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Nanotechnology enables growth in cleantech

18 Jun 2010

Solar energy is a common application area for nanotechnology

Five years ago nanotechnology was like science fiction to most people. Media always takes a liking to the most extravagant ideas, such as the Space Elevator. Today over 200 Finnish companies are actively developing and utilizing nanotechnology in their everyday business, and revenue is expected to grow to 1.2 billion euros by 2013.

We at Spinverse have worked with nanotechnology since 2004. We have seen the first steps from research to commercialization, and during the next years, we foresee breakthroughs that will not only renew existing industries but enable substantial growth in new areas such as cleantech. As an indication of what’s coming, six out of 11 of the top most innovative Finnish companies to watch in 2010, as listed by the cleantech guru Shawn Lesser, are developing applications based on nanotechnology:

Beneq sells and develops equipment and technology for functional coating applications, including solutions for cleantech and renewable energy and photovoltaics. Beneq also recently received the Nanotech Finland Award for best business potential.
Canatu develops and sells new components based on carbon nanotubes, for application e.g. in solar cells, touch screens and displays. Canatu’s business results from a scientific breakthrough made by Professor Esko Kauppinen of Aalto University, a merit also recognized by the Nanotech Finland Award.
Picodeon has developed a laser technology to produce diverse functional thin films and coatings for several applications including fuel cells and solar energy.
Braggone supplies materials for the photovoltaic marketplace.
Enfucell  has developed an all-printed power source, which is flexible and thin primary battery made of low cost industrial environmentally friendly materials.
Liqum has developed a scalable liquid quality monitoring technology.
You can learn more about Finnish nanotechnology from a recent publication of Tekes FinNano Programme: Pieni suuri nano.

By the way, did you know that the Space Elevator, which originally was science fiction, has become a real development project since the discovery of a sufficiently strong material – carbon nanotubes. But as for all development projects, the next step is to demonstrate the feasibility by a prototype and move on to commercializing the product.

Laura Juvonen
Consultant at Spinverse Oy and Coordinator of Tekes FinNano Programme (2005-2010)

From a blog published at Cleantech Finland website. Spinverse is a member of Cleantech Finland.

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