That National Centre for Nano-Structured Materials was created in 2007 as part of the implementation of Government’s National Nanotechnology Strategy. The Centre is hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria as one of its Emerging Research Areas. It is one of two Nanotechnology Innovation Centres created by Government to play a lead role in the development of this research area in the country, as well as the development of skilled South African nanotechnology researchers and scientists.
The NCNSM will focus on the development of new materials using nanotechnology, and on the applications of nanotechnology in the manufacturing, water and health sectors. The other national centre is based at Mintek and will focus on the fields of sensors, biolabels and water nanotechnology.
The NCNSM also plays an important role in making available expensive and high-tech instrumentation used in nanotechnology research, to other researchers in South Africa, whether from higher education institutions, government institutions or private firms.
The Centre strives to be a top-class integrated nanostructured materials R&D centre taking the lead in the industrialisation of science. Its objectives are to:
- conduct leading research into the design, modelling and synthesis of nanomaterials with targeted properties and various possible applications
- effectively disseminate the outcomes of its research activities
- facilitate the application of its research outputs and outcomes in support of national priorities and needs and
- make a meaningful contribution to strengthening the national science base and developing strategic human capital and human resources.
Ultimately, the Centre aims to promote science and technology within relevant industries to enhance their competitiveness for social impact.