Joined: 16 Mar 2004
|Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:02 am Post subject: A Nano Leap for the Thai Cosmetic Industry
|A Nano Leap for the Thai Cosmetic Industry
The National Nanotechnology Centre of Thailand (Nanotec) has announced a Bt50-million plan to boost Thailand 's cosmetic industry.
It plans to lay a research-and-development network which would utilise the fund over a five-year period - from this year to 2010 - to develop nano-cosmeceutical products [cosmetics with medicinal benefits] from Thai herbs. The centre hopes the move will eventually push the market value of the industry to about Bt1 billion in the next five years.
"By using nanotechnology, we can add more value to Thai herbs by using them in innovative products, which can then be exported to the global market," Nanotec director Wiwut Tanthapanichakoon said.
To tap experts for the project, Nanotec has launched a Thai Herbal Nano-cosmeceuticals Coordinated Research Programme.
The centre has tied up with five local universities - Chulalongkorn University, Khon Kaen University, Chiang Mai University , Mahidol University and Naresuan University - which would help develop nano-cosmeceutical products under the programme.
The process will involve exploring raw materials, extracting herbs, developing nanomaterials through the encapsulation method, conducting toxic and safety tests and finally, clinical trials.
Initially, the project will focus on developing whitening, anti-ageing and anti-oxidant products.
"Using nanotechnology in cosmetic products helps improve the efficiency of their active ingredients", Wiwut said "Due to their smaller size, the ingredients can be better absorbed by the skin".
Nanotec hopes to come out with a nano-cosmetic prototype within a year.
It will take about two years to work out a production method to manufacture the products on a large scale. The centre plans to develop at least ten prototypes in three years.
It will also seek investment and research-and-development inputs from the private sector. "We're now talking with other partners and private-sector companies including Osotspa, the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation and Abahibhubej Hospital to develop a research network," Wiwut said.
He said the project would be a starting point to create a systematic research-and-development network to boost the local cosmetic industry in Thailand .
The Thai cosmetic industry has been growing steadily and is expected to expand further. Nanotechno-logy would help the industry add value to its products. At present, Thailand ranks below Singapore , China and Japan in cosmetic exports. Last year, the export value of Thai cosmetic products was estimated to be Bt50 billion.
"The push for nano-cosmeceuticals will help double the export value in the next five years" Wiwut said.