The need for qualified nanotechnology specialists increases almost in line with the ever increasing array of applications being found in nanotechnology. The secret for the continued growth in this area lies in the ability to understand and control matter at the nanoscale even more precisely; if we can do this then we can revolutionise technology and industry across all our key sectors for many more decades to come.

A key element to securing the development of nanotechnology is make available high quality training guides, material and courses for scientists to either top-up existing skills or move into the field with little or no experience in nanotechnology.

With the rise in popularity of massive open online courses or MOOCs for short, we are seeing many new ways to access award winning material. Material made available free of charge to the student to develop their skills in many of the popular fields of science and beyond. For those not aware of MOOCs, these are courses delivered virtually to anyone who wants to take the course. There is no limit in theory to the number of students registered to take the course and the open part means they are free to attend.

There is no doubt MOOCs will play an important role in the growth expected in nanotechnology over the next 5 years.

As well as the training aspect, it will be important to foster better relationships between industry and academia so there is a clear conduit from theory to practice. The nanotechnology knowledge transfer network or KTN sets out to achieve just this with its tagline of connecting technology and catalysing innovation.