Micro, Nano & Materials
The field of Micro, Nano & Materials concerns the research and development of very small objects and structures including chemical molecules. These may be used in the development of novel products and materials for application in the life sciences, medical technology, analytics and the micro and watchmaking industries. Microfluidic systems, for example, are based on microscale liquid channels and are used for more efficient blood analysis. And nano-structured surfaces, for instance, produce colour effects such as those that serve as a security feature in banknotes.
The Basel region is outstandingly positioned, both nationally and internationally, to drive innovations in this technology field. There are excellent opportunities for cooperation between universities and industry arising from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI) at the University of Basel and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwest Switzerland (FHNW) located in Muttenz and Brugg. A further research organization with a particular focus on applied micro and nanotechnology is the CSEM in Muttenz.
The application of nano and microtechnology has huge innovation potential for the life sciences, chemical and medtech industries in particular. But it also offers new growth impetus for the watch industry, microelectronics and the metal and plastics industries. Both sectors are traditionally very strong in the Basel region and, with their 1000 industrial companies in total, they are likely to profit hugely from further development in this technology field.
Points of focus
The aim of the technology field Micro, Nano & Materials is to provide a forum for exchanges and networking between companies, institutes and universities in order to promote the spread of technical knowledge and understanding and thus help to kick-start innovations. Around 10 different information and networking events are held each year – on mostly very specific questions. Once a year the Innovation Landscape Nano event gives a general overview of the current status of this future-oriented technology.
In regular technically focused Technology Circles (TC) specialists from different companies and institutions also exchange ideas in a pre-competitive setting on the latest developments in their core areas. At present three Technology Circles are active:
- TC NanoMedicine: Nanotechnology applications in a pharmaceutical context, such as formulations of nanoparticles or controlled release by nanocapsules.
- TC NanoPolymers & Structures: Nanotechnology applications in the field of plastics and on surfaces to render them conductive or achieve optical effects.
- TC NanoSafety: Information and discussion not only on regulatory requirements, but also on trends in Switzerland and in the European context.
Furthermore, BaselArea.swiss provides individual support for innovative experts and potential start-up projects in one-on-one discussions and meetings to review business ideas and networking in the technology field.
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