Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nanotechnology Q&A, Pt I ~more

“If you had the attention of the entire world, what would you say regarding molecular manufacturing?”

Mike Treder Future generations of nanotechnology will use advanced nanoscale machinery to construct powerful products with molecular precision. Molecular construction will lead to advanced capacities, such as tabletop fully-automated factories capable of constructing duplicate factories in less than a day. The economic, security, military, and environmental implications of molecular manufacturing will be extreme. Vicious cycles in any of these areas could spiral quickly out of control unless the problem has been studied and understood in advance. Extreme or hasty responses to developing problems could easily make things worse.

Based on a recently released US National Research Council study, increased funding of research leading toward exponential construction of atomically-precise products appears to be a strong possibility. The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology urgently recommends equivalent funding and priority for research into the profound societal and environmental implications of molecular manufacturing, including consideration of the most aggressive potential timelines and powerful capabilities.
~Mike Treder, Executive Director, Center for Responsible Nanotechnology

Nanoscale Materials Q&A, Pt I

Following on the heels of yesterday's Q&A on molucular manufacturing is the same basic Q, this time presented to prominent members of the nanoscale materials community "If you had the attention of the entire world, what would you say regarding nanoscale materials?"

Tim Harper Nanoscale materials will be the building blocks of the 21st century, but you'd have to be crazy to start a nanomaterials company. Why? Well Michael Dell didn't need to make microprocessors to build a computer business, and the key to adding value is always in the application, not the material, the silicon, not the sand.

By 2010 we will see a new wave of nanotech-based innovation based on the availability of high quantities of well characterised, high quality nanomaterials produced by the worlds leading chemical companies, not the few grams being produced by most nanotech startups. The time is ripe for exiting nanotech companies - I'm working on an ever increasing number of acquisitions and there is plenty of money there for the right technologies, but the spending spree won't last.

~Tim Harper, CEO, Cientifica

Bo Varga Nanoscale materials have the potential to solve the world's energy, pollution, and water problems - at least for this century - and possibly the world's food problems and taking a big bite out of global warming.

To achieve this goal will require (i) more experimental research on the activity of various materials at various scale levels and in various combinations (ii) robust computational models that can predict the behaviour of materials & combinations of materials at various scale levels and (iii) robust manufacturing technologies that can deliver cost-effective nanoscale materials in the quantities and of the quality required for targeted applications.

My take is that we may achieve these goals in the 2020 - 2030 time period.

~Bo Varga, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Nano Ventures