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Speedo 's Tom Waller to deliver keynote at Nano4Sport event

31 August 2011

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN) has confirmed Dr Tom Waller, head of Aqualab at Speedo International, as keynote speaker at the forthcoming Nano4Sport event (September 21, London). The one-day conference is aimed at all product designers but will focus on how micro and nanotechnologies, many of which are commercialised, can enhance the performance of engineering materials, textiles and products used in the sports industry.

Nano and micro technologies are increasingly being used to add functionality and competitive edge to sports products – in apparel for anti-microbial, easy-clean or water repellent fabrics, integrated electronics for ‘smart’ textiles and nanomaterials and nanocoatings for enhanced performance equipment such as tennis balls, fishing rods, tennis racquets, golf clubs and hockey sticks.

However, the potential for using nanotechnology is limited only by knowledge and imagination, a situation which this unique one-day event organised by the NanoKTN in partnership with the Creative Industries and Materials KTNs, aims to correct, by bringing together designers and technology developers. With sponsorship from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), a Student Bursary Scheme from MaDE - Materials and Design Exchange plus support from British Design Innovation, BPF, IOM3 Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology Committee and London Technology Network (LTN), the event is being supported by leading professionals within the field.

The keynote presentation, delivered by Dr Tom Waller, Head of Aqualab, Speedo International will address the important issues to be considered for introducing new technologies into sporting products, in particular, the commercial challenges of applying micro and nano technologies and the proof of their efficacy.

Speakers will cover the broad dimension of nanotechnologies, including an introduction to nano and micro technologies from the NanoKTN, UKTI who will outline plans for promoting the UK during the 2012 Olympics, P2i who will discuss the use of water repellent nanotechnology for sport shoes, Peratech presenting on smart textiles, and the Technology Strategy Board providing an update on funding opportunities.

Nano4Sport will also see technology pitches from a number of selected UK companies and organisations, who will use the event as a platform for their ideas, with the aim to develop collaborative links with potential business partners. Pitches have already been confirmed from Xennia Technology, Sofmat Ltd and the University of Cambridge, and opportunities are still available for technologists and designers to apply.

“Exploitation of the commercial benefits and effects offered by nanotechnology requires communication between the scientific and design communities and by hosting this event, we aim to inform and raise awareness of the issues in this field,” explains Dr Martin Kemp, theme manager, NanoKTN.

Kemp continues, “Nanotechnology holds the promise to provide a significant number of advances in this area and the UK has a wealth of experience and knowledge to offer. By generating ideas and developing links for future collaborations, we aim to ensure advances in this field are driven forward by the UK into future manufactured products.”

Nano4Sport will also launch the Nano4Design focus group and all sectors of the supply chain are encouraged to register for the one-day event, including product and apparel designers in all sectors, nanotechnology developers, technology integrators and anyone working in the materials supply chain.

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