Nanotechnology Project


Taking Nanotechnology to Market: One Company’s Strategy

Thursday June 29, 2006 • 12:30-1:30 P.M.

View Webcast  video

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars 6th Floor Boardroom

Many people see nanotechnology as a futurist dream. Tomorrow’s nano world promises pollution-free energy, potent cancer and Alzheimer’s treatments, and faster, smaller, cheaper computers.

Few appreciate that nanotechnology is quickly moving out of laboratories and into factories, stores, and homes. Lux Research reports that more than $32 billion in products incorporating nanotechnology sold last year. These include about 300 nanotechnology consumer products, and an estimated 600 nanotechnology raw materials, intermediate components, and industrial equipment items used by manufacturers.

What are the challenges of moving nanotechnology from laboratory to store shelves? How do you use nanotechnology to add value to products, and to shift competitive dynamics? Do you brand or not brand nanotechnology products, and how do you address consumer perceptions? What does responsible development of nanotechnology mean to a company?

Our featured guest, Dr. Barry Park helped us address some of these questions. He is chief operating officer of Oxonica, one of Europe’s leading nanomaterials firms taking nano-enabled products from laboratory to market.

The company was spun out of Oxford University in Great Britain in 1999. Its commercialized products include Envirox Fuel Borne Catalyst (used in diesel engines to reduce fuel consumption and particulate emissions) and Optisol UV Absorber (a photostable UV absorber that provides enhanced and longer lasting protection against UVA in suncare and anti-aging products). In 2005, Boots Group plc—Britain’s foremost pharmacy chain—incorporated Optisol in their new Soltan Facial Sun Defense Cream, now sold widely in stores throughout the United Kingdom.

Dr. Park formerly worked for Raychem Ltd. He is co-author of 20 scientific papers and is an inventor whose work has led to over 120 patents granted worldwide.

This program is part of the Wilson Center’s Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies’ Perspectives on Nano series aimed at stimulating an informed dialogue on the development, commercialization, and oversight of nanotechnology.