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Asia likely to lead in longer-term nanotechnology manufacturing

The Korea Herald carries a story on a forum in Korea on “Revolutionary Advanced Technology and Future Urbanism”. Researcher Eric Drexler explained the goals of nanotech software firm Nanorex and his views of US/Asia competition in productive nanosystems:

Nanorex is still developing products that are expected to be available later this year…The idea is to have it widely used because it’s provided free and other companies can plug in other technologies to the software. We hope to offer a platform for molecular sciences and engineering by providing tools [for] molecular machinery and productive nanosystems…

The United States is not interested in this new manufacturing process that will change the world. It would be more likely for a country in Asia that understands manufacturing to become a leader of nanotechnology…I hope to see Korean manufacturers having the ability and perspective to move forward in this direction.

It was only a matter of time before this perspective on Asia, not uncommon among observers of the field, started to get more publicity. A distressing message for Americans to hear — and Europeans also, if they are paying attention — but perhaps it will have an impact. —Christine

4 Responses to “Asia likely to lead in longer-term nanotechnology manufacturing”

  1. John Novak Says:


    It’s hard to tell who is more self-serving in this picture: Drexler, or the Korean newspaper.

    Do let’s recall, shall we, that while (according to that article) the Korean government has pledged to invest by 2010 (a target they may or may not meet) $1.24 billion. Meanwhile, in the 2006 supplemental budget for the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the Federal level spending alone, for one year, is projected to be $1.05 billion.


  2. NanoEnthusiast Says:

    What exactly is the business model for Nanorex? I know a lot of open-source software companies get money from support, is this the plan for Nanoengineer-1?

  3. Eric Tulloch Says:

    Considering the importance of manufacturing to many Asian economies, it makes sense that Asian nations would have a greater motivation to be the first develop molecular manufacturing. To quote LCDR Vandermolen from the article referenced in NanoDot yesterday:

    “But what will happen to China’s economy when Wal-Mart is able to use its own MNT-enabled
    fabrication facilities at home to produce higher quality goods at even lower cost?”

    And I agree; the message is distressing…but only to those who know and care. And I think the majority of Americans are either ignorant, or they really don’t care. Not the best state of affairs, by any stretch of the imagination.

  4. Nathan Tinker Says:

    A good example of this very phenomenon is NanoeXa, based in South San Francisco, which recently acquired Koearn LCD display maker Decktron and lithium battery maker E-Square (subsequently merging E-Square into Decktron) in order to speed nano-enabled energy products to market by leveraging established Korean manufacturing expertise.

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