Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) play a key role in innovation, economic growth and job creation, and in times of globally changing structures and enhanced competitive pressures, SMEs are increasingly identified with the provision of the wellbeing of local and regional communities. Nevertheless, SMEs are disproportionately exposed to imperfections of market and policy developments.
SMEs can be of various different natures, giving rise to different needs that an industries association, like the Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA), can serve; within the nascent disciplines of nanosciences and nanotechnologies, two main groups of SMEs receive specific support from the NIA:
(A) The cutting-edge nanotechnology-exploiters: often newly established on the basis of a narrow (nano)technology-focussed business plan, or product portfolio, these micro-sized enterprises are pioneers in their technology, and carry an above-average risk in the exploitation of their innovations. These risks are enhanced through the characteristic uncertainties surrounding new and emerging technologies, such as the lack of standards and supply chains, and the uncertainties regarding market developments, consumer perception and regulation.
(B) The well-established SME that requires access to the cutting-edge innovation that is nanotechnology, in order to maintain the competitiveness of its core business. The SMEs benefit form NIA’s one-stop-shop provision of information and tailored individual consultancy, specifically set up for SME needs and budgets.
NIA supports SMEs active and interested in nanotechnology through regular updates on developments in policy, regulation, and standardisation, as well as conferences and networking events raround the world, and provides direct representation of its SMEs to international fora, and tailore-made public-private-partnerships involving governments and large industry, in response to specific needs of these SMEs.
Support for NIA Members:
NIA provides specific support to its SME Members.