Department of Trade and Industry
Micro and Nanotechnology Manufacturing Initiative.
Content summary:


Applied Research Programme - Third Competition

MNT Network - First and Second Competition

Industrial Map of UK MNT

MNT Network - UK MNT Directory



Welcome to the DTI's Micro and Nanotechnology Manufacturing Initiative.

On 2 July 2003, Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Sainsbury, announced a cash injection of £90 million over the next six years to help industry harness the commercial opportunities offered by Micro and Nanotechnologies (MNT). This £90 million will be spent on collaborative R&D and a new network of Micro and Nanotechnology facilities, and forms the first step of developing and implementing a new Technology Strategy.

This will help business build on the UK's excellent scientific track record in these small-scale sciences and win a share of the developing market. The new investment is also securing additional industry and regional spending anticipated to exceed £200 million to provide a boost to future advanced manufacturing in the UK.

Within this Initiative, DTI has allocated £50 million for grants under an Applied Research Programme of collaborative R&D leading to significant economic impact for the UK.

£40 million has also been allocated towards facilities development for a UK Micro and Nanotechnology (MNT) Network. More information relating to the MNT Network can be found at:

Applied Research programme - 3rd Competition

The third competition for outline proposals closes on Monday 20th June 2005.Proposals will be assessed and this should be complete by the middle of July 2005. All applicants will be contacted at this stage with the outcome of their application. Only those proposals which have successfully passed this stage of the assessment process will be invited to submit a Full Proposal. No other proposals will be considered for the third competition.

Details on the application process are available through MNT Manufacturing Initiative including a Guide for Applicants. A list of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) arising is available here.

Should you wish to be kept informed of progress within the Applied Research Programme please register your interest on MNT Manufacturing Initiative


The third and final competition under the MNT initiative is currently open and is looking for applications in Security and Crime Prevention. £15 million is available for this competition; the last of the MNT allocation and registration for this competition closes on the 13th June 2005.

Capital Facilities Programme

The DTI’s Capital Facilities Programme has looked to establish a network of dedicated open access facilities through formalising access to spare capacity in academia and industry.  The overall aim behind these facilities is to drive market development and exploitation of nanotechnology across the UK by helping industry access cutting edge research and resources.  To date a total of £22 million has been invested in micro and nanotechnology facilities around the UK in the following 4 technology areas.

  • Micro and nano device manufacture and integration;

  • Nano particles and novel materials;

  • Bionanotechnology; and

  • Characterisation and metrology.

The First Competition

On the 23rd August 2004 the Department of Trade and Industry announced that £3 million would be given to Innovation in Nanotechnology Exploitation (INEX), a microsystems and nanotechnology facility for industry based at Newcastle University.

INEX is a 425m2 MNT cleanroom fabrication facility with an interconnected 200m2 bionanotechnology and cell culture laboratory, 125m2 microscopy, characterisation and analysis laboratories and 360m2 fully serviced incubator facilities to house university spin-outs/spin-ins and embedded teams from industry.

The Second Competition

The second competition of the MNT capital programme closed on the 21st June 2004.  The second competition received a total of 33 detailed applications with a total value £277 million, of which £116.6 million was requested from the Capital Facilities fund.  These bids were assessed and to date the MNT Executive Panel has approved 8 bids for funding.

The projects receiving funding are:

  • Bangor UK-LMC (Wales University) – will help UK industry and universities exploit laser micro-processing and emerging nanotechnology applications;

  • MicroBridge (Cardiff University) – will manufacture micro-devices for the semi-conductor market;

  • Bondcentre (Applied Microengineering Ltd) – will provide open access to wafer-bonding technology to help build intelligent multi-function products;

  • BegBrokeNano (Oxford University) – will provide open access to the significant measurement and characterisation expertise at BegBroke;

  • UK-MNT-BNC (Imperial College, UCL and NPL) – will help companies to develop and commercialise bio-medical products;

  • MNT@Biocity (Nottingham University) – will provide open access focusing on the growth, synthesis and evaluation of materials for the pharmaceuticals industry;

  • SEMEFABMEMS (Semefab Ltd) – will develop integrated sensing technology for interactive products of the future; and

  • Nano4ce (Queen Mary College, London) – will research and exploit new nanomaterial markets including fashion, architecture, film and art and design.

The Third Competition

A further £20 million is due to be spent on facilities as a result of the 3rd competition of the Capital Facilities Programme.

The Third competition opened on 28th February 2005 and will close at midday on 25th April 2005.  The competition is split into two sections; the first is an invitation to selected Expressions of Interest from the Second Competition to submit detailed applications; and the second is an open competition for detailed applications in the following areas:

  • Bionanotechnology;

  • Microfluidic application centres; and

  • Carbon based electronics.

For more information please see -


UK MNT Facilities Network

The UK MNT Network was established by the DTI and the 12 Regional Development Agencies and Devolved Administrations working together, to provide a market-oriented focus for the facilities, people and organisations engaged in micro and nanotechnologies in the UK.  The MNT Network is aimed toward helping to lower the entry barriers and driving the widespread market development and exploitation of these technologies, and ultimately, towards building a prosperous, world-class MNT sector in the UK.  UK MNT Network Team has worked closely with the DTI on the investment from the Capital Facilities Programme.


The MNT Network Team has developed a web based UK MNT Directory.  Created to promote the presence and capabilities of UK companies engaged in MNT to all potential customers, collaborators and suppliers.

Link -


In October  2004 the MNT Network Team launched the Micro and Nanotechnology Forum.  This is a web-based resource for all UK MNT companies, it has; a free news and patent searching service; a knowledge centre[1] and, an online conferencing facility, complete with a fully searchable archive of past conferences.  There is also a section dedicated to highlighting regional activities, such as key industrial clusters and leading MNT centres of excellence in each region.

Link -

[1] This is an information resource intended to give up to date information on the MNT activities of UK organisations and MNT activities in the US, Europe and other MNT active nations

MNT Network - Industrial Map of UK MNT

The MNT Network in association with the DTI has recently compiled the Industrial Map of UK MNT. The focus of this study was to provide a picture of the capabilities of UK MNT companies.
Click here for more information.


Contacting us

Should you have any queries please contact us on:

Applied Research Programme:

MNT Network:

Related DTI sites:
    Technology Programme    

The Innovation Review
Related external sites:
DTI is not responsible for the content of external sites.

The Applied Research Programme

The MNT Network

Sixth European Framework Programme (FP6)
Press Releases
Press Release - 28 April 2005