Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Interview with Neil Gordon of the Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance

Today I would like to share with you an interview I did with my friend and colleague Neil Gordon. Neil is the president of the Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance (CNBA). Neil specializes in nanotechnology commercialization and global initiatives.

In their own words, the CNBA is “a nanotechnology association and facilitator,” with a duel mission:

1. To establish a Canadian National Nanotechnology Initiative including the creation of commercially-oriented nanotech hubs, the promotion of nanotechnology in Canada, and the promotion of Canadian nanotechnology capabilities internationally.

2. To develop major nanotechnology initiatives across the globe.

RR: What are your concerns regarding a nanotechnology-enabled military and/or homeland security department?

With all of the amazing progress made by humankind during the twentieth century in political, social, technological and economic endeavors, it is maddening to accept that military and homeland security must take such a prominent role in our society today. That being said, the nanotechnology community has a unique opportunity to help our government agencies develop technologies to better protect human life and dignity, along with the values we believe in. My biggest concern is the long time duration for characterizing the specifications to defend against new types of threats, then develop, test and deploy better systems that meet these unprecedented requirements.

RR: What is being done vs. what (in your opinion) should be done to prepare for advanced nanotechnologies and their use by the military and homeland security departments?

The technology and end-user communities along with their funders need to better coordinate new standards, specifications, development plans and investments to reduce the time for new solutions coming to market. One example where this coordination is taking place is CANEUS. CANEUS is a NASA-led initiative between multiple government agencies in the US and allied countries, and with the private sector that is coordinating “collaborative” investments and developments of Micro-Nano-Technologies (MNTs) for the aerospace industry.

Read the entire interview here

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