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Dual-use technologies address both civil and defence needs. The Italian company Signo Motus has developed a fluid which is an intelligent nanomaterial. When subjected to an electric field, it passes from the liquid state to the qUASi-solid state. It took six years to develop this technology which was originally designed to improve the efficiency of shock absorbers on military vehicles.

“Initially we developed this technology for the army, but given its many possibilities we decided to move to civilian applications, especially in rehabilitation and fitness,” explained Paolo Giorgianni, the company’s R&D Technical Manager.

According to euronews.com, the idea is to target these two new sectors, to transfer this technology, for example to operate a type of exoskeleton.The business potential is enormous. “These two sectors are characterized by a very high growth rate and we intend to penetrate the market within two years and in five years to achieve a turnover 20 times greater than today,” said Sandro Scattereggia Marchese, Managing Director of the company.

The company has already received €50,000 via the European Horizon 2020 program, which is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program. Francesco Cappello who represents the Enterprise Europe Network of the EU which supports small and medium businesses, said: “There are other European funds such as the Structural Funds and the Cosme programme to help SMEs, like Signo Motus, to reach the market more easily. He said: ‘Dual-us applications are everywhere, transportation, security, virtual reality and also in health,” he explained. Boosting Dual-use is one of the European priorities. Moreover, many organisations or clusters support companies that target both civil and military markets.

Signo Motus is an SME representing a bridge between bioengineering and medicine. The application fields embrace robotics, smart materials, assistive technology, and ICT.