Nanotech Start-ups: Can Other People Build It?
I read an excellent
from the October 3, 2008 edition of the N.Y. Times Magazine about the world of
budding renewable energy companies and the role and function of venture capital
companies in supporting them in their efforts to commercialize products. The
article provided four basic questions, the answers of which determine largely
whether a small start-up company survives; “Can it be built? How hard is it to build it? And if
you can build it, can other people build it just as well?”...and..."Will anyone
On the question of
whether other people can build it, that ability, in the nanotechnology world
depends on whether standards exist that one can build it to. In the case of
electrical and electronic products that function on the nanoscale, international
standards for characterizing the electrical attributes of nanotube, rods,
particles and other structures are key to providing the customer a uniform way
of evaluating nanomaterials from mulitple suppliers as that material interacts in an
end product. And standard methods for assessing reliability and consistency in the
manufacturing process are essential to mass production.
It is through IEC
TC 113 that these standards are developed, and it is the U.S. Technical Advisory
Group (TAG) to TC 113 that creates a favorable business model for U.S.
nano-electrotechnical firms in the international arena. But the TAG will only be successful if
U.S. manufacturing and research organizations in the field get
10-09-2008 10:57 AM