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Europe’s nanotech priorities

As was pointed out in this article brought to our attention by Christine Peterson, Europe seems to be picking up the nanotech pace in a serious way.

We can divide the world up in terms of expertise. Perhaps the U.S. has the crown with inventiveness. But Europe has the Ariane (which still happens to be flying), Mercedes, Bentleys and Rolls (all of which are very good examples of fine engineering). The Asian collective has a unique ability to turn ideas into mass appeal products and make them affordable enough that they can sell millions.

[*Yes*, I am grossly generalizing here but please take it within the context of the conversation.]

So the question becomes — *who* will be the developers of and subsequently who will dominate the nanotech markets?

13 Responses to “Europe’s nanotech priorities”

  1. Kadamose Says:

    Who cares?

    Nanotech should be developed by mankind in unison – therefore, the question of who is going to dominate the nanotech market is a pretty stupid one. The reason for this, is because if developed seperately, there will no real breakthroughs and we'll all be stuck in the same capitalistic nonsense we're in now. We're all better off dead, in my opinion.

  2. RobertBradbury Says:

    Re:Who cares?

    There is no doubt that nanotech will be developed by mankind. But better questions revolve around how fast or how slow it will be developed? We have examples of low cost relatively "free" software in things like the GNU/FSF project, Linux and all of the software on SoureForge.net. However it has taken *decades* to get there.

    Another example might be the public genome projects. We have something like 200+ genomes now in the public genome databases (it is reasonable [at least to me] to compare a genome to a nanorobot design) but generally speaking we do not see lots of products resulting from this.

  3. Chemisor Says:

    Oh, pretty much everybody…

    > Nanotech should be developed by mankind in unison
    > – therefore, the question of who is going to
    > dominate the nanotech market is a pretty stupid one.

    Substitute "nanotech" with "nuclear weapons" and I think you'll see why people care. Technological superiority wins wars, which is easily illustrated by the fact the the US military is nearly impossible to defeat in an open confrontation. (The problems in Iraq do not stem from the ineptitude of the military, but rather from the misuse of it and from bad politics. If I were in charge, the war would be over by now :)

    MNT will inevitably lead to it's creator's rise to power and you can be sure that such a nation will do everything it can to prevent others from acquiring the same technology. And with the capabilities of MNT, "everything it can" can encompass a great deal.

    Even plain materials science, that everyone is calling "nanotech" these days, can lead to significant improvements in the military. Better armour for troops, for instance.

    > because if developed seperately, there will no real breakthroughs

    Breakthroughs are made by individuals, not collectives, so it is completely irrelevant whether 10 incompetent idiots are doing the research or 10000000.

    > We're all better off dead, in my opinion.

    Yes, we know you are. There is no need to remind us.

  4. Dick Eagleson Says:

    Write when you get work

    First, understand that when one speaks of "Europeans" one is talking mainly about the French and secondarily about the Germans and all of those toy countries to the North. One is most particularly NOT refering to the U.K. or even to Eastern Europe. Just so we're clear on that.

    The Europeans are forever making big talk about this or that "initiative" that is going to catapult them into a position of parity or leadership vis-a-vis the U.S. I remember an EU Computing Initiative back in the 80's that was supposed to make Europe a leader in computers. Yeah, that really worked out.

    Nanotechnology – like every other technology – will be driven by entrepreneurial enterprises pursuing idiosyncratic visions, some of which will become standards and the basis of future conventional wisdom. Europe, being Slacker Central, will do its usual kibitz-from-sidelines-with-thumb-up-arse thing and then buy all of its nanotech from us, the Brits, the Asians and a few bright lads scattered elsewhere.

  5. Anonymous Coward Says:

    Re:Write when you get work

    Yeah, just like the initiatives to lead in cancer research, bioinformatics research, genomics research, etc., etc., etc.

  6. Jon Davison Says:

    Re:Who cares?

    "Capitalistic nonsense"… "developed" in unison..blah blah.. Why would there be any inclination to decry the role of capitalism in developing new technologies? Capitalism is what drives productivity and innovation via a healthy profit motive. So does competition. Kadamose sorry, but your post just makes zero sense. Eliminate capitalism and competition and you have monopolies, outrageous inflation/high prices, and low productivity. In other words, you have what Europe already has too much of.

  7. Deity Says:

    Re:Who cares?

    Hey Kadamose, are you 5 years old, or a full grown adult mental midget? What type of logic did you study that dictates because you decided something (should be developed by mankind in unison), that asking a question on the current climate of nanotechnology and its competitive nature between traditionally competitive nations is "a pretty stupid one"? Also, you've drawn forth the conclusion "because if developed seperately, there will no real breakthroughs" on conclusive evidence? History is filled with a plathora of examples where competitive forces have because of the dynamics of the competitiveness itself created breakthroughs in their respective fields. Regarding your last statetement, mankind has existed just fine so far without nanotecknology, so Kadamose, don't off yourself, just get away from your mommy or daddy's computer and go back to waving your tranformers in the air while making airplane sounds.

  8. Kadamose Says:

    Re:Who cares?

    Let me ask you a question – do you want to live the rest of your miserable days in a world where one has to go to work from 9 to 5, putting up with rush hours to get home, and where people go about shoving their 'fiat' money in people's faces as if it were meant to show that they, as individuals, have more worth than the guy or gal next door? This is the bi-product of capitalism, and it's not a good thing – it's just another means of seperating people.

    What people are hoping for (including those at Foresight) is that nanotech will make them big revenues and a big retirement fund..and this is sad. Nanotech was meant to destroy primitive things such as capitalism and government – not make them stronger.

    If all of the world governments were to combine their efforts into creating Nanotechnology to destroy such primitive concepts such as capitalism, we would then be able to move on, and mature, as a species, and move into the far reaches of space, colonizing planets and learning the secrets of the universe. That, I believe, should be enough incentive for anyone to do the work required to reach that goal.

    Let this be warning: If Nanotechnology is not devoloped by all the races and cultures on this planet together, then the result will be catastrophic and the technology will turn against its creators and destroy us all. This is not a joke – mankind needs to grow up before it can use nanotech responsibly.

  9. Kadamose Says:

    Re:Who cares?

    Hey Kadamose, are you 5 years old, or a full grown adult mental midget?

    I'm probably older than you. As for the mental midget statement, I'm not the one doing the name calling.

    What type of logic did you study that dictates because you decided something (should be developed by mankind in unison), that asking a question on the current climate of nanotechnology and its competitive nature between traditionally competitive nations is "a pretty stupid one"?

    The Earth's resources are being pillaged; the ice caps are melting; overpopulation is getting worse; many of the world's creatures (that once thrived) are becoming extinct; odd weather and environmental phenomenon are occuring; hundreds of thousands of people suffer from starvation everyday. If each and every one of us on this planet did something to contribute to the bigger picture, none of these problems would ever exist. But, as long as people continue to go about their currently worthless lives, striving for fame and fortune, none of these problems will be addressed or corrected. In other words, mankind will never grow up, and we will still be fighting the same battles a millenia from now – that is, if the human race exists by that time (I guarantee it won't)

    Also, you've drawn forth the conclusion "because if developed seperately, there will no real breakthroughs" on conclusive evidence?

    'Real breakthroughs' meaning…finding the secrets to life, itself; harnessing Zero Point Energy and sharing it will every living creature on the planet; obtaining immortality and creating new life in the universe.

    Capitalism, and the current mindset of the world, will only make 'real breakthroughs' in Weapons and Military technology…pharmacuticals and medical equipment. The important stuff that I mentioned above will be considered taboo and will not be researched – and if it is researched, it will not be shared.

    History is filled with a plathora of examples where competitive forces have because of the dynamics of the competitiveness itself created breakthroughs in their respective fields.

    Breakthroughs in technological warfare, maybe…I don't know of any sane person who would consider that a positive thing.

    mankind has existed just fine so far without nanotecknology

    Has it now? We still fight one another like a bunch of babies, simply because of a difference of belief and ethnicity. The world is falling apart all around us, and no one wants to do anything about it because it involves money. I really fear the worst for humanity…I really do. Mankind's darkest hour is going to be a really dark one..and no, hope is not going to spring eternal, either.

  10. Jon Davison Says:

    Re:Who cares?

    "Let me ask you a question – do you want to live the rest of your miserable days in a world where one has to go to work from 9 to 5," Yes, maybe you're miserable, but most of us endeavor to work 9-5. I spent many years working swings, graveyards, etc. Working 9-5 M-F is a priveledge, something a utopian idealist such as yourself refuses to understand. Maybe you should spend a little time in some far flung corner of the world, where simply having a job to go to is a priviledge — look around, you won't find much capitalism in those places. The lack of free markets and entrepreneurialism is directly proportional to poverty and misery the world over. But keep being disaffected and faithless, and keep trying to reach heaven on earth, sanctioned by big government coersion and forced economic collectivism. It's good for the rest of humanity to have a continuing object lesson in the failings of such systems, lest we forget past lessons learned. Also, we all need to be reminded that those who believe in nothing will believe anything. Meanwhile I'll keep counting my blessings and working hard, and thanking God everyday that people with your worldview are vastly in the minority. Enjoy your evening.

  11. Jon Davison Says:

    Re:Who cares?

    "The world is falling apart all around us" No it's not, the world continues to improve. You will never see that, you have blinders on and refuse to see anything positive about mankind and our relationship to the world. Rampant idealism and narcissism is your flavor, and it bleeds through every sentence you've posted thus far. Keep rubbing your crystals together Kadamose. Goodnight.

  12. Chemisor Says:

    On the nature of trolls

    > Hey Kadamose, are you 5 years old, or a full grown adult mental midget?
    > by Deity

    You are pretty ignorant, for a deity ;) Everyone knows that trolls are ten feet tall, have green, blotchy skin and small bleary eyes. They live underground for thousands of years and feed on passing unwary travellers. Although they are not very bright, great caution is recommended in encounters, as they are perpetually hungry and quick to anger. (Gosh, it's too bad Nanodot doesn't give out funny points…)

  13. Kadamose Says:

    Re:Who cares?

    A privelege ordained by who? God? If that's the case, I'd rather not exist in the first place.

    But we all know that 'God' doesn't exist, since it's a manmade concept – so I ask again, who ordains the 'privelege'to work…and what gives them the authority to do so?

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