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Nanotechnology is defined as the creation and utilization of materials, devices and systems through the manipulation of matter at scales of less than 100 nanometers. In scientific terminology, the prefix ‘nano’ means one billionth involves events that occur in the length range of a fraction of a nanometer to a hundred nanometer.

Nanotechnology is not a new science and it is not a new technology. It is rather an extension of the sciences and technologies that have already been in development for many years and it is the logical progression of the work that has been done to examine the nature of our world at an ever smaller scale.

Nanotechnology represents a major opportunity for the construction sector to develop new products, substantially increase quality, and open new markets.

The world of the construction sector is being changed by new technologies, new materials, new building typologies, new concerns and opportunities.

The construction sector has been slow to embrace nanotechnology, but nanotech innovations have an enormous impact on building design and construction.

Construction deals with high-tech materials and processes that have been commoditized for use in the never-ending prototyping that is construction.

For example, concrete and steel (together with its bolting and welding) are both high tech materials that are simple to use and therein lie their beauty.

Materials and design therefore, is the first avenue through which nanotechnology can exert an influence; by taking staple construction materials and actually nanoscale of the structure and characteristics of materials (otherwise known as characterization) will promote the development of new applications and new products to repair or improve the properties of construction materials.

For example, the structure of the fundamental calcium-silicate-hydrate (C-S-H) gel which is responsible for the mechanical and physical properties of cement pastes, including shrinkage, creep, porosity, permeability and elasticity, can be modified to obtain better durability.

In the field of cement and its derivatives, sustainability will be a major issue. The control of the cement hydration could lead to a new generation of products.

These products will have a better ratio of  property to mass, that means, the same or better property could be obtained with less material.

Their production processes could be more environment-friendly. The same could be for other construction materials and the components made using them.

Nanotechnology is an enabling technology that is opening a new world of materials functionalities, and performances. But it is also opening new possibilities in construction sustainability.

On one hand it could lead to a better use of natural resources, obtaining a specific characteristic or property with minor material use. It can also help to solve some problems related to energy in building (consumption and generation), or water treatment

The National Nanotechnology Initiative drives Malaysia towards a conducive environment for nanotechnology application development and commercialization and the Government support will accelerate the progress of the development of home grown nanotechnology into beneficial technologies.

The complexity and sophistication of nanotechnology symbolises the aspirations of Malaysia to build a high-income economy dependent on high-value sectors of growth.

The benefits to the society derived from nanotechnology abound, improvements in medical care as tools and technologies of the trade to attain cutting edge precision to advancements in industrial sciences that

work to eliminate man-made pollution.

To enhance private sector investment, group relief is provided under the Income Tax Act 1967 to all locally incorporated resident companies.

The group relief is limited to 50% of the current year’s unabsorbed losses to be offset against the income of another company within the same group (including new companies undertaking activities in approved food production, forest plantation, biotechnology, nanotechnology, optics and photonics) subject to the following conditions:

a. The claimant and the surrendering companies each has a paid-up capital of ordinary shares exceeding RM2.5 million;

b. Both the claimant and the surrendering companies must have the same accounting period;

c. The shareholding, whether direct or indirect, of the claimant and the surrendering companies in the group must not be less than 70%;

d. The 70% shareholding must be on a continuous basis during the preceding year and the relevant year;

e. Losses resulting from the acquisition of proprietary rights or a foreign-owned company should be disregarded for the purpose of group relief; and

f.   Companies currently enjoying the following incentives are not eligible for group relief:

–    Pioneer Status

–    Investment Tax Allowance/Investment Allowance

–    Reinvestment Allowance

–    Exemption on shipping profits

–    Exemption of income tax under section 127 of the Income Tax Act 1967; and

–    Incentive Investment Company

With the introduction of the above incentive, the existing group relief incentive for approved food production, forest plantation, biotechnology, nanotechnology, optics and photonics will be discontinued.

However, companies granted group relief incentive for the above activities shall continue to offset their income against 100% of the losses incurred by their subsidiaries.

This incentive is effective from the year of assessment 2006.

Source : National Nanotechnology Statement and F.H. Halicioglu, The Potential Benefits of Nanotechnology for Innovative Solutions in the Construction Sector.

-SNASH-

(this article written for 1BINA.my)