Home > Nanotechnology Columns > Alan Shalleck-NanoClarity > Nanotechnology Transition to Commercialization The Time Has Come
Profitable commercialization of nanotechnology world wide is finally happening, and few of you are acting within this sea change with your own accelerated commercial push. Nor is the funding industry recognizing the nanotech "industry" evolution by adding megadollars for production to the still available stimulus funding. Wake up. You've been expecting this trend for over a decade. Move those prototypes to the market now.
October 12th, 2010
Nanotechnology Transition to Commercialization The Time Has Come
Nanotechnology Transition to Commercialization
The Time Has Come
Alan B. Shalleck
Pay close attention US nanotechnology company owners! Profitable commercialization of nanotechnology world wide is finally happening, and few of you are acting within this sea change with your own accelerated commercial push. Nor is the funding industry recognizing the nanotech "industry" evolution by adding megadollars for production to the still available stimulus funding. Wake up. You've been expecting this trend for over a decade. Move those prototypes to the market now.
I've been part of the nano world as an adviser, observer and assessor for nearly a decade. The trend to successful commercialization is the fortuitous result of coinciding factors. It has taken almost the last entire decade for Nano finally to become part of today's economic and commercial structure. Our studies show that the numbers of commercially successful (profit generation!) nanotech based or enhanced products are rapidly going to accelerate over the next few years. Get on board… get out of your funk. The drought is ending. The economic equation has turned. The promise of nanotech … real nanotech… in healthcare, energy, environmental applications, coatings, structures, electronics and other hard to penetrate but fully developed markets is now in the homestretch.
Think I'm smoking something? Look at the production quantities of high quality nanoproducts and nanoenhanced products streaming out of China, India, Korea, Singapore, etc. Someone is buying and using these products. Also, look at what additional products are programmed for introduction during the next two years. This is no longer nanoscience. It's a worldwide push to put nanobased products into "buying" markets. From water purification in third world sites to desalinization membranes to new nanobased electrodes for electric auto batteries the list goes on. If you don't take the initiative, you might as well write off your company over the next few years because all the markets you have identified and beta tested will be usurped by those in Asia that are moving aggressively with production to fill the needs of now interested customers. We need those efforts and jobs here in the States. Time to risk again.
You see, while you have been hunkering down these last few years, the entire world has become receptive to your nanodevelopments. Consumers, companies, and governments are now willing to buy your nanotechnology including products. The actual record of product safety is very good … despite all the hoopla about bio and environmental risk inherent in nanotechnology. Moreover, in the States, nanotech commercialization and production represents a promising source of many new jobs so the US government will support your commercialization plan with available but unallocated funding. Just inquire. Talk to your congressmen, put him to work, and the funding for production can be yours.
Want an example? You can see the change to commercialization in the $1.0 million two stage funding from stimulus money of a pilot production plant for the lubricant additive NanoGlide that Keith Blakely, the new CEO of NanoMech in northwest Arkansas, has obtained for commercialization. NanoMech's nanobased lubrication additive is now proven significantly effective in increasing lifetimes and lowering maintenance costs of engines and machinery, and in improved fuel efficiencies in other machines. Testing and beta's are ended… Now the move to profitable commercialization has begun… You see it in new nanosilicon anodes for batteries now being rushed into commercial production also funded by stimulus funding. You see it in the nanoadditives now being included in large amounts in various forms of building and product structural materials. And more.
You see it in the cooling of the kneejerk panic over Health and Safety that Europe and those who have never tried to create a new product or never have had a new idea have written decrying the viability of the nanocreations of those who have … scaring half the population with tales of possible human deformities and long term sterilization of the world. What superhyped nonsense. They don't mention that those risks from the miniscule amounts of nanostuff are sometime in the long term future with time to mitigate, and are never countered with recognition of the current positive benefits of nanotechnology in improving the lives and longevities of billions of people south of the equator by improving water purification and energy availability alone.
Put a perspective on the health and safety effort. Nanorisk is possibly long term … it has a time component (never mentioned in the scare article) for whatever "risky" nano particle accumulation is projected. Counter that projection with the real fact that 40,000 plus people each year are killed by car accidents … real deaths, not imagined possibilities … and no government has moved to ban the automobile in any state or area of the world as they are trying to do with nanotechnology products. Annual deaths from nanotech today? None! What's all the fuss about? The intelligent way to raise those "risk" questions is to creatively couple any data based expose with multiple proposed technical solutions to be explored that can serve to keep the benefits of the questioned nanobased product for society. Just find solutions to the risky aspects of a nanoproduct over time and keep moving. Don't ban the technology without knowledge…
You see it in the timing of these product advancements. 11 years ago when we had the original 3 year National Nanotechnology Initiative, predictions from those of us who were experienced and sober and not starry eyed optimists forecast that nothing commercially significant from nanotech would begin to occur until at least a decade of science, experiment, product development, pilot production and market id and preliminary acceptance had occurred. If you go back as I did to look at those forecasts.. e.g from Tim Harper of Scientifica, you would find a consensus that now would be the beginning of the push to marketplace and the beginning of reasonable chances of commercial profits from nanotech based, enhanced or augmented products We who teach entrepreneurial processes know that no fundamental change in a major market caused by any significant technologically important breakthroughs coupled with the need to ramp up manufacturing, quality control, distribution of product, convince early adopters and then develop significant industrial or commercial demand at a profit projecting level, can occur before at least 10 years … The time has come the walrus said .. etc.
I will expand on commercialization next month with more specific examples.
Alan B. Shalleck
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