World Nano summit puts Discovery Park tenant on a global stage

When it comes to succeeding in business the advice is usually to think big.  But for delegates at the inaugural World Nano Summit, held at Discovery Park, Sandwich on Wednesday, 18th March the talk was of all things great and very, very small.

The conference, organised by Discovery Park tenant, the World Nano Foundation, brought together many of the greatest minds in the nanotechnology sector and advocates of science and business in the UK.

Nanotechnology, for the uninitiated, is science, engineering and technology on an atomic, molecular and supramolecular scale.  It’s a growing sector worth millions to the UK economy.

The technology is already used in many commercial products and processes, including lightweight, strong materials for applications such as boat hulls, sporting equipment and car parts. Nanomaterials are also used in sun screens and cosmetics.

Discovery Park tenant ALPHA Nano Solutions Group, was among the pioneering firms, already putting the technology to good use, whose services were showcased on the day.

The company creates supplies and applies innovative coatings that protect a huge variety of different surfaces. Its services have been called on for major projects around the world including the famous Cutty Sark tea clipper in Greenwich and the Dublin Tunnel.

Dannie McDonald, Group Managing Director ALPHA Nano Solutions, described how the technology used in its products has brought the firm to global attention.

She said: “The Cutty Sark has a glass surround which becomes dirty and difficult to clean very quickly, making it unsightly for visitors and costly to maintain.

“Following tests with our coating we have shown the impact the technology can have on keeping the glass cleaner for longer with the added bonus of an enhanced viewing experience for visitors.

“Another project we are working on is the Dublin Tunnel, where close to a million euros was being spent on maintenance and protection every six weeks.

“We’ve been doing tests for the past six months and instead of having to use harsh chemicals and harsh cleaning methods the areas in the tunnel that are protected clean back with a simple water based and easy cleaning method.

“As a result we are now being scoped for works in other tunnels around the world.”

On the summit itself, Dannie said the event had provided a great opportunity to meet representatives from all sectors of nanotechnology, both academic and commercial, local and international.

She added: “We felt honoured to have the opportunity to share our own story to this collective audience and showcase our products.”

 ALPHA Nano Solutions shared the stage with some of the biggest names in nanotechnology, including renowned physicist Dr Anita Goel, whose company Nanobiosym, is working on a diagnostic detection device called Gene Radar.

Paul Stannard, Chairman of the World Nano Foundation, said: “It’s been a great inaugural summit and a real coming together of this community of partners.

“We’ve had some incredible feedback and we’re already taking on board some of the suggestions of the delegates and debating forum so that our vision meets all the need of the stakeholders.

“We’ve had firm commitment and pledges from around the world in support of the foundation.”

Paul Barber, Managing Director of Discovery Park, said: “We were delighted to welcome to Discovery Park many of the biggest names in the growing sector of nanotechnology, re-affirming this site’s position at the cutting edge of science research.

“Events like this inspire the kind of collaboration between tenants - existing and future - that will help ensure the site’s future success and reputation as the place to do research and to do business.”

George Freeman MP, the Government’s Minister for Life Sciences, speaking ahead of the summit, said: “This summit will be a spur to the UK’s leading global position in the emerging field of nanotechnology.”

Local growth minister, Penny Morduant, added: “Discovery Park has a rich history of innovation so it’s fitting that the inaugural World Nano Summit should be held there.

“When we launched Enterprise Zones we had a vision of companies coming together to drive forward creativity innovation and growth.  That is what is happening in this part of the world because these companies recognise that Enterprise Zones are a great place to do business.”

About the World Nano Foundation

The World Nano Foundation is a not-for profit charitable global organisation based at Discovery Park in Sandwich.  Aimed at aiding entrepreneurs, inventors, professors and professionals the Foundation is a medium for nurturing, developing and commercialising ground breaking new nanotechnologies to revolutionise the world and how we interact with it.  To find out more about its work, visit: or email:

About ALPHA Nano Solutions

ALPHA Nano Solutions use the latest advances in nanotechnologies. It creates, supplies and applies innovative coatings that will protect a huge variety of different coatings that will protect a huge variety of different surfaces and substrates in different environmental conditions. For further information, visit: or call 01304 802727.

Photo shows: James Pound, Managing Director at ALPHA Nano Solutions speaking at the World Nano Summit at Discovery Park.

Issued by Pillory Barn on behalf of Discovery Park Ltd

Posted on 23/03/2015