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Archive for the 'Economics' Category

Nanotechnology patent problems blamed on unionization

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 9th, 2007

Small Times reports on a meeting held in Oregon among a wide variety of nanotechnology-based business participants, at which many commercialization challenges were discussed. One was difficulties encountered with the U.S. Patent office: Start-ups expressed frustration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Long waits for patent award decisions make it difficult for them [...]

Nanotechnology alleged to aid patriarchy

Posted by Christine Peterson on February 15th, 2007

We mentioned earlier the Harvard Business Review list of Breakthrough Ideas for 2007. Nanotechnology shows up again in another idea on the list — this one rather more controversial. Phillip Longman observes that falling birthrates lead, over time, to an increase in families with more conservative values, because they reproduce more. Seems plausible. He then [...]

Nanotechnology: Just-in-time nanomanufacturing at home

Posted by Christine Peterson on February 8th, 2007

The Harvard Business Review has named its top 20 Breakthrough Ideas for 2007, and home-based, atomically-precise manufacturing makes the list. Business in the Nanocosm, by UC Berkeley business prof Rashi Glazer, does a good job of conveying the future of home-based nanomanufacturing. Excerpts: Conventional manufacturing carves or distills a purpose-suited device from a mass of [...]

China rapidly gaining in nanotechnology competition

Posted by Christine Peterson on February 7th, 2007

In case you missed the China webcast by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, here’s a short summary from IT Week by Clement James: China bets big on nanotech Country takes aim at $3 trillion global market in nanotech products Nanotechnology is key to the future economic success [...]

Helping poor countries with nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 28th, 2006

Foresight members and others would like to find ways to use nanotechnology to help those who need help the most. It’s a challenge, as described more generally by Nancy Birdsall, Dani Rodrik, and Arvind Subramanian, writing in Foreign Affairs. They suggest a solution, which ought to work for nanotech as well as medical technologies: Wealthy [...]

Nanotechnology patent delays bad for (almost) everyone

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 27th, 2006

A story by Jon Van describes the growing backlog of nanotechnology patent applications: As the time it takes to process patent applications now averages almost four years, double the time it took in 2004, nanotech entrepreneurs are beginning to worry that their ability to raise money to develop products may be stifled. It’s not just [...]

Nanotechnology competition: India vs. Singapore

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 3rd, 2006

Here’s a nanotech news item from the Financial Express (India) that shows the challenge that developing countries such as India face in their efforts to leapfrog over intermediate levels of technology directly to operating right at the cutting edge: Indian nanotech firm to move to Singapore Singapore, November 1: Bangalore-based nanotechnology firm Qtech Nanosystems has [...]

Nanotechnology risks? Ask the economists

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 24th, 2006

Darrell Dvorak at points out that there’s often some expertise missing from discussions on nanotech risk: Because nanotech operates at the molecular level, there has been much speculation about new, unknown risks of nano products and processes… An encouraging development for a fact-based approach is that regulation has been shown to often hurt more [...]

Nanotechnology: alleviate poverty or reduce inequality?

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 2nd, 2006

The role of nanotechnology in the developing world is questioned by Prof. Guillermo Foladori of Mexico in his Nanotechnology Law & Business article “Nanotechnology in Latin America at the Crossroads” (free abstract, full PDF requires a fee or subscription). Prof. Foladori reminds us of nanotech’s potential to alleviate poverty: In recent years, governments, scientists, and [...]

Wise nanoeducation investment or nano-pork?

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 23rd, 2006

Given the increasing protest from U.S. voters over the growing problem of “pork” spending by Congress, it behooves us in the nanotech field to develop criteria for nanotech projects. Here’s an example from the May 2006 Forbes/Wolfe Nanotech Report (similar report in Milwaukee Business Journal): “Department of Commerce Funding: Chippewa Valley Technical College Funding Announced: [...]

New nanotech export controls opposed

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 17th, 2006

The leading semiconductor equipment industry association has taken a strong stand (one-page pdf) against new U.S. nanotech export controls: “SEMI is concerned about possible new export controls on nanotechnology products and cautions against further controls until this technology is better defined. “Nanotechnology should not be controlled simply because it is nanotechnology. This label is often [...]

Nanotech moves into the automobile

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 16th, 2006

Nanofilm president (and Foresight participating member) Scott Rickert writes in Industry Week of the changes taking place as nanotechnology moves into the automobile. A couple of excerpts: “What about getting more mileage out of the fuel itself? Nano-lubricants can reduce friction, converting engine power to motion instead of heat. In fact, some predict that nanocoatings [...]

Nanotech: a view from Indonesia

Posted by Christine Peterson on March 1st, 2006

Writing in The Jakarta Post, Indonesia’s leading English language newspaper, is attorney Mohamad Mova Al ‘Afghan. He looks specifically at molecular nanotechnology, which he defines as “the capability to assemble any product than can be designed directly from atoms and molecules.” See the full article, or these excerpts: “The revolution in manufacturing resulting from MNT [...]

Africans respond to prospect of nanotech competition

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 10th, 2006

In a piece titled When Technology Displaces the Farmer, Arnold Munthali presents the ETC Group’s concerns about nanotech-based competition for African farmers, and responses from the farmers’ representatives attending the World Trade Organization meeting in Hong Kong: “While delegates are negotiating for better trade, however, Jim Thomas of the ETC Group, which campaigns on ecological [...]

Be a nanoanalyst & get paid for it

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 15th, 2005

It’s not as fun as my job here at Foresight — what could be? — but Lux Research is recruiting Analyst and Senior Analyst positions based in NYC, SF, or Boston. Required for both: “Deep intellectual curiosity about emerging technologies…Fluency in spoken and written Mandarin or Korean is a huge plus; Western European or Middle [...]

Nanotechnology in the developing world

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 25th, 2005

Foresight Research Associate Bryan Bruns reports: “Will heavy investments in nanotechnology lead to a North-South nanodivide? In the Policy Forum of the July 1 issue of Science, an article, Small Things and Big Changes in the Developing World, argues that the answer appears to be no. Mohammed H.A. Hassan of the Academy of Sciences for [...]

Let’s put nanotechnology in larger chemical context

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 19th, 2005

Recently there have been a spate of media articles triggered by a July 13 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office to the effect that, as an LA Times piece put it: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is failing to protect the public from tens of thousands of toxic compounds because it has not gathered [...]

Nanotechnology projections

Posted by RobertBradbury on March 28th, 2005

The Prime Minister's council working party predicts (registration required) that in 10 years, nanotechnology could have as much impact as the discovery of electricity or the development of the computer microchip.

Nanotechnology and the Poor

Posted by RobertBradbury on February 7th, 2005

The Meridian Institute has released a paper "Nanotech & the Poor: Opportunities and Risks". The purpose of the paper to raise awareness about the implications of nanotechnology for poor people, both the potential opportunities and risks.

The top level entry page is here. Registration appears to be required although email exchanges may be possible as well. You can download a copy of the paper after registration but subsequent access, in particular making comments, appears to require the username and password sent via email.

They are seeking Nanodot users and Foresight members' views on the issues identified in the Paper via an on-line consultation. Comments are due by March 1.

New Study: Nanotechnology Poised to Revolutionize

Posted by RobertBradbury on October 30th, 2004

Gina Miller writes "New Study: Nanotechnology Poised to Revolutionize Tech, Manufacturing Markets; Market Will Rival Sales Volume of Combined Tech and Telecom Markets. Sales of products incorporating nanotechnology will total $2.6 trillion in 10 years, approximately one-fifth of the current Gross Domestic Product, greatly exceeding previous estimates, according to a new report released by a leading Wall Street financial analyst. Nano- enhanced products will account for 50 percent of all electronics and information technology products and 16 percent of all healthcare products by 2014, according to the report. This story was found at U.S. Newswire 10/29/04."

Ed. Note… Maybe its slowly sinking into the minds of those who are supposed to be predicting the future how disruptive nanotech is likely to be….