We recently published an article on The Promise of Nanotechnology ~ Where to Look for Emerging (Nano) Technologies that will: (1) Create New Market Opportunities or (2) Disrupt Existing Markets Whatever happened to all the wonders of nanotechnology that we were promised?
We’ve been hearing for years about how carbon nanotubes were the way forward and that a miracle material called graphene was going to solve all our problems. None of these promises seem to have transpired leaving us to ask, is nanotechnology dead?
The way we see it, nanotechnology has never been more alive, except that now we’re calling it something very different.
“Back to Our Future”
A Nanotechnology Definition
Let’s start with the most basic definition of nanotechnology there is:
Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter at a scale of 100 nano-meters or less.”
We could get just sit and read about this sort of thing for days on end but as investors we’re here to make money off of “the next big thing” so we’re going to expand the definition to something like this:
Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter at a scale of less than 100 nanometers that results in supernatural effects which can be applied to any particular industry resulting in benefits which either create entirely new markets or disrupt existing markets.
That should be about what we’re looking for as investors. If we look at carbon nanotubes and graphene, they passed the first definition but failed the second because as of now, they haven’t created any new markets or disrupted any existing markets on a large scale.
Carbon nanotube tennis rackets and graphene bike wheels don’t count. While we have had some nano drug delivery companies IPO like Selecta Biosciences and carbon nanotube memory (NRAM) has finally debuted, we’re left scratching our heads as to why nanotechnology is not on the list of the 30 most promising disruptive technologies. We think that in fact it is on the list, but now it’s so pervasive that we’ve just started calling it other things. ~ Team GNT™
Note To Readers: “Nanotechnology” has recently been in the news in Washington, D.C., where a special Subcommittee on Commerce held a series of meetings with invited experts, ‘Nano-Academics’ and Policy Makers. Below are quotes from those meetings.
Our Conclusion (GNT™) is that Nanotechnology has not only “come of age” but will be the driving force behind the next Industrial Revolution, from Energy to Water, Electronics to Health … Nanotechnology will lead the way and solve many of the daunting challenges we face, creating vast new commercial opportunities. See “The Fourth Industrial Revolution – Four Ways Innovations Will Drive Change and Business“
(Here are the Committee Quotes) Washington, DC – The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), today held a hearing on “Nanotechnology: Understanding How Small Solutions Drive Big Innovation.”
Chairman Terry concluded, “Nanotech is a true science race between the nations, and we should be encouraging the transition from research breakthroughs to commercial development. I believe the U.S. should excel in this area.”
“Just as electricity, telecommunications, and the combustion engine fundamentally altered American economics in the ‘second industrial revolution,’ nanotechnology is poised to drive the next surge of economic growth across all sectors,” said Chairman Terry
Dr. James M. Tour at the Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University encouraged steps to help the U.S better compete with markets abroad. “The situation has become untenable.
Not only are our best and brightest international students returning to their home countries upon graduation, taking our advanced technology expertise with them, but our top professors also are moving abroad in order to keep their programs funded,” said Tour.
“This is an issue for Congress to explore further, working with industry, tax experts, and universities to design an effective incentive structure that will increase industry support for research and development – especially as it relates to nanotechnology. This is a win-win for all parties.”
Professor Milan Mrksich of Northwestern University discussed the economic opportunities of nanotechnology, and obstacles to realizing these benefits. He explained, “Nanotechnology is a broad-based field that, unlike traditional disciplines, engages the entire scientific and engineering enterprise and that promises new technologies across these fields.
… Current challenges to realizing the broader economic promise of the nanotechnology industry include the development of strategies to ensure the continued investment in fundamental research, to increase the fraction of these discoveries that are translated to technology companies, to have effective regulations on nanomaterials, to efficiently process and protect intellectual property to ensure that within the global landscape, the United States remains the leader in realizing the economic benefits of the nanotechnology industry.”
Canadian venture capitalist calls for investment in resource innovation James Phillips, Chairman & CEO at NanoMech, Inc., added, “It’s time for America to lead. … We must capitalize immediately on our great University system, our National Labs, and tremendous agencies like the National Science Foundation, to be sure this unique and best in class innovation ecosystem, is organized in a way that promotes nanotechnology, tech transfer and commercialization in dramatic and laser focused ways so that we capture the best ideas into patents quickly, that are easily transferred into our capitalistic economy so that our nation’s best ideas and inventions are never left stranded, but instead accelerated to market at the speed of innovation so that we build good jobs and improve the quality of life and security for our citizens faster and better than any other country on our planet.”
Watch a Great Presentation by Dr. Wade Adams of Rice University and the Smalley Institute: “Nanotechnology and the Future of Energy”
We couldn’t agree more …
Genesis Nanotechnology, Inc. (GNT™) is an applied Nanotechnology IP Holding and Development Company. GNT acquires, holds and develops Patents & Trade Secrets, then markets those IP’s for Nanomaterials across a broad spectrum of mature Horizontal & Vertical Markets. GNT creates ‘enterprise value’ & the opportunity for multiple revenue streams by obtaining the rights to & developing early stage ‘Nano-Intellectual Properties’ (NIP).
Watch Our YouTube Video (below)
“Great Things from Small Things”
Watch a YouTube Video Presentation on Our Current Project: Tenka Energy Storage – Next Generation Super Capacitors and Batteries
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Genesis Nanotechnology, Inc. a Canadian and U.S Applied Nanotechnology Company, is identifying and then exploiting for commercialization opportunities, emerging Nanotechnologies that focus on our specific areas of interest:
Water Filtration, Water Remediation, Renewable Energies (Solar & Fuel Cells), Displays & Super Capacitors (Electronics) and Drug Therapies & Delivery. These ‘disruptive and game changing technologies’, are being researched and developed by experienced research teams at leading Nanotechnology-Development Universities in Canada, the U.S. and the International University community.
Genesis Nano Technology is actively seeking and evaluating emerging nanotechnology opportunities for Joint Venture Partners and Strategic Alliances that will create ‘enterprise value’ by: identifying, developing, integrating and then commercializing, nanotechnologies that demonstrate significant new disruptive capabilities, enhance new or existing product performance and/or beneficially impact input cost reductions & efficiencies and therefore will achieve a sustainable and competitive advantage in their chosen market sector. “We are the ‘D’ in R & D.”
“Why Quantum Dots Can Join Every Aspect of Everyday Life”
(An ‘Enabling’ Nano-Material with Applications in a number of Vertical Markets)
The properties of a material were once thought to be defined only by its chemical composition. But size matters too, especially for semiconductors. Make crystals of silicon small enough – less than 10 nanometres – and their tiny dimensions can start to dictate how the atoms behave and react in the presence of other things.
Semiconductors such as silicon or indium arsenide are chosen to build electronic circuits because of the discrete energy levels at which they can give off electrons or photons. This makes them useful in building switches, transistors and other devices. It was once thought these energy levels – known as band gaps – were fixed. But shrinking the physical size of the semiconductor material to quantum-dot level seems able to change the band gaps, altering the wavelengths of light the material can emit or changing the energy it takes to change a material from an insulator to a conductor.
Instead of looking for brand new materials to build different devices, then, quantum dots make it possible to use a single type of semiconductor to produce a range of different characteristics. Researchers could tune dots made from silicon to emit a range of different colours in different situations, for example, instead of having to use a range of materials with different chemical compositions.
Why will Nanotechnology change the way we innovate, manufacture and use nearly everything in everyday life?
Do you remember your childhood building blocks? You probably started out with large, wooden cubes and turned to increasingly smaller blocks as you grew older and the structures you created became more complex.
The building blocks get even smaller in the real world — so much so that even an optical microscope won’t reveal them. They exist at the nano-scale of things, where a single-walled carbon nano-tube is scarcely 1 nanometer thick. To put that in relatable terms, you’d have to line up 100,000 of these nano-tubes side by side in order to equal the 100-micrometer diameter of a single strand of hair.
Nano-materials occur naturally all around us, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that scientists developed the tools to see and manipulate such minuscule building blocks as individual molecules and atoms. By directing matter at the nano-scale, scientists achieve greater control over a material’s properties, ranging from its strength and melting point to its fluorescence and electrical conductivity. We call this field nanotechnology, and it involves such diverse disciplines as chemistry, biology and physics.
Currently, more than 1500 commercial products rely on nano-materials, according to the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative. To capitalize on nanotechnology, however, we need to mass-produce at the nano-scale. So we enter the world of nano-manufacturing.
“Energy may very well be the single most critical challenge facing humanity (By extension solving the problems associated with a growing world population (Est. 10 Billion by 2050):
1) Having enough Water and Food
2) A Safe and Clean Environment and
3) Promoting access to and enjoying good Health
… in this century. Somehow, within the next few decades we must find a new energy source that can provide a minimum of 10 terawatts of clean power on a sustainable basis and do this cheaply.” [End Quote]
Much like the changes plastics and polymers brought to our world, (making things easier to make, stronger, cheaper) applied nano-materials are being fabricated and integrated into large, mature existing while also facilitating emerging products and technologies that are being developed by a very deep field of mature and financially capable companies.
Literally Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials will change the way we innovate everything. They will touch almost every aspect in our everyday lives from Nano-Medicine and Consumer Electronics to Energy Solutions and Advanced Fabrics.
Thanks to atomically precise manufacturing, we will soon have the power to produce radically more of what people want, and at a lower cost. The result will shake the very foundations of our economy and environment. Already, scientists have constructed prototypes for circuit boards built of millions of precisely arranged atoms.
The advent of this kind of atomic precision promises to change the way we make things—cleanly, inexpensively, and on a global scale allowing us to imagine a world where solar arrays cost no more than cardboard and aluminum foil, and laptops. costs about the same.
Genesis Nanotechnology shares the vision of those who believe that “nanotechnology” will change the way we innovate everything. We believe as Geoffrey Moore in his book “Crossing the Chasm“ exerted: ” … that we are 25 years into a developing technology (maturation). “Innovators” and the “Early Adopters” are already in the marketplace, engaging new technologies into existing market sectors and industries.” (Examples: Medical Diagnostics, Therapeutic Drug Delivery, OLED’s, LCD’s, Semi-Conductors, QD Solar Energy, Coatings, Security Inks, Paints, Military Apparel/ Battlefield Identification)
We believe we are now transitioning the from the cycle of The Early Adopters to the cycle of the Early Majority.” We believe the explosion of technological capabilities represents an enormous “once in a lifetime”opportunity to be part of fundamental and revolutionary changes that will redefine and reshape the physical and financial world we live in.
These mature, financially capable market sectors represent potentially Billions if not Trillions of Dollars in new “nanotechnology enabled markets and products.” Soon we should see the swell in the ranks of the “Early Majority“ as the market accepts and then demands the; input cost reductions, increased warranty life, the superior performance of end use products and multiplied values that nanotechnologies provide.
“Great Moments are born from great opportunity.” Herb Brooks, 1980 Men’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal Coach. “Miracle”.
Bruce W. Hoy, C.E.O., Founding Managing Partner
Follow Us on Twitter for the Latest Nano-News: Twitter: @Genesisnanotech
Dr. Bob Glass, CTO, President
Government and International Agencies Liaison