This issue of NanoNews-Now covers Jobs in Nanotechnology. Contributing writer Bo Varga discusses the critical steps needed to create a successful start-up in an article titled Building the Winning Nano Venture Team. This is the Introduction, and Part 1 of 6.

In a second article by science writer Brian Wang, we learn about The Impact of Nanofactories on Jobs in the USA.

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Bo Varga

Building the Winning Nano Venture Team, Introduction: Part 1 of 6

By Bo Varga

Introduction: Bo Varga has recruited senior technical and executive talent for high technology companies since 1979. Recent work in this area includes recruiting a CEO for a CNT start up, a Scientific Advisory Board for an early stage nano VC fund, and world-class computational chemistry scientists for a nano energy start up. Bo is currently recruiting a CEO, VP Engineering, and VP Sales for a nano start-up focused on revolutionizing the global mining industry via 21st century metals recovery technology.

Objectives: Upon completion of this series of 6 Articles, you will understand elements of a winning team, what investors and customers look for in start-up companies, how your team drives both the funding & marketing of your company, identifying gaps in management & technical capabilities and how to fill those gaps through employees, contractors, advisory boards, and advisors.

Articles: Each article will run 3 to 5 pages and subsequent articles will provide professional templates for job requirements definition, recruiting protocols, & reference checking. This introduction focuses on the value added which a professional external recruiter can bring to building the winning nano venture team.

External Recruiters: An external recruiter is a skilled consultant who can identify the best technical or executive talent in a particular industry or functional area of expertise. Professional external recruiters maintain a high level of confidentiality, a wide network of knowledge and resources, objectivity in candidate evaluations, and utilize negotiating expertise to ensure a win-win scenario.

Selection of the right executive recruiter is of key importance. Companies should hire a recruiter who knows the industry and has experience hiring for your position. A good recruiter will learn your company, leverage existing knowledge bases to learn your specific needs - including your technology, market, and other key factors, will understand the stage your company is at, and will represent your company in a very professional manner.

Typically recruiters are hired to fill positions of a critical nature, where the company wants to "hire the best and the brightest" or "the most experience & successful" individual who can plausibly recruited. External recruiters can set realistic expectations AND assist the company in avoiding mistakes in the hiring process by providing an objective analysis of a candidate based on a professional process, extensive candidate sourcing and interviewing experience, and by thorough referencing.

Often, companies don't have a problem identifying candidates as much as they do assessing the "fit" of the candidate within the firm's corporate culture - which ideally is driven by the business model, business plan, and stage in the company's life. Assessing a cultural fit can be a difficult task for your team and yet is the most cited reason for executives & key talent not performing satisfactorily and not surviving within an organization.

It is therefore of key importance to ensure that the candidates' "fit" with the team is carefully vetted. A third party consultant can often add tremendous value in this arena.

Further, start-up & early stage companies often rely upon incomplete or amateur reference checking protocols. Reference checking is a key requirement for determining the fit of a candidate for a position on your team. A professional recruiter will have time-tested reference checking protocols & proven success at "listening to what is unsaid".

Why Hire an External Recruiter?

The key elements which a professional recruiter can bring to your nano venture are focus, specific expertise, industry awareness, top talent sourcing, negotiating skills, speed, & knowledge of the nano marketplace.

Focus: An external recruiter can focus on your performance needs, especially critical in start-up & early stage companies where the in-house team is usually over-committed to existing projects. And I want to stress performance needs - often teams and companies focus on requirements such as education, experience, etc. while ignoring the only reason to hire an employee or consultant - to get the job done.

Specific Expertise: The recruiter is a service provider hired for the added value and specific nanotechnology knowledge and expertise they bring to your team, especially the people networks which bring the top quality candidates and validate their capabilities.

Industry Awareness: Professional recruiters spend their days talking to people who are knowledgeable about business. They know the competitive landscape, and what it will take to recruit key talent. Professional recruiters also know where the hidden talent is located and can identify individuals that can't easily be found through the Internet, newspaper ads, databases or from resumes in a filing cabinet. Executive recruiters have an edge because they have expertise in the industry in which they are recruiting. They can source candidates who will be viable candidates for the client. They become intimate with the details of the potential candidate's career history, are aware of the kind of opportunities these executives are seeking, and can effectively present the client with selection among the wide array of talent available.

Top Talent Is Not Looking For A Job: Successful executives & senior technical people by and large do not spend time surfing the Internet for jobs, reading the classified ads or circulating their resumes on job boards. A professional recruiter's skill is often required to bring good people to the client. The best candidates are recruited through the joint efforts of both the recruiter and the hiring manager. If a company truly wants the best people, they have to find them proactively. This is not easy but is what professional recruiters do every day.

Negotiating: The recruiter is an intermediary who can convey information, proposals, and suggestions between the parties, probe both parties, reduce misunderstandings, and increase the probability of a close. Recruiters know the package the client can offer. Recruiters amass considerable knowledge about the candidate, including details of the candidate's personal life and professional desires. With this information, the recruiter is able to enable a win-win scenario. The needs of both client and candidate are viewed from a position of mediation.

Speed: Speed is critical in identifying and assessing the right individual for the opportunity, locating viable candidates who can fill the post and "ramp up" in terms of getting to work and achieving the company's performance goals. Speed is also critical in terms of scheduling interviews, debriefing both parties, and then scheduling the follow-ups to get to a close.

Knowing the Marketplace: Good recruiters advise their clients in identifying the right type of person and the salary required to attract them. Additionally, external recruiters can add value to their clients, providing alternative possibilities that are outside of the obvious choices and industries. Successful entrepreneurs & executives know that the fee paid to a good recruiter is an investment, not an expense. The recruiter is active in the marketplace and can act as marketing eyes and ears for the client, help the client company keep up with industry, and remain current not only on people but also technology, product, and market trends.

Building the "Killer" Start-Up Team

Entrepreneurs, investors, and recruiters often intersect to match a startup with experienced business management. However communication, ego, and power struggles can emerge which can break a company or significantly affect or the prospects for success or limit the success that is achieved. Many nano startups can have a standard set of weak spots in their initial management team - a lack of customer focus, little to no background in launching or heading a corporation, or technologists that cannot drive a business and develop a technology and get a product to market.

Even companies with the strongest potential and IP can become an unattractive investment decision if the right management team isn't in place and if a cooperative team environment with a focus on both the long term vision and short term performance goals is not set.

The following 5 articles in this series of 6 will address:

  1. building performance requirements for team members from the business model, business plan, & stage of company
  2. establishing & maintaining a corporate culture focused on business success;
  3. hiring-motivating-retaining key employees, consultants, and advisors;
  4. the process, timing, & costs of building the nano team;
  5. and the tradeoffs between permanent employees, long term consultants, and project consultants.

And all 5 articles will cover the two most important domains for success - money & customers.

The right team will attract the right funding from the right sources at the right time and in the right amounts - the necessary pre-condition for the success of most start-ups.

And the right team will target and close the right customers at the right time - a sufficient condition for the success of most start-ups.

© Copyright Bo Varga

Bo Varga is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Nano Ventures.

Bo has 30 years business development and team building experience. His primary focus is to bring money to companies via angel, corporate, or VC investment, strategic alliances, development partnerships, or OEM sales. Bo has operations, sales, & marketing management experience in computer software & peripherals and in leading edge reconfigurable computing systems. He has worked with wireless, nanotechnology, reconfigurable computing, information technology, & ecommerce companies in team-building or business development roles.

He has helped executives, investors, and Boards of Directors for software, hardware, IS/IT, molecular engineering, & wireless companies by finding key team members and consultants for both technical & business positions.

His experience includes working as a strategic consultant to develop & implement marketing plans & presentations, with a specific focus on affiliate & event marketing to close business transactions. His focus since 2000 is on building global nanotechnology business networks via the nanoSIG & various nanotechnology conferences, forums, and symposiums. He is Chair of the NanoMaterials & Manufacturing Forum. Since 2001 he has organized over 60 nanotechnology events. His education includes a BA & MA from the University of Chicago and the MBA program in Accounting at UC Berkeley.

For more information on his work, see,

He can be reached at

Brian Wang

The Impact of Nanofactories on Jobs in the USA

By Brian Wang

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The industries that nanotechnology will likely have a disruptive effect on in the near term include the following:
(Amounts are Billions of US Dollars)




Long Term Care








U.S. Chemical












Hospitality / Restaurant


US Insurance




Corrosion Removal


US Steel




Diet Supplement


















Blue Jeans




Fluorescent Tagging

Figures are from:

The Next Big Thing Is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business. J Uldrich & D Newberry. March 2003
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Tiny Tech Jobs August 2005

A nanofactory (1) is a proposed device that could be built if molecularly precise manufacturing technology is developed. Chris Phoenix (of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology) describes a modular, scalable architecture for a tabletop nanofactory that integrates numerous small mechanochemical fabricators. Although existing fabricator designs are hypothetical and incompletely specified, the nanofactory design can be adapted to any reliable self-contained diamondoid fabricator capable of self-replication from simple feedstock under digital control. Once a self-contained, reasonably inexpensive nanofactory is produced, it can be rapidly duplicated and used widely. A power use of 250 kWh/kg means that a large 1-GW power plant, or four square miles of sun-collecting surface, could produce ~12,000 8-kg nanofactories per day (not including feedstock production). If feedstock is sufficiently easy to produce, sufficient factories to supply the world's population could be produced in a few months.

There have been concerns that the introduction of molecularly precise manufacturing could potentially cause significant unemployment. This is a more detailed assessment of the direct impact on jobs in the United States by the development and widespread availability of desktop nanofactory technology. Statistics from the bureau of Labor Statistics for 2004 are used in order to approximate the impact. (2).

Employment shifts in all economies over time. There are seasonal shifts throughout a year. There are losses of employment to foreign competition. A current trend is to outsource work and jobs to India and China. Companies can lose jobs because the company becomes less competitive due to poor strategy or mismanagement. The current corporate weakness and job losses at General Motors are not the result of globalization but the result of mismanagement. General Motors chose the strategy of trying to drive revenue with SUVs and less investment in innovative car designs.

What would be the scale of the impact of the nanofactory?

Briefly we can discuss the scale of ordinary employment shift, and a historically large employment shift. There are 14.5 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S.A (National Association of Manufacturers). Manufacturing lost 3.3 million manufacturing jobs between February 1998 and December 2004. (3) Those 3.3 million jobs (2.2% of all jobs) would be an ordinary employment shift over 7 years. An example of a historically large shift is from agricultural work to industrial work. In 1900, 38% of the population worked on farms. By about 1970 only 3% worked on farms. (4) The 1930 to 1950 shift from 25% to 10% was a period of the fastest societal change. This change was the result of mechanization of farm work with the introduction of tractors and combines, combined with other increases in farm productivity and changes in non-farm work.

The assumption for this article is that an inexpensive desktop nanofactory becomes common. It would produce one kilogram of molecularly precise product every hour from inexpensive feedstock. The general areas where this would have direct impact is in parts and products; they could be produced by the desktop factory and not have to be made at a remote factory and shipped to the end user. This would effect jobs at retail stores and existing factories by greatly reducing the need for inventory. Jobs related to production, transportation and installation (25 million jobs) would be the most effected by nanofactories.

For nanofactories to be used in the household many issues involving safety, ease of use, zoning and insurance would need to be addressed. Today people use devices around their homes that are not safe if improperly used. Power tools are used for building and fixing things around a residence. People who currently buy and use power tools or sewing machines would be early adopters of nanofactories. The power-tool market is about 5% of households in the United States. Most people are not do-it-yourselfers. Therefore, probably 95+% of people will mainly continue to shop at stores even after nanofactories are introduced.

If household nanofactories were dominant then many more transportation jobs would be eliminated. A mix of household, retail and industrial nanofactories would create fewer job reductions.

Nanofactories will greatly reduce the amount of material needed to make products; in some cases a thousand times less material to make something with sufficient structural strength. This is due to the use of lighter and stronger materials such as nanotubes and diamondoid materials. Raw materials for many kinds of products would be the same and could be left in the more compact form of raw materials until just-in-time manufacturing is required. Products being made in minutes and hours would mean only samples are needed to be on hand. Therefore, jobs related to the creation and shipment of products and material would be affected. However, jobs related to moving people and food would not be affected. About half of the 25 million production and transportation jobs involve moving people and food. So roughly half - 12 million production and transportation jobs - could be lost due to the impact of nanofactory technology.

Most employment in the USA would weather the transition well. The government - at about 20-30% of the economy - would act as a stabilizer. Those who lost their jobs should still have unemployment insurance to help manage the transition.

Work related to real estate, entertainment, healthcare, finance, legal services, farming and science would not be directly adversely affected. Many of these professions would grow. Therefore, the 35 million jobs in those categories should flourish after the nanofactory is widespread.

Work related to sales, education, office administration, management, food preparation, and building maintenance would see changes and demand shifts. These job categories represent 68 million at medium risk of undergoing changes or change of companies.

Educators will need to continue to stay current on new subject matter. Managers will have to continue to adapt to the changing environment, but effective managers will be vital to health and competitiveness of companies. Building maintenance jobs are more at risk from continuing improvements in robotics than from a nanofactory. Although those who work in a building devoted to centralized production and warehousing would be at risk as many of those could be closed.

A 9% loss of jobs and transformation of 50% of the remainder of the economy is a historically significant impact. A larger analysis, which cannot be accurately performed, would be global employment shifts. Jobs impacts in the USA could be further magnified if there were also job losses in other countries.

Another key question is how fast would the change occur

Development of the nanofactory capability is many years to decades away. The adoption of new products (even vastly better ones) will be measured in many years. An example is cheaper, longer lasting and more energy efficient light bulbs, which are still a niche segment. Not just consumers but businesses need time to adopt and adapt to change. An adoption period of twelve years or faster would make the rate of change about equal to the rate of the 1930-50 period of agricultural job shift. An adoption period of 30 years would make the rate of change similar to recent shifts in manufacturing jobs.

Opportunities and conclusion

Most of the jobs in the US economy have already shifted to information and services. Products that are enabled by and produced from nanofactories (that transform or replace the productivity of information and service workers) would have a larger economic impact than the direct impact on production jobs.

This is also not a zero sum situation. Nanofactories would also provide opportunities to create more wealth and jobs. Nanotechnology at the level of nanofactories would create many new opportunities. Nanofactories would revolutionize access to space and the ability to utilize space-based resources. (McKendree, T. L., "A Technical and Operational Assessment of Molecular Nanotechnology for Space Operations," Ph.D. Dissertation, Industrial and Systems Engineering Dept., Univ. S. Cal., Los Angles, CA, 2001.) Medicine will be revolutionized through nanomedicine. (5)

There will still be global competition for jobs. It will continue to be very important for workers and companies to be the first to learn the new technology and capitalize on the opportunities which will bring greater benefits to themselves and their communities.

In conclusion, nanofactories should not cause widespread unemployment, but will have significant impacts on the economy. It will accelerate the shift of jobs to services and information and away from manufacturing and transportation. There will be large opportunities to grow economies by opening new frontiers in space, medicine, newproducts and services.

(1) Design of a Primitive Nanofactory, Chris Phoenix, 2003 link
(2) link
(3) Economic Policy Institute, link
(4) Productivity and Agricultural Out-migration in the United States, B Dennis and T Iscan, 2005, link
(5) link

Brian Wang is a long time futurist, who has been involved with nanotechnology associations since 1994. He is now a member of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) taskforce, and is moderating the technology sub-taskforce. He is also on the Nanoethics Group advisory board.

Brian has a degree in computer science and an MBA (from Canadian universities) and has worked in the information technology industry for 20 years. He created and ran his own professional services computer consulting company with offices in Canada and the United states and clients in the USA and Europe.

He won second place in the Honeywell University Futurist essay contest. He has been involved in nanotechnology as a Senior Associate of the Foresight Institute since 1997, and he helped write Foresight's 2003 relaunch plan.

He is a competitive dragonboat racer and has competed at the world club crew championship. He has lived in the San Francisco Bay area for the last ten years.

Brian has a nanotech blog at


According to National Science Foundation estimates, the US will need 800,000 to 1 million nanotechnology workers in the next decade. Like all industries, nanotechnology salary is governed by a number of variables - location, education, experience, even the prestige of the hiring organization. —Scott Rickert

The decision by Gov. Robert Ehrlich to fund research in nanotechnology with $2.5 million in taxpayer money -- unveiled this week (Jan. 16, 2006) as part of a $170 million slate of tech initiatives -- is the product of exquisite timing as much as the belief that the science will yield medical breakthroughs and state employment gains. link

With high-tech jobs leaving the state, a group of New Jersey technology leaders hopes to convince Governor-elect Jon Corzine that a well-organized plan and hundreds of millions of dollars will help reverse the flow. The commission hopes to target several key technology areas including stem cells and life science research, nanotechnology, telecommunications, renewable energy and homeland security. link

Without quality jobs, our citizens will not have the purchasing power to support the standard of living which they seek, and to which many have become accustomed; tax revenues will not be generated to provide for strong national security and healthcare; and the lack of a vibrant domestic consumer market will provide a disincentive for either U.S. or foreign companies to invest in jobs in America. —Norman Augustine, retired chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation link

It's amazing technology (nanotechnology). It means jobs for this part of the country. Jobs follow the technology. —Robin van der Wel, director of external research and development programs for Brewer Science in Rolla link

Come now to the Internet, and we might be returning to a day when students have access to all the information they need to be educated. While they can never read or learn it all, they can at least get access to it all. In effect, they don't need "instructors" telling them what they need to know. Will the teacher disappear? For some, perhaps, but not for most. Rather the teacher changes from being an "instructor," telling students what they need to learn, to a "coach," helping students acquire the skills of information search, retrieval, analysis, evaluation and communication. Learning becomes more student-directed; skills become more important than information, and even the classroom as an architectural unit might disappear from places of learning. Dr. Peter Bishop, Associate Professor of Human Sciences and Chair of the graduate program in Studies of the Future University of Houston-Clear Lake. link

... (the) higher education landscape will look quite different in 2020 from what it does today. There will still be many bricks-and-mortar residential campuses, particularly for the young, but their classes will be hybridized (i.e., a combination of online and in-class instruction). Lectures will no longer be the predominant mode of instruction; rather, group and individual project-based learning will be the norm. The focus of education will be to produce graduates who can use a variety of information technology tools and techniques to access, evaluate, analyze, and communicate information and who can work effectively in teams with people from different ethnic groups to address a wide range of real-world issues and choices. —James L. Morrison, Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership, UNC-Chapel Hill and Editor-in-Chief, Innovate link

According to estimates from the National Science Foundation, during the next decade the United States will need between 800,000 and 1 million workers in the field of Nanotechnology. The corresponding worldwide need for such workers by 2015 is estimated to be nearer 2 million.

Currently the number of employees in this field is approaching close to 20,000 across the globe. —Callum Sutherland, Online Marketing Coordinator, Working In Ltd.

Put simply, the possibilities are legion. You could be working on an interdisciplinary team in a research environment in a university or government lab, in traditional industry using, investigating, or developing new technologies, or in a small, start-up company that is producing novel products or technology. No matter where you end up, the structure of the research and development functions and the kinds of tasks they perform will be similar and will require similar skill sets. —Pamela Bailey, President tinytechjobs.

First we need to divide nanotechnology jobs into two domains - the "extension of existing industries" and the "creation of new industries." The entire semiconductor industry, for example, has reduced feature size below the magic 100 nanometer level; that is one definition of nanotechnology, and is an extension of an existing industry.

Second, we need to understand what is unique about nanotechnology jobs, and what is not.

While some will claim that nanotechnology is closer to biotechnology, I will use a comparison with the Internet to create a basic understanding of nanotechnology jobs.

The fundamental difference between the Nanotechnology "boom" and the Internet "boom" is the nature of the underlying Intellectual Property (IP). Internet IP does not require deep scientific knowledge while Nano IP does. Knowledge of or the ability to relate to deep scientific knowledge is a key component of Nanotechnology jobs at all levels. —Bo Varga, Co-Founder & Executive Director nanoSIG

While the EU is willing to invest $680 million in nanotechnology over the next four years, the United States alone has committed $3.7 billion over the same period. Combined with its dwindling pool of top-notch researchers, it is highly unlikely that the EU will be able to overcome this funding gap. —Nico Wirtz, Tech Central Station

In the not-too-distant future, business and government leaders are estimating that the U.S. will need upwards of 2 million new workers trained in the nanosciences. Many of these workers will require only a two-year degree and, to the extent, which the state can be among the first states to develop a skill and trained workforce, the new nanotechnology businesses of the future may be forced to go to where the trained workforce is-even Wahpeton.

Obviously, the education and training of students should begin well before the post-secondary-level and K-12 educational leaders in North Dakota are encouraged to begin exploring how they might be able to incorporate nanotechnology curriculum into their school. Above all, however, for North Dakota-or any other state for that matter-to really leverage the full potential of nanotechnology, it must act soon! Just last week, North Dakota's neighboring state of Minnesota passed a $1.4 million program to develop a nanotechnology training institute, while the state of Ohio convened a group of 500 business, academic and political leaders to explore nanotechnology's importance to the future economic development. —Jack Uldrich, Nanotechnology as an Economic Development Opportunity

During the last six months, we have begun, quietly, to enter a newly tense moment, with university presidents, business leaders, and columnists delivering ominous-sounding reports and editorials about the threat to American innovation posed by a freshly competitive world - the renewed vitality of western Europe, Japan and Korea, and the ravenous growth of China and India. "We no longer have a lock on technology," David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate and the current president of the California Institute of Technology, wrote recently in the Los Angeles Times. "Europe is increasingly competitive, and Asia has the potential to blow us out of the water."

What worriers like Baltimore are beginning to grasp is that these changes are emerging just as the American economy is being made more vulnerable by the movement of manufacturing and service jobs overseas. As a result, we've become increasingly dependent on maintaining our edge in discovering the new technologies and applications that create whole new industries - just as other countries are closing that gap.

This is a fundamentally new threat. In the '70s and '80s, Japanese and European firms adopted American technology and made key improvements in process and design to shave cost and increase quality. Now, foreign companies are making many of the most important breakthroughs themselves. This shift is part of a change in strategy: instead of copying our innovations, foreign governments have decided to copy our very model of innovating. They have studied our centers of invention, the Silicon Valleys and Research Triangles, where university scientists, venture capitalists, high-tech entrepreneurs, and educated, creative workers, many of them from overseas, congregate. These creative centers, our competitors have learned, were the result of federal policy - decades of investment in basic scientific research; patent law changes that allowed universities to capitalize on discoveries made in their labs; financial reforms that gave rise to the venture capital industry; and immigration laws that opened the door to talented foreigners. —Benjamin Wallace-Wells, Dearth of a Nation.

Intel Corp.'s investment plans for Oregon during the next two decades dropped like a stone into a pond earlier this week - a $25 billion stone that could create 1,500 new jobs, boost economic output in Washington County and send rippling effects throughout the metro region and the state. —John Bell, Intel's big bucks would rev economy

The National Science Foundation (NSF) estimates 40,000 scientists in the United States have the skills to work in nanotechnology. However, assuming that nanotechnology grows into a $1 trillion industry as the NSF estimates, 800,000 highly skilled nanotechnology workers will be needed in the country by 2015. The European Union and Asia also will require hundreds of thousands of specially trained nano workers. —John Bugalla, Scott Dunbar, Matt Ward, Risk management includes worker issues

U.S. states poured more than $400 million into nanotechnology research, facilities, and business incubation programs in 2004 -- on top of greater than $1 billion in federal government spending -- making nanotech the largest publicly-funded science initiative since the space race. But states' efforts vary wildly in scope, effectiveness, and impact, according to a new report from Lux Research entitled "Benchmarking U.S. States for Economic Development from Nanotechnology." U.S. States Turn to Nanotechnology for Jobs, Investment

Science and technology is so critically important to improving conditions in poor countries that scientific advisors should join economists at the center of government policy-making on development issues, an eminent group of 27 international experts says in a landmark report to the United Nations.

"Economic advice will always be important in guiding policy makers on development matters. But in a knowledge-based economy, leaders and governments increasingly need science advisors to make effective use of emerging technologies," says the report co-author, Calestous Juma of Harvard University. "In a world marked by rapid technological change and the enormous, emerging opportunities presented by biotechnologies and nanotechnologies, science advisors will soon be a necessary part of every presidential and executive office, including the Office of the UN Secretary-General." Put science at center of decision-making on third world development, experts tell UN

When words such as flat and grim describe today's market for technological careers (the Technology Association of America reported tech jobs have fallen 5 percent), where's the hope for future career opportunities in engineering?

A career in nanotechnology could be the answer. "Nanotechnology is engineering based on theory much like microtechnologies," said Marlo Pabst, recruiting director at Ardesta, a microtechnology and nanotechnology investor in Ann Arbor, Mich. link

Most nanotechnology companies right now are looking to fill senior scientist and executive positions. They already have extensive access to Information Technology, administrative, and technical personnel due to the widespread publicity and hype of most of these companies (at least, the ones who have money to hire these people).

In most cases, these companies are currently being very selective. In particular, they want specific knowledge of nanotechnology methods and procedures that can be documented.

This means that, in order to maximize your likelihood of consideration for these positions, you really need to educate yourself as much as possible in the nanotechnology fields, and you need to emphasize that on your resume. link

All new hi-tech fields may benefit from the opportunities offered by nanotechnology. An education within this field is going to be in great demand on the job market. The fields of application are multiple and employment opportunities are rich, both in the business sector and at scientific institutions. link

When I talk to Oregonians about nanotechnology, I talk in terms of money and jobs. There is a lot of money coming in nanotechnology. In the next decade or so the global nanotechnology market should be worth about $1 trillion.

I tell my constituents: Think of the jobs America will create as the world lines up for smart drugs to treat cancers, cheap flat-screen TVs the size of living room walls, and self-repairing concrete highways. —Senator Ron Wyden link

If scientific disciplines were dishes on the menu of a Chinese restaurant, nanotechnology would be accompanied by five red stars - the field is hot. It should come as no surprise then, that along with headlines and boatloads of government funding and investment dollars, nanotechnology is also grabbing the attention of jobseekers. link

Nanotechnology offers the potential to bring high quality jobs, investment and prosperity to the UK. It also has the ability to deliver a cleaner environment and improvements to human health, information and communication technology, and transportation. —Lord Sainsbury, the Minister for Science and Innovation link

Nanotechnology is rapidly moving from the laboratory into the marketplace. Over the next decade, the National Science Foundation estimates, the United States will need 800,000 to 1 million nanotechnology workers. "This will be a core of the American economy," says Dr. Mihail Roco of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, a program established two years ago to support research. By 2011, Roco estimates, the global nanotechnology market will be worth $1 trillion. link

In the basement of a science building on the North Dakota State University campus in Fargo, Dean Grier, assistant director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, leads the way into a clean room. The clean room is designed to filter out dust particles that interfere with nanoscale manufacturing.

"The clean room was put in place for the sake of a program we are working with, a corporate partner named Alien Technology," says Grier.

The research in this room is already translating into jobs. NDSU's corporate partner, a company called Alien Technology, is building a manufacturing plant near campus. Alien will create 300 new jobs and anticipates expanding to 1,000 in 10 years. link

One element that may be restraining the region's growth is a workforce that, while well trained in information technology, lacks engineers and physicists, said Nathan Swami, director of the Initiative for Nanotechnology in Virginia and a director of research development at the University of Virginia.

"D.C. has a workforce that is not in sync for what's needed for nanotech. You can't just have a workforce that is literate in IT," said Swami. "They don't all need to be nanotech gurus, but they have to have the basic training in physics and biotech and engineering. . . . And that can be changed of course, but it takes some work." link

"The funding for nanotechnology research and development will fuel the growth and maturation of the industry, and will lead to the three most important priorities in Silicon Valley-jobs, jobs, jobs," said Rep. Honda. "Nanotechnology has the potential to become a $1 trillion global market in a little over 10 years, and as such, countries around the world are in a race to develop their nanotechnology industries. It is imperative that in this race, the U.S. must be first across the finish line." link

Why study Nanotechnology?

This is a new degree program at the University of New South Wales, that has been designed to provide not only balance, so that students receive training across a wide range of science and technology disciplines, but also depth, as students will be expected to perform a major original research project in their final year. It has been introduced not only in response to the rapid development of this field, but also from the presence of innovative research programs undertaken at UNSW.

Graduates from this program will be very equipped to become involved in this new and rapidly growing field. They will have the opportunity to develop and commercialize products that are currently being generated though research in nanotechnology.

The program will also allow you to study the commercial aspects of nanotechnology. Significant emphasis will be given to economics, management and legal issues such as intellectual property and raising venture capital. link

As everyone hears knows, to say that nanotechnology holds promise for future economic growth and job creation is a gross understatement.

Let's assume a $1 trillion dollar market within a dozen years, what would this mean in terms of jobs? If we look to IT-producing industries for guidance-and I think this is appropriate since IT-producing industries provide an average wage more than twice that of all private sector workers-and if the $1 trillion estimate holds true, we could estimate the number of jobs created by nanotech products to be approximately 7 million. —Phillip J. Bond, Undersecretary of Commerce for Technology, United States Department of Commerce link

A more cost-effective method of manufacturing microchips will gradually replace multi-billion-dollar foundries with table-top boxes, marking the end of the silicon era and the potential death of many factory-floor jobs, a nanotechnology expert predicted Wednesday (3/24/2004). link

The White House sees nanotechnology as providing a breakthrough to revolutionize the way people detect and treat disease, monitor and protect the environment, produce and store energy, and build complex structures as small as an electronic circuit or as large as an airplane. The administration says it expects nanotechnology to have a broad and fundamental impact on many sectors of the economy, leading to new products, businesses, jobs, and industries. link

(Dr. Frank Underdown Jr., founder of Keweenaw Nanoscience Center) Underdown anticipates nanoscience to ultimately affect all occupational areas, especially automotive, aerospace, medicine, computers and electronics. The garment industry is currently using nanoscience in the area of stain resistance. The Michigan physicist also predicted that within the next 10-15 years, there will be approximately 2 million nanotechnology related jobs. But, don't expect all those jobs to be in the United States. link


"Jobs" News: November 01, 2005 - January 31, 2006

Giant possibilities in a global nano-economy January 30, 2006 One of the only constants is change. But as we look back on the first five years of this still-new century, one change stands out - both for its potential impact on the quality of our life and Indiana's economy. It's the big ideas from the smallest of building blocks - nanotechnology.

NSTI Announces the Nanotech Job Fair
businesswire January 30, 2006 The Nano Science & Technology Institute today announced the launch of The Nanotech Job Fair, the largest job fair dedicated to the nanotechnology industry in North America.

Trustees back UALR’s nanotechnology center January 27, 2006 University of Arkansas System trustees agreed Thursday with little discussion to officially establish a center for nanotechnology research and innovation at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Officials say the center, which is exploring collaboration with other colleges and universities in Arkansas, has the potential to boost the state’s economy and create start-up businesses.

17,500 new jobs
ACBJ January 23, 2006 The Center of Applied Nanomedicine, a research affiliate of Washington University's medical school with support from Philips Medical Systems' molecular imaging group, is the building's second tenant.

Calif. tech sector sees signs of comeback
smalltimes January 20, 2006 Only recently left for dead on the global battlefield, the San Francisco Bay Area's tech sector appears to have returned fully armed for the combat of the future. A relentless appetite for consumer electronics gear and services, coupled with the merging of software with both biotech and nanotech products, is at the heart of the new optimism.

Nanofilm president inspires at Industry Week
nanodot January 20, 2006 Christine Peterson: Nanofilm president Scott Rickert, a Foresight Participating Member, advises firms on how to integrate near-term nanotech into their products in a piece on the Industry Week site. He also gives advice on nano-jobs, which should not have nanoscale salaries.

Tech sector staging a major comeback January 17, 2006 Only recently left for dead on the global battlefield, the Bay Area's tech sector appears to have returned fully armed for the combat of the future. A relentless appetite for consumer electronics gear and services, coupled with the merging of software with both biotech and nanotech products, is at the heart of the new optimism.

Albany semi complex spared job cuts
smalltimes January 17, 2006 Sematech North, a $400 million research partnership between the University at Albany and a consortium of semiconductor companies that employs more than 200 people in upstate New York, is safe from job cuts that its affiliate organization, Sematech Inc., made last week in Texas.

Ehrlich proposes $2.5M boost for nanotech research
ACBJ January 16, 2006 The decision by Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich to fund research in nanotechnology with $2.5 million in taxpayer money -- unveiled this week as part of a $170 million slate of tech initiatives -- is the product of exquisite timing as much as the belief that the science will yield medical breakthroughs and state employment gains.

Project Manager BioNanotechnology January 09, 2006 Nanotechnology Victoria is a company with a focus of bringing the benefits of nanotechnology into Victorian and Australian industries. Nanotechnology Victoria identifies commercial needs and opportunities which can be addressed through the capabilities of its Member Institutes. We are seeking a project manager to facilitate projects, assemble project teams and manage nanotechnology projects in the biological area. The successful applicant will work in the team under the direction of Dr Bob Irving. (PDF)

UAlbany's value increases by $435M
ACBJ January 09, 2006 New York beat more than 10 states in landing a $435 million Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery and Exploration (INDEX). The institute will be located at the state University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering campus.

Jobs boost for North West December 13, 2005 An extra 300 jobs are to be created following an £83 million expansion by the US technology firm Seagate at two of its plants. "Today`s announcement will see the Springtown plant, already recognised as the most advanced nanotechnology manufacturing facility in the UK, become Seagate`s main global manufacturing facility and a key development site for read/write heads for computer hard drives."

N.J. science panel suggests ways to create, keep high-tech jobs December 01, 2005 With high-tech jobs leaving the state, a group of New Jersey technology leaders hopes to convince Governor-elect Jon Corzine that a well-organized plan and hundreds of millions of dollars will help reverse the flow.

The commission hopes to target several key technology areas including stem cells and life science research, nanotechnology, telecommunications, renewable energy and homeland security.

Innovations find home in old mill November 28, 2005 It's hard to fathom that an old, dilapidated mill in downtown Springfield will soon be home to the cutting-edge science of nanotechnology.

It's equally tough to get one's mind around both the new science and the products that will eventually come from the bowels of the 76-year-old MFA building at Boonville Avenue and Phelps Street, items the likes of which the world has never seen.

(Ed.'s note: "Nanotechnology is a fast-growing, multi-billion dollar global industry that develops carbon-based microscopic computers and machines for every day uses." - this is the first time I've seen this definition. Want to learn the actual definition? See our Introduction pages. Another interesting definition "... carbon nanotubes, microscopic, graphite-like structures composed of carbon that work like tiny machines." - unfortunately, nanotubes don't "work like tiny machines" - there is nothing machine-like to them; they are just another unique material that can be used in a variety of ways, and have vast potential.)

Report warns Congress of eroding IT, science sectors
EETimes November 23, 2005 There's no holiday cheer in a recent report on science and technology in the United States. In fact, the future of IT looks positively grim.

The report suggests 20 actions, based on four major recommendations, to bolster competitiveness. The recommendations are to: increase the country's talent pool by improving mathematics and science education in America's schools; sustain and strengthen commitments to long-term basic research; develop, recruit, and retain top students, scientists, and engineers from inside the U.S. and abroad; and ensure that America is the premier place for innovation.

What does "extremely powerful" mean?
Responsible Nanotechnology November 17, 2005 Chris Phoenix: Someone emailed the following question, and I found myself writing a fairly long answer that seems worth posting here.

"You have said that molecular manufacturing will be extremely powerful, but very few people know what that really means. What does it mean? What kind of an impact will molecular manufacturing have on politics, economics, law, sociology and the environment?"

Be a nanoanalyst & get paid for it
nanodot November 16, 2005 Christine Peterson: It’s not as fun as my job here at Foresight — what could be? — but Lux Research is recruiting Analyst and Senior Analyst positions based in NYC, SF, or Boston.

New competence center for nanotechnology in Singapore
BASF November 14, 2005 This global expansion of research activities will involve an increase in BASF's scientific staff by more than 10 percent (compared to the baseline year 2004). Altogether 180 new posts will be created in the next few years. About 80 additional scientific experts will be working at the BASF technology platforms in Ludwigshafen and Limburgerhof.

Olson enters congressional race November 10, 2005 Olson, 58, lived in Lima from 1974 until 1980 and worked at United Telephone, he said. He also wants to put an emphasis on developing Ohio’s work force to keep up with new technology. “The work force that we have in central Ohio and in many other parts of Ohio simply is not trained well enough for a nanotechnology-based economy,” Olson said.

Work force in place for tech construction
ACBJ November 07, 2005 "We've got to be on the forefront of the nanotechnology field and the high-purity field," said Tony Potenza, business manager for Plumbers and Steamfitters Local No. 7 in Albany. "The training that's being offered by outfits like Total Facility Solutions and Zander in conjunction with our own in-house training has been a key to bringing our people up to speed with regard to meeting the challenges of the new technology. It's been a good thing for everybody."

Bought by Invitrogen, Hayward's Quantum Dot closes its doors
ACBJ November 07, 2005 Quantum Dot Corp., the once high-flying nanotechnology company, is shutting its doors after being bought by life sciences firm Invitrogen Corp. in October.

From Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Robotics, Genetics, and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Our World, by Douglas Mulhall:

  • What happens to the monetary system when everyone is able to satisfy his own basic material needs at very low cost?
  • How would we use cash when digital manufacturing makes it impossible to differentiate a counterfeit bill or coin from the real thing?
  • What happens to fiscal policy when digital information, moving at light speed, is the major commodity?
  • How fast will monetary cycles move compared to, say, the ten- or twenty-year cycles of the late twentieth century, when products and patents go out of date in a matter of months instead of years?
  • What happens when we don't have to worry about trade or social services for our basic needs, because most of what we need is provided locally with digital manufacturing, and the biggest trade is in information?
  • How do we control the excesses of the ultrarich, the overabundance of the molecular assembler economy, and the challenge to intellectual property laws created by intelligent, inventive machines?
  • What happens if half of all jobs are made redundant every decade?
  • What happens to the War on Drugs when there's no import, export, or transport of contraband because drugs can be manufactured in a desktop machine using pirated software downloaded from the Internet?
  • What happens to democratic controls when individuals can get as rich as small governments in a year or so?
  • What's the relevance of insurance if many things are replaceable at very low capital cost, but liabilities from software are potentially unlimited?
  • How should organized labor react when molecular assemblers and intelligent robots eliminate most manufacturing jobs?
  • What is the nature of work going to be?
  • What happens to land prices when an individual can build a tropical farm under a bubble in North Dakota, and get there from New York in an hour?
  • What happens when everyone can go everywhere, whenever they want, and work from wherever they want?

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Issue #33 will cover Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT). It will land in your mailbox March 6th, 2006.

Infamous Quotes:

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." Western Union internal memo, 1876
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Physicist and mathematician Lord Kelvin, President of the British Royal Society, 1895
"Everything that can be invented has been invented." - Charles H. Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899
"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom." - Robert Milikan, Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1923
"Theoretically, television may be feasible, but I consider it an impossibility-a development which we should waste little time dreaming about." - Lee de Forest, inventor of the cathode ray tube, 1926
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." IBM's Thomas Watson, 1943
"Landing and moving around on the moon offer so many serious problems for human beings that it may take science another 200 years to lick them." - Science Digest, August 1948
"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." Popular Mechanics, 1949
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." Ken Olsen, Digital Equipment Corp, 1977

And the lesson is? It's a tough game to call.

Need advice? Check out NanoStrategies

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