Is Nanotechnology sector outperforming like other sectors? Is government offering a right amount of funds for research and development? Where had Nanotechnology startups gone? What is scope for nanotechnology startups in India? Who is a good option for entrepreneurs for quicker and reliable funding support? Let’s take a look where this industry is leading!

Nanotechnology is India’s one of the most promising industries as it carries high potential all along having a great importance in research work. It has wide applications and several national and international companies like the Tata Group, Reliance Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra and Intel etc. are investing in it. A number of startup companies are also working on how to apply it in the multidisciplinary domains like electronics, biotechnology, electronics, communication, food, energy, computer science and others. Many of them are using this technology to improve their traditional products portfolio to compete with market challenges and ensure rapid growth by boosting the sales.

A Gist of Nanotechnology

Well, Nanotechnology is changing the world and lifestyle! It is the science of small particles which are less than 100 nm in size. It involves in the engineering of functional systems at the nano level and expected to influence a wide range of products and processes which will influence the national development and economic growth in the future.

Few Initiatives Supporting Nano Technology

A few years back this segment was expected to be huge as it directly give impact on socio economic growth and social environment. In 2007, the Indian Government has launched a mission on Nano Science & Technology called Nano Mission and allocated Rs. 1000 crore under the 11th Five Year Plan to promote nanotechnology in India. To continue with same mission the Union Cabinet allocated Rs. 650 crore in the Nano Mission Phase-II during the 12th Five Year Plan in 2012 (2012-2017). The Nano Mission works under the Department of Science and Technology to promote collaborative efforts taking along institutions, scientists, and industry players. The Nano mission also claims to make many other efforts to produce application oriented products. This mission supported India to get entry in the list of the top five nations in terms of nano technology publications. It has also produced more than 900 Ph.Ds, 5000 research papers and a huge range of useful products for various industries over the years. It is helping to establish a good ecosystem in the country to pursue nano technology research. The Indian government has initiated different programme under this mission but somehow nanotechnology failed to catch attention in a big way.

Why Nanotechnology Is Falling Down?

Despite the fact that "Nano Mission" has financed many projects over the time, it had never lead to hopeful results. Actually, all the taken steps are not sufficient or are just few drops in the ocean.

Bangalore based NoPo’s founder, Gadhadar Reddy ( gave an interesting outline of nanotechnology sector. He said, “Nanotechnology innovations have a bright future as it is gaining interest fast. However there is an increasing number of research papers but practical applications are limited.” He also raised a concern, “Government funding has mostly been controlled and cornered by a few researchers and bureaucrats. Whereas global investors are not yet forthcoming as there are no true nanotech products in India. On the other hand, Indian investors are least interested to invest in the development of technology.” Reddy, Founded NoPo with a group of experts including Changalaray Reddy, Chairman & Director, NoPo and Dr. Robert Kelly Bradley , Director of Technology, NoPo in 2011. The company is producing a high-quality Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes in large quantity.

“Nanotechnology” searches on Google have also trended down over the time. However, people are searching continuously all those products and technologies which are benefiting by nanotechnology and are better alternatives for many things. Clearly, it needs to do much more—and also provide long-term fiscal and other incentives—if India is to realize its potential in this breakthrough science.

Challenges for Nanotech Companies

Nanotechnology can contribute to strengthen the Indian Economy. It offers a wide range of employment opportunities to youths and scientists. However there are some key hurdles in the ways of startups/companies that are serving in this segment. Vivek Gupta who founded Nanoshel ( in March 2007 with Bio Nano conjugation projects for targeted drug delivery applications said, “As per my experience, Nanotech industry is at a very nascent stage in India. It will take another 10 years to grow because of many reasons.” His company is specialized in developing the nano drugs for Cancer, Aids, Malaria, and Typhoid etc. People are not very receptive for this technology. According to him, “There is lack of understanding and unwilling to change the products with new technology. Indians are not willing to change and understand the usage and benefits of nanotechnology."He feels disappointed at times because as there is lack of adequate support from the Government and investors as regards to promotion of nanotech industry and it makes really difficult for nanotech startups to survive in India for a long time period.

Reddy added, “The field has an inherent high barrier to entry. For example: The most basic tool required for any nanotech startup is an Electron MIcroscope. They cost between $500, 000 - $10 Million, are not developed in India, require extensive support and trained operators. So, startups are forced to use private labs which take time for results thus reducing scope for rapid development. An access to low cost instrumentation is essential for rapid development of the field all over the world.” Most of the startups don’t know where to use this technology and what to do to create demand and increase their products performance. Reddy said that electronics in the only sector where nanotech is making an impact in a big way. India does not have fabs nor any strength in advanced electronics at this time. This is where Nanotech will head in the next decade. The industry will go a long way in putting resources to achieve specific goals. Reddy added, “Nanotechnology is currently being pursued by private individuals and nano products will have a huge scope everywhere in the future."

Some Companies Supporting the Future of Nano Technology

Although nanotechnology startups are not much visible but there are some who are doing really good all along helping many older industries by providing inventions. Few names in this category include Velbionanotech, Nanoshel, Micromaterials Private Limited, Nanobio chemicals, Yashnanotech and lots more.

Velbionanotech is using nanotechnology in designing drugs for various diseases such as heart problems, kidney stones, AIDS, cancer etc.. It uses Nanochips and nano particles for drug development and delivering them into human body. It is also designing bionano products with traditional machinery. It was established in March 2002 to promote R&D in nanotechnology and biotechnology segment worldwide by making use of proven latest throughput technologies. Nanoshel has a research center in Haryana by the name the Intelligent Materials Private Limited where it is producing more than 50 types of nano products including metal, carbon nanotubes, oxides and allied nanoparticles etc.

Bangalore-based Micromaterials Private Limited is involved in the production of nano particles for different applications. Mumabi based Nanobio Chemicals is experimenting in the production of Nano science education kits, nanocomposites, iron oxide nano-particles, nano-chains and antimicrobial products etc for promoting health and hygiene. Another Mumbai based startup Yashnanotech is offering nanotechnology business consulting worldwide all along the intelligence services to investors and industry leaders. It is connecting Indian nanotechnology startups and big companies worldwide to explore more scope and opportunities.

If you know and is part of a Nanotech Startup in India then do let us know in comments below.

[Top Image - Shutterstock]

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