production. As we all know, nanotechnology and advanced materials technology offer a powerful enabling platform that could lead to a wide spectrum of innovative products. They present immense opportunities for industries to upgrade their products as well as to improve their manufacturing processes and productivity.
Recognising the importance and potential of nanotechnology, the Hong Kong Government has been actively supporting R&D in this area and promoting technology transfer to the relevant industries. As of April 2005, the Government's Innovation and Technology Fund has approved a host of some 30 projects on nanotechnology and advanced materials, covering the development of functional materials, nanomaterials, nanostructure and material engineering for commercial applications across different industry sectors. The deliverables of these projects include applications in LCD and OLED panels, fuel cells, rechargeable batteries, multi-functional fabrics, water-based paints and coatings, and new and improved industrial processes.
We have also supported the establishment of two nanotechnology centres, namely -
(a) the Institute of NanoMaterials and NanoTechnology at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which aims to develop functional nanomaterials and technologies for applications in energy storage, nanoelectronics, nanomaterials manufacturing and environmental nanocatalysts; and
(b) the Nanotechnology Centre for Functional and Intelligent Textiles and Apparel at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which aims to improve properties of fabrics and develop intelligent textile apparel products through the application of nano-finishing and nanotechnology.
I am pleased to know that both Centres have achieved significant progress since their establishment in 2003, and some of their research results have been published in prestigious international science journals. Companies in different industry sectors, including electrical appliance and display manufacturers and textile companies, have shown considerable interest in the R&D deliverables of the two Centres. The two Centres will share with you their research results during this three-day Conference.
To build on our research strengths and promote further the development of nanotechnology, the Government has decided to allocate $270 million to establish an R&D Centre for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, as part of our new strategic framework for innovation and technology development. Through the expansion of the scope of the existing Institute of NanoMaterials and NanoTechnology, the R&D Centre is aiming to becoming the focal point for conducting applied R&D in nanotechnology and advanced materials, and providing a platform for commercialisation or applied R&D deliverables, thereby facilitating technology upgrading in our industries and enhancing their productivity and competitiveness.
The R&D Centre will focus on developing new and value-added products, as well as improving manufacturing processes through nanotechnology and advanced material technologies for the industries located in the Greater Pearl River Delta region. The Centre is aiming to conduct some 75 projects in the next five years in four technology areas, namely -
(a) Nanomaterials, Nanoparticles, and Nanotechnology Enabled Products;
(c) Advanced Materials; and
(d) Advanced Manufacturing.
In addition, the Centre proposes to establish a demonstration production line for high performance display. It will also provide fast response technical services, particularly for SME companies, enhance human resources in nanotechnology, and act as an information centre for the latest technology development, including safety and environmental regulations in the area.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have set out for you a snapshot of the Government's initiatives and commitment in supporting the development of nanotechnology in Hong Kong. I hope that the industry, the universities and the R&D organisations will actively participate, collaborate and give full support to the work of the R&D Centre. We look forward to the successful establishment of the R&D Centre and an even brighter future for the Hong Kong industry.
Last but not the least, I wish the Conference great success. Thank you.
Ends/Monday, August 8, 2005