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Metalor supports nanotechnology education in Neuchatel

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Metalor Technologies SA has decided to offer a CHF 10’000 grant to the University of Neuchatel to support a student of their new “Micro- and Nanotechnology” master. This grant will allow participation of its recipient to the cutting edge education provided in this field by the Microtechnique and Chemistry Institutes. This action also aims at supporting the research in such a fast growing sector as well as triggering the development of new industrial applications of nanotechnology using precious metals.

Up to now, Metalor Technologies SA has been collaborating with the University of Neuchatel and the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne in developing several advanced products based on nanotechnology and aimed at the electronics and bio-medical markets. These products will enhance the span of Metalor Technologies SA in these high added value markets.

Nanotechnology encompasses the techniques that permit to manipulate matter and create structures having dimensions in the order of the nanometer, i.e. a few millionths of a millimeter. At this scale, new materials properties appear and can be leveraged into innovating products. For example, gold powdered into nanometric particles loses its characteristic color and becomes purple, thus allowing its use as a labeling agent for e.g. pregnancy tests. According to a study by Business Communications Company Inc., the market for nanoscale materials currently grows by more than 30% per year.

The Metalor Group, a key global player in the field of precious metals, with headquarters in Neuchatel (Switzerland), is a privately owned company active on a worldwide basis in the refining and production of precious metal products. It is structured in 4 divisions serving the markets of electrotechnics, advanced coatings, watches & jewelry and refining. In 2004, Metalor had net sales of CHF 270 Mio and employed close to 1’300 employees worldwide.