Nano technology is the new buzz-word across science and industry.

As Governments and Venture Capitalists scramble to get in on the action, enterprise ‘start-ups’ in Universities across the globe are working hard to create the next ‘wow factor’ product using applications from the world of nano. There are no limits when manufacturing involves atom-upon-atom automated construction.

With so much scope to offer across so many disciplines, how can the business, healthcare, Government and professional communities ignore this new technology on the horizon?

Nano offers new products for new markets, new materials for established businesses, new solutions for saving energy, new filter processes, new techniques for health, cancer management, food processing and surgery. Infection control, seed enhancement, property protection, enhanced shelf-life, invisible packaging, painless 100% effective non-evasive surgery; the limits are imposed by imagination, knowledge and creativity only.

Even security systems are transformed by nano technology as new methods to monitor the molecular landscape offer secure and unique identification management for every product, every healthcare tablet, every sheet of paper, passport or driving license and the good news is that Nature herself designed the signature, (apparently impervious to fraud!) and thus a timely answer to the growing threat of counterfeiting. One simply needs to read nature’s barcode!

Every new infrastructural technology demands global standards and certification, new courses and facilities, new careers and support organizations. We have a future in nano that will drive economic development and quality of life far in advance of current expectations. This area of research has the greatest growth potential for decades to come. Experts forecast the worldwide market for nanotechnology products and services currently is worth more than US$ 100 billion. The UK firm ECR estimates a market of US$ 1,000 billion + for the year 2010. Lux Research is even bolder estimating that the market will grow to US$ 2,600 billion in 2014. That growth in under 10 years would realise a nanotechnology products and services market 10x greater than the estimated current sales in biotechnology. If the forecast is right, in less than 10 years, nanotechnology would generate more sales than the entire telecommunications and IT industry combined.

Will this growth ever be achieved? Even conservative analysts calculate an annual growth of 30% by the year 2010, which broadly corresponds to a market volume of US$ 220 billion.

Above all, nanotechnology will grow because it will offer us a better quality of life, a longer life expectancy, a safer environment, and enormous potential savings in energy.

It is no wonder that proactive companies pushing the boundaries of the nano-scale, reinventing the secrets of nature are in hot pursuit by Governments and Venture Capitalists. The next industrial revolution will hopefully be cleaner, more efficient, more widespread, incorporating every business process, every material, every human touch point for the benefit of a better world. And, as we lift the lid on the dynamics of cell and protein composition and behaviour, we will better understand their danger: toxicology, negativity and warts. Responsible risk analysis and compliance will be necessary to insure we don’t create irreversible harm to ecology and natural life systems in our bold and relentless innovatory drive into the new galaxy of NanoLand..