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World Innovation Forum, United Nation, 10-11Aug2007, K.L. Malaysia. University-Industry Collaboration in ZnO Nanotechnology. Shahrom Mahmud and Peter J. Robinson Integrated Resource Management ( IRM ) (131662900RT0001) Ontario, Canada N1M 2W5 In Collaboration with

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University-Industry Collaboration in ZnO Nanotechnology

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university industry collaboration in zno nanotechnology

World Innovation Forum, United Nation, 10-11Aug2007, K.L. Malaysia

University-Industry Collaboration in ZnO Nanotechnology

Shahrom Mahmud and Peter J. Robinson

Integrated Resource Management (IRM) (131662900RT0001)

Ontario, Canada N1M 2W5

In Collaboration with

M.J. Abdullah, Universiti Sains Malaysia

M.Z. Zakaria, J. Chong, A.K. Mohamad

Approfit ZnO Mfg Sdn Bhd, Seremban

Azmi Zakaria, M. Zobir Hussein, Z. Rizwan

Universiti Putra Malaysia

brief introduction to irm canada
Brief Introduction to IRM Canada
  • A world expert in Zinc Wastage Recycling and ZnO Manufacturing
  • Built half a dozen Zn-ZnO factories in several countries
  • 7 US patents in zinc recovery from wastages and ZnO manufacturing
  • 5 US patents in ZnO varistors, surge arresters.
  • IRM consultants have 10-40 years experience in MNCs
  • Projects in UK, Europe, India, S. America, Canada & USA.
  • Newest project is nano ZnO, currently looking for investors.
  • Principal Consultant is Dr Peter J. Robinson, Phd in ZnO, 40 years experience in industry in 4 continents.
the essence of this talk
The Essence of this talk
  • Three issues on University-Industry Linkage: How to forge linkage ?
  • A case study: Novel nanotechnology discovery from university-industry collaboration
  • Joint-venture proposition on new industrial scale nanotechnology

3 issues on University-Industry Linkage

Issue 1: Thinking at the same wavelength

Issue 2: Complementary expertise and knowledge

Issue 3: Security for insecurity

issue 1 thinking at the same wavelength
Issue 1: Thinking at the Same Wavelength



Good Products

Big Profit Margin

Low Production Costs


Impact-Factor Papers

Research Awards

Career Promotion

Produce Graduates


One Goal

One Aspiration

Win-Win for All

High Commercial Value

Big Market


Low Production Cost

Satisfy International Standards

Big Profit Margin

issue 2 complementary expertise
Issue 2: Complementary Expertise

One Fact – Most factories make specialized products.

Specialized technology

Specialized market

Specific sets of specifications (UL,FDA,ASTM,CECC,JS,BS, etc)

Another Fact – Industry people would be impressed if university researchers possess knowledge that can solve their problems. This kind of knowledge is complementary or relevant to industry needs.

how to obtain complementary expertise
How to obtain complementary expertise?

1.Visit Google – study product specifications, product technology and product market.

2. For a particular product, list down several main problems faced by manufacturers, ie. problems that cause huge financial losses.

3. Do research to solve the industry problems – buy factory machineries, not lab equipment; and use factory raw materials, not lab materials

4. Take experienced/retired engineers as advisors

5. Use international specifications to judge research products

6. After several years, visit industry people and say “Hey, I can solve your problems.” exp.1

issue 3 security for insecurity
Issue 3: Security for Insecurity

One Fact – Most companies are protective over their technology

How do companies protect their secrets?

1.Secrecy agreements

2.Special access to critical department

3.During factory visits by the public, critical departments are blocked from view.

4.Anti-employee-hopping agreement among competitor companies.

5.Legal suit for industrial espionage or copyright infringements.

6.Research on core technology only done by employee; other research work can be offered to universities.

Some companies feel insecure for the security of core technology thereby feel reluctant to share with others

How to attract companies to share core technology?

·1. Researchers must create own core technology that can complement industry core technology.

·2. Secrecy agreements, royalties, generate income.

case study university industry success
Case Study: University-Industry Success

Universiti Sains Malaysia ZnO research group

 Approfit ZnO Co. Ltd (factory)

Using factory machineries and raw materials, we invented a novel nanofabrication (CFCOM) to synthesize nano-crystals of ZnO. 

Discovered 4 new nanostructures of ZnO.

Published 4 impact-factor journal papers and 6 papers.

Now, making a prototype plant to mass produce with the help of a world expert in ZnO industry from Canada.

Need investment USD2-3 million.

Universiti Putra Malaysia

ZnO research groups

Integrated Resource Management (IRM) Canada Dr. Peter J Robinson

the new nanofabrication cfcom is developed in a factory approfit zno mfg co ltd
The new nanofabrication (CFCOM) is developed in a factory, Approfit ZnO Mfg Co. Ltd.

Normal ZnO

Nano ZnO

Nano ZnO has enhanced optical emission, >30 times higher than normal ZnO – can use less ZnO in real application.

Nano ZnO can also exhibit multiple colors (blue, green, yellow and red) – promising source of lighting devices.

current nanoproducts about usd1 billion 2005



Special Properties

Sunscreen & Cosmetics

Nano ZnO and TiO2

Better UV absorption, higher SPF, less risk to skin cancer.

Tyre Composite

Carbon Black

Increase strength of tyres, better durability

Anti static packaging Plastic

Carbon Nanotubes in Polymer

Enhance conductivity of polymers making it anti static and stronger.

Car Bumpers

Nano Clay

Lighter and stronger

Window Coatings

Nano TiO2

Self-cleaning, anti-scratch

Nano Textiles

Nano ZnO

Anti-microbial, self-cleaning, anti-wrinkle, water repellent

Cutting Tools

SiC, TiC

Wear resistant, last longer

Current Nanoproducts, about USD1 billion (2005)
what nano
What Nano?

Nanotechnology = the applied science dealing with dimensions less than 100 nm; electron microscope is required.

USD 10.5 billion= world’s investment on nano research in 2005. 90% of it came from USA, Europe & Japan[Ref 1]

USD 2.6 trillion= expected revenue from nano products by 2014[Ref 2]

Nanomaterialsresearch dominates development and future markets of nanotechnology.

[Ref 1] P. Harrison, “Nanotechnology and the Environment” Geo Year Book 2007, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), pp 61-70, 2007

[Ref 2] Lux Research, “Revenue from nanotechnology-enabled products to equal IT and telecom by 2014”, press release 25 October 2004

nanotechnology facts
Nanotechnology Facts
  • From a survey done by European Commission[Ref 3],
  • 74% of nanomaterials enterprises are SMEs
  • Main success factors are superior material properties (78%) and quality improvement (47%).
  • Most nano companies carry out research activities on their own.
  • Four most important obstacles for the application of nanomaterials by SMEs are
  • imperfect production process tech (41%) Agglomeration problem
  • high production costs (37%) Results in expensive nano powder
  • lack of knowledge transfer from scientific centers to SMEs (33%)
  • small market volume (18%) Reluctant to use nanomaterial

[Ref 3]European Commission, “European survey on success factors, barriers and needs for the industrial uptake of nanomaterials in SMEs”, Nanomaterial Roadmap 2015 project, 6th framework programme, press release January 2006

how to make nano zno cheap
How to make nano ZnO cheap?
  • IRM Canada, we are developing a new ZnO prototype plant that can mass produce CHEAP nano ZnO below USD30 per kg.
  • 1. Project: Nano ZnO prototype plant
  • 2. Product: Nanoscale ZnO 10-50 nm
  • 3. Capacity: 2-5 kg per hour, 17-43 tons per year
  • 4. Designed by IRM Canada, to be built in Germany and Canada, and assembled in investor’s premise.
  • Joint-patent.
  • Investment: USD 2-3 million
  • 7. Future Project: Full Size Factory with capacity of 300 tons per year and income of USD 9 million per year.
  • 8.
how can we make it cheap


Costing Estimates:

Material Cost = USD 4 per kg

Manpower Cost = USD 3 per kg

Utilities/Other Cost = USD 3 per kg

Royalties = USD 2 per kg

Profit Margin = HUGE

How can we make it cheap?
  • 1. Simple process
  • Simple machineries
  • Innovative ideas
irm canada offers these services
IRM Canada offers these services

IRM Canada offers technology for these factory set-ups

Zinc recycling plants from galvanized dross/wastages

Zinc Oxide manufacturing foundries

Energy Regenerative Systems

Nano Zinc Oxide plant

We can market your products internationally

We also offer consultation for research projects on ZnO,

Nanomaterials, Electronic Materials, Ferrites,

Varistors. Capacitors, Solid-state Devices.

We help in paper publication in impact-factor journals.

“We transform toxic zinc into biosafe zinc oxide for sustainable growth and cleaner environment.”