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10 September 2008
Experts from academia and industry are outlining their latest advances in the manufacture of micro components at an international conference held at the University.
4M2008 is the fourth conference to be held as part of the 4M initiative, a major European project involving the University’s Manufacturing Engineering Centre.
More than 120 researchers from 15 countries across Europe, America and China are attending the conference, which was officially opened by Welsh Assembly Government First Minister Rhodri Morgan.
Launched in 2004, the 4M Network is a four-year project aimed at advancing the technology base for scale-manufacture of microsystems for use in personal, portable and wireless devices and in sensors for lifestyle, health and transport-related applications.
Addressing the conference, the First Minister said: "The market for microsystems to create better, smaller and newer machines is predicted to more than double from $12 billion in 2004 to $25 billion in 2009, and hit $1 trillion by 2015.
"Micro and nanotechnology is opening up the potential for a generation of new and radically enhanced products in areas as diverse as medicine, optical telecommunications, aerospace and textiles."
Professor Stefan Dimov of the Manufacturing Engineering Centre has coordinated the project: "Perhaps the most important deliverable of the Network is the long-term relationship, built upon trust, which exists amongst the 4M partners," said Professor Dimov.
"This strong bond formed in the last four years is giving its fruits. In particular, the Network was instrumental in setting up a strategic research agenda in micro and nano manufacturing, and the 4M Community is at the forefront of research and development in these areas and the broader use of 4M technologies by industry.
4M2008 runs from 9-11 September 2008 and is being held at the Julian Hodge Building.
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