Commercializing nano

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Unformatted text preview: ss Alliance have formed task forces to specifically address the public perception about the risks of nanotechnology. Conclusions Nanotechnology is not so much an industry as a collection of tools and approaches, which will achieve commercial success only when compelling applications are found and adopted. Many nanotechnology applications are still at the concept level, requiring much more basic research before they can be incorporated into a viable product. Once designed, nanotechnologies must also overcome difficulties relating to robust production and large-scale manufacturing. It will also be necessary to follow through on rigorous safety studies to ensure public acceptance. Universal to each step in this process is the need for funding and support as a prerequisite. Government funds may provide the early-stage investment in this high-risk, high-payoff technology, but ultimately private or corporate investment will be required to carry the process to fruition. Finally, nanotechnology is an international phenomenon. Although US-based compa- NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY VOLUME 21 NUMBER 10 OCTOBER 2003 nies are predominantly mentioned here, these companies reflect a supportive entrepreneurial culture rather than true market dominance. Nearly every economic center has developed an interest in nanotechnology, and some have made huge commitments toward research in step with US funding. Though the United States has a lead in commercial development, as shown by the number of companies involved in active development in this area, it is too early to decide where the ultimate profits in nanotechnology will be made. The blockbuster nanotechnology products will certainly address the health-care market, but whether these products will be as multinational as in the pharmaceutical market, it is far too early to guess. 1. Service, M. Molecules get wired. Science 294, 2442–2443 (2001). 2. Binning, G. and Quate, C.F. Atomic force microscope. Phys. Rev. Lett. 56, 930-933 (1986). 3. Mirkin, C.A. et al. A DNA-based method for rationally assembling nanoparticles into macroscopic materials. Nature 382, 607–609 (1996). 4. Whaley, S.R. et al. Selection of peptides with semiconductor binding specificity for directed nanocrystal assembly. Nature 405, 665–668 (2000). 5. Mao, C et al. Viral assembly of oriented quantum dot nanowires. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100, 6946–6951 (2003). 1143...
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This document was uploaded on 09/24/2013.

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