There’s a delegation from RUSNANO (Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies) making the rounds of Canadian nanotechnology firms in the hopes of finding some worthy investments. Officials from the company have also traveled to Finland, the US, Germany, Israel, and elsewhere as they search for companies to invest in. From the Nanowerk news article,
With $5 billion U.S. to work with, RUSNANO is one of the largest technology capital funds on the planet.
The company’s minimum investment will be $10M and they have an investment horizon of 10 years, contrasting strongly with private sector venture funds which often demand a faster return.
I gather this is a government funding agency since it has a public policy focus,
The public policy imperative behind RUSNANO, which is only a year old, is to help Russia quickly build nano-production capacity to catch up to other powers, notably Japan and the United States, that have developed capacity in this area. “We lost a bit when our scientists when we were engaged in resolving our political problems and now we have to catch up rapidly,” said [Alexander] Losyukov [senior RUSNANO official].
Compare the $10M minimum investment from a $5B fund with Canada’s National Institute of Nanotechnology’s $20M annual budget, which is partly funded by the federal government. I know the federal government makes other investments but it all seems rather piecemeal when compared to other countries’ more unified and financially substantive approach to nanotechnology research and innovation.
In other news, a flying microbot has been created at the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada). It’s not precisely nano but it is pretty interesting. From Science Daily,
The microrobot defies the force of gravity by flying or levitating, powered by a magnetic field. It moves around and dexterously manipulates objects with magnets attached to microgrippers, remotely controlled by a laser-focusing beam.
There are more details here.