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Institute of Nanotechnology (U.K.) Skills and Training Survey Identifies Skills, Training Gap

by Editor1 last modified December 01, 2007 - 03:44

The Institute of Nanotechnology (U.K.) has released an impressive survey of 179 nanotechnology leaders from industry, government, and scientific research. The 120-page “Nanotechnology: Skills and Training Survey” identifies current gaps in skills and training of the nano-focused workforce from the viewpoint of those who daily work and manage nanoscience projects .

Institute of Nanotechnology (U.K.) Skills and Training Survey Identifies Skills, Training Gap

The Institute of Nanotechnology's Kshitij Singh prepared the 120-page “Nanotechnology: Skills and Training Survey”


To download the 120-page Institute of Nanotechnology (U.K.)
"Nanotechnology: Skills and Training Survey" simply click here.


Further, the survey recommends steps all sectors can take to fill these gaps, and improve prospects for nanoscience research and commercialization. The landmark survey was compiled and written by IoN's Kshitij Singh. NanoScienceWorks.org is proud to work with the Institute of Nanotechnology to enable our members to download the full 120-page IoN Nanotechnology: Skills and Training Survey, as well as an Executive Summary below.
Visit the Institute of Nanotechnology (U.K.)

Institute of Nanotechnology – Skills and Training Survey (Executive Summary)
Survey prepared by Kshitij Singh; Institute of Nanotechnology, UK

The Institute of Nanotechnology (U.K.) has released an impressive survey of 179 nanotechnology leaders from industry, government, and scientific research. The 120-page “Nanotechnology: Skills and Training Survey” identifies current gaps in skills and training of the nano-focused workforce from the viewpoint of those who daily work and manage nanoscience projects . Further, the survey’s author Kshitij Singh recommends steps all sectors can take to fill these gaps, and improve prospects for nanoscience research and commercialization.

The survey’s stated aim is “[T]o identify skills gaps in the emerging nanotechnology market, identify professional development and training needs, and inform institutions running nanotechnology masters programs so that they can be better focused on industry’s needs.”

Preliminary Overview of Findings
A total of 179 valid responses were received and analyzed.

The roles of graduates and post-graduates in this emerging area were reported to be 24% in nanoscience research, 15% in new product development, 10% in management, while remaining ranged from manufacturing, quality assurance to documentation.

  • 79% use nanoscience and nanotechnology knowledge in their organization programs, services or products.
  • 57% recruit graduates and post-graduates specifically for their nanotechnology know-how, while the others do not make such distinctions while hiring.
  • 34% said doctoral qualifications were the ‘preferred knowledge level’ in their sector
  • As a preference for recruitment for post-graduates, 21% indicated single discipline masters; 18% interdisciplinary masters.
  • 42% said they face human resource problems in their organization (availability of manpower with appropriate skills or right knowledge depth).
  • 58% indicated that both generalist and specialist skill sets were valued by employers, (while 24% indicated a preference for generalist skills over 13% for specialists in organizations A mixed approach is used by most organizations for employee training and development.)
  • On-the-job was the most-preferred training method (26%), while 22% said they used continual professional development, and 15% for short course

Institute of Nanotechnology – Skills and Training Survey (Executive Summary)
Survey Recommendations

The survey recommends the following actions and directions:

  • Increase training in lab-to-marketplace sectors. Among most notable areas are: R&D management, project management, technology strategy, technology marketing, sustainability, risk assessment as elective modules for postgraduate training and professional development
  • Greater practical experience during post-graduate training, with focus on sol-gel, lithography, bottom up assembly and training in use of SPMs and EMs
  • Integrating competencies of material sciences, biology interface with nanomaterials and nanoscale effects in post-graduate programs.
  • Inclusion of knowledge of new materials, their properties and selection, and design methodologies for new product development.
  • Development of short sector-based modular courses to allow continued training of the workforce, including toxicology, health and safety, intellectual property rights and important societal issues such as ethics.
  • Investigating specific training needs of sectors such as information and communication, medical devices and health care, electronics, aerospace, automotive, energy and power in relation to nanotechnology
  • Government bodies to increase funding for encouraging knowledge partnership through creation of more science to business roles

Institute of Nanotechnology – Skills Survey Credits
Also assisting in development and completion of the survey are noted nanoscience educators and government leaders throughout Europe, including
  • Dr. Mark Geoghegan (University of Sheffield),
  • Dr. John Burgoyne (Oxford Instruments),
  • Dr. David Carey (University of Surrey),
  • Dr. Jim Burnell Gray (formerly Northumbria University),
  • Professor Derek Chetwynd (University of Warwick),
  • Dr. Renzo Tomellini (European Commission),
  • Ms Roos Bruins (TU Delft),
  • Dr. Richard Forbes (formerly Surrey University),
  • Dr. Steffi Friedrichs (Nanotechnology Industry Association), and
  • Dr. Stuart Wilkinson ( Oxford University)
  • Mr. Del Stark (European Nanotechnology Trade Alliance),
  • Dr. Holger Hoffschulz (VDI),
  • Dr. Michael Gleiche (VDI),
  • The Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Unit at DG Research European Commission,
  • Nanoforum (Europe)