The World Gold Council today announced that it is to play a pivotal role in the transition of new gold-based innovations from 'lab' to 'market'.
There has been an explosion of interest in the use of gold in science and technology, mainly driven by the emergence of nanotechnology, yet breakthroughs in research are slow to achieve commercial success due to lack of further targeted investment and support. The World Gold Council's initiative will help bridge the gap between government-funded early stage research and venture capital-backed commercialisation through investing in gold-related technology in the fields of medical diagnosis and treatment, protecting the environment and renewable energy.
This announcement is accompanied by a new report, Gold: The hidden element in innovation, which details how the use of gold has led to the development of ground-breaking advances. As technology continues to progress, gold will be used in a multitude of new products and processes, and the World Gold Council expects these innovations will help address critical needs in medicine and the protection of the environment.
Dr Richard Holliday, Director, Technology at the World Gold Council said:
"The role of gold at the heart of many scientific advances is an untold story of innovation. Although little heralded, gold is the hidden element that has increased the efficiency, accuracy and effectiveness of many technologies. We will continue to provide our expertise and resources to help bring exciting new gold-based technologies through to commercialisation."
The new report includes examples of the World Gold Council's involvement in supporting innovative technologies, such as:
Professor Molly Stevens and her team at Imperial College London, who are exploiting the versatility of gold nanoparticles to design tools which are showing great promise in improving the early diagnosis of many diseases including HIV/AIDS and sepsis.
Professor Michael Wong's lab at Rice University, Texas, which has developed a gold-alloy nanoparticle catalyst, which breaks down poisonous groundwater pollutants, a common health hazard.
Professor Carole Perry and her team at Nottingham Trent University, who have demonstrated that combining gold nanoparticles with antibiotics may lead to materials with improved and longer-lasting antimicrobial effectiveness.
The World Gold Council has also formed a new International Technology Advisory Board comprised of internationally recognised experts to help provide additional insight and guidance on its research and development activities in 2011 and beyond.
Advisory board member, Professor Vincent Rotello, Charles A. Goessmann Professor of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts, USA said:
"Speaking as a researcher who has been active in this field for many years, gold's unique properties and versatility in nanotechnology open up a plethora of potential new applications for the metal. I am delighted to be part of the advisory board for this initiative that will accelerate the development of promising technologies."