Britain could boost national business revenues by almost £8bn if it exploits emerging electromagnetic technologies, according to a recent report.
A study conducted by the government's Foresight programme, Exploiting the electromagnetic spectrum, has identified potential money-spinning opportunities from developing cutting-edge technologies including non-intrusive medical scanning, advanced security imaging to identify drugs and weapons and small-scale manufacturing using lasers.
Communications and e-commerce minister Stephen Timms said in a statement: "The UK has an outstanding scientific track record across the electromagnetic spectrum but we need to get better at exploiting this expertise.
"By bringing the worlds of business and science together, this Foresight project has identified lots of exciting opportunities for the UK to turn 'invented in Britain' into 'made in Britain'.
"Some of the new technologies highlighted in this report could prove revolutionary for areas such as healthcare, security, manufacturing and communications."
Some of the promising electromagnetic technologies identified by the project include smart tags and markers for medical imaging, and non-intrusive imaging for security applications such as advanced CCTV and airport scanners that can look for drugs, weapons and plastic explosives from a distance.
Another application is the creation of fast optical switches for high-speed, high-capacity broadband. The government estimates the UK share of the optical switches market could be worth £300m in a decade.
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