European study Nanoroad SME
Industrial Adaption to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Trends in Research and Development, Product and Application Visions
Scientific developments in the field of nanomaterials influence many different industrial branches like automotive, aeronautics, mechanical engineering or medical & health. In these industrial sectors many SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) are involved as traditional suppliers, start-ups or producers of high-tech-products. In order to remain competitive on these markets, companies have to integrate these new results in their commercial vision for future products.
NanoRoadSME was a pilot project funded by the European Commission and conducted by 12 partners from 7 countries which aimed at developing technology roadmaps and using them to facilitate the transfer of European research results from the nanotechnological field to SMEs. The main challenge was to encourage a knowledge-based approach in the SMEs strategy.
The project was divided in three phases:
- Phase A: Market driven approach - Analysis of SME and market needs
SMEs' needs were taken into account from the very beginning through an industrial survey. The objective was to identify the essential success factors and barriers to the industrial application of nanomaterials.
Furthermore SWOT analyses were made, which identified technological problems to be overcome in the industrial branches automotive, aeronautics, medical&health and energy and opportunities to solve these problems with nanomaterials.
- Phase B: Technology driven approach
Seven main material categories were chosen: metals&alloys, ceramics, polymers, composites, nano-glasses, carbon-based and biological materials. For each category a well-structured report has been prepared which summarizes all the important information from existing studies and national reports, projects, patents, interviews of experts, as well as literature survey. The seven R&D reports give an actual picture of the domain identifying trends, properties of the relevant materials and possible applications.
- Phase C: Roadmapping
The data collected are gathered in a knowledge database, which gives the possibility to obtain specific technology roadmaps depending at the branches and the industrial applications.