The DRDO has tied up with National Manufacturing Competitive Council in preparing a draft on nanoscience and technology policy which would be ready in six months.

The National Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology of the University of Madras will play a key role in the National Biodefence programme of the Defence Research and Development Organisation , said W. Selvamurthy, Chief Controller (R&D), DRDO.

Delivering the inaugural address at the national conference on nanoscience and nanotechnology organised by the university, he said the national biodefence programme was currently being drafted. DRDO was the nodal agency associated with the project which aims at protecting the natural wealth, including plants, herbs, animals, hotspots in North East and Western Ghats, coasts and farm products.

The DRDO has tied up with National Manufacturing Competitive Council in preparing a draft on nanoscience and nanotechnology policy which would be ready in six months.

Mr. Selvamurthy said the Rs. 100 crore worth state-of-the-art national centre for nanoscience at the university and its research lab, sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, would play a key role in the biodefence programme.

The biodefence policy would be implemented in various phases. The lab would test the soil and the atmosphere to measure toxicity.

Of the Rs. 12,000 Crore budget for the DRDO, 10 per cent was being offered to universities and institutes for research.

“These initiatives will help to create a knowledge bank for the next 10 years,” Mr. Selvamurthy said, emphasising that there was a need for the governments to multiply the investment in nanotechnology. Presiding over the conference, G. Thiruvasagam, said the university would shortly be submitting the proposal on biodefence to the DRDO.

The conference focused on various aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology and it turned out to be an excellent platform for interaction among researchers from both academia and industries, in particular, young researchers under one roof, said Prof. S. Sriman Narayanan, director, National Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

More than 175 researchers, eminent scientists and experts participated in the conference and around 150 research papers were presented.

The conference also explored the topics relating to application of nanotechnology in diverse fields of chemistry, physics, engineering and biotechnology.