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Best of Nanotechnology - 2003 Awards

For the past six years the team at Nanotechnology Now has tracked the thousands of websites, individuals, businesses, and government and educational institutions that exist in the nanospace. We read about and report on them every day, 365 days a year. By interviewing them, and covering their news, opinions, discoveries, triumphs and failures, we have come to appreciate a few above the rest.

If you have another favorite, please us and it will be reviewed for our "Best of 2004."


Best of the Best and Advocate

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology™ (CRN) A non-profit organization, formed to advance the safe use of molecular nanotechnology, CRN was founded by Chris Phoenix and Mike Treder in December 2002. The vision of CRN is a world in which nanotechnology is widely used for productive and beneficial purposes, and where malicious uses are limited by effective administration of the technology.

For their efforts to help insure the safe use of nanotechnology-enabled products, we present to CRN the "Best Advocate" and "Best of the Best" awards for 2003.

Click here to read more about CRN and the Award.

ADVOCATE (a person who pleads for a cause or propounds an idea) Runners-Up:

Tim Harper
Tim Harper - Europe

Founder & CEO of CMP Cientifica, and the Co-Author of the Nanotechnology Opportunity Report™. He is also the Executive Director of European NanoBusiness Association and an advisor to the US NanoBusiness Alliance. He contributes a weekly column to the Institute of Physics Nanotechweb site. In 1997 he founded CMP Cientifica, which organises Europe's largest scientific nanotechnology conference, TNT 200x. The company also manages both the Phantoms network, which coordinates European nanoelectronics research, and the NanoSpain network which links the Spanish scientific nanotechnology community.

nanoSIG Bo Varga

nanoSIG™ is the leading Northern California based membership organization focused on the commercial development of nanotechnology. Based at Nasa/Ames, they are part of a global nanotechnology network and act as a liaison to European and Asian counterparts. nanoSIG™ delivers education, information, & networking via nanotechnology domain Briefings; Conferences, Meetings, and eMeetings; Database & Web services; Global Activist Network; and detailed Marketing & Technical Reports on various nanotechnology domains.

Steve Jurvetson
Steve Jurvetson

Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Draper Fisher Jurvetson of Redwood City, is recognized as one of the foremost venture capital units investing in nanotech startups. A Stanford graduate in engineering and business, Jurvetson saw seven of his communications chip designs fabricated as an R&D engineer at Hewlett-Packard. Jurvetson was chosen by Forbes as one of "Tech's Best Venture Investors," by the VC Journal as one of the "Ten Most Influential VCs," and by Fortune as part of their "Brain Trust of Top Ten Minds." Articles include: The New Future and Transcending Moore's Law.

Foresight Institute
Foresight Institute

Once again, the folks at Foresight continue to inform, research, and call to action. They have been, and continue to be, the leaders in getting the word out to the public. Based on the efforts of Foresight Chairman and Founder Eric Drexler, President Christine L. Peterson, Vice President Ralph C. Merkle, Webmaster James Lewis, and the rest of the team at Foresight, this site has become known as a catalyst for debate, and is generally recognized as the most complete technical reference as well.

Howard Lovy
Howard Lovy Independent nanotechnology information and commentary

Choice posts in 2003 include - but are not linited to - Stairway to Heaven and Apocalypse Nano and The Hulk, Prince Charles and other scary things and 2003: The Year of the Straw NanoMan

Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Glenn Harlan Reynolds

Read his well-crafted opinions at Instapundit.

Lerwen Liu
Lerwen Liu - Asia

President nABACUS Partners, and author Asia Pacific Nanotech Weekly.

Neil Gordon
Neil Gordon - Canada

President Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance, and Partner - Nanotechnology Sygertech. Neil specializes in the commercialization of nanotechnology and in advocating nanotechnology in Canada. Articles include: Tips for Bringing Nanotech Products to Market, Five Ingredients for Financing Nanotech Ventures, Nanomedicine Taxonomy, and Nanotechnology as a Disruptive Technology.

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Nanotechweb Featuring articles by Tim Harper (founder of CMP Cientifica, Executive Director of the European NanoBusiness Association, and an advisor to the US NanoBusiness Alliance), Liz Kalaugher, and other contributing writiers, and TNT Weekly, Paul Holister contributing editor.



Foresight Institute
EETimes CMP Científica
Nanodot Materials Today
The NanoTechnology Group Inc.
Judith Light Feather, President

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For their pioneering work with nanocrystals, we present to Quantum Dot Corporation the "Best Product" award for 2003.
For more information, visit

Founded in 1998, Quantum Dot Corporation (QDC) develops and markets novel solutions for biomolecular detection. QDC's products and services employ quantum dot (Qdot®) particles, tiny semiconductor crystals that emit light brightly in a range of sharp colors. These nanometer-sized Qdot particles have unique, highly desirable properties that make them a superior detection platform for biology. QDC has invested many years in perfecting the methods for synthesis of high quality, high brightness quantum dots for biology. With enabling applications in life science research, in vitro diagnostic testing, and in vivo imaging, Qdot nanocrystals are set to revolutionize biomolecular detection.

Quantum Dot Corporation Unveils Two Nanotechnology Products Quantum Dot Corporation (QDC) announces two additions to its nanocrystal-based family of fluorescent labels: the Qtracker™ 655 Kit for loading Qdot™ nanocrystals into live cells and the Qdot 705 streptavidin conjugate for ultra-bright, near infra-red bio-detection. The Qtracker 655 Kit is the first in a new line of labeling reagents designed for introducing Qdot nanocrystal-based fluorochromes into live cells. QDC also introduces the Qdot 705 Streptavidin Conjugate, the brightest near-infrared fluorophore available by far.

Quantum Dot: A nanocrystal. Since the term emphasizes the quantum confinement effect it typically refers to the sub-class of nanocrystals that are small enough to exist in the quantum confinement regime, and more typically refers to fluorescent nanocrystals in the quantum confined size range.

Quantum Dot Corporation (QDC) nanocrystal

Quantum Dot Corporation (QDC) nanocrystal

Quantum Dot Corporation (QDC) nanocrystal
Glossary term and Images courtesy Quantum Dot Corporation. Click to enlarge.

Runners-up: To see our list of 25 runners-up, click here
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Nanotechnology Now 2003 Best Nanotechnology Awards
"Imagine if cancer could become trivial." Naomi Halas

For furthering our understanding of the potential of "nanoshells," while at the same time lessening our worries about cancer, this year's "Best Discovery" Award goes to Naomi Halas and Jennifer West for their cancer-fighting gold nanoparticles. One of their visions: no less than single visit diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Click here to read more about Naomi Halas, Jennifer West, and the Award.

Runners-up: To see our list of 61 runners-up, click here

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Trends in Nanotechnology Weekly
From CMP Científica, and edited by Paul Holister.

The Nanoadvisor - Nanotechnology Education News Glenn Harlan Reynolds

The Harrow Technology Report
A twice monthly webpage and voice report, dealing with the topics, events, and science of the day, and theorizing about possibilities. Jeffrey R. Harrow does an outstanding job of putting it all together for us, and presenting it in a way that is easy to understand. He stimulates the mind, piques the curiosity, and generally gets you more interested than you were before you came to the party.
Singularity, Robotics, AI, Immortality, Nanotech, Cloning, and more. Edited by Amara D. Angelica.

A nanotech discussion group dedicated to a fair and open exchange of ideas.

Howard Lovy's NanoBot
From the Editor of Small Times. Read all about what is on Howard's mind - what he cannot print at Small Times.

Responsible Nanotechnology
News and notes about the ongoing work of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN).

News and discussions of coming technologies. Contains discussion and posts, from Medicine to Investment to Future Applications.

Forbes Wolfe
An insider's blog on the science, markets, and undiscovered trends of nanotech.

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K. Eric Drexler
K. Eric Drexler

K. Eric Drexler: Dr. Drexler is a researcher concerned with emerging technologies and their consequences for the future. In the mid 1980s, he introduced the term 'nanotechnology' to describe atomically precise molecular manufacturing systems and their products. Advanced nanotechnologies will make possible many dreams (and nightmares) first articulated in the literature of science fiction. He is a founder and current Chairman of the Foresight Institute, a nonprofit educational organization established to help prepare for advanced technologies. He wrote Engines of Creation (1986) to introduce a broad audience to the prospect of advanced nanotechnologies -- their nature, promise, and dangers -- and Nanosystems (AAP 1992 Most Outstanding Computer Science Book) to provide a graduate-level introduction to the fundamental physical and engineering principles of the field. In 2003, he debated Noble Prize winner Richard E. Smalley on the question "Are molecular assemblers physically possible?." While there was no winner, and no loser, Dr. Drexler succinctly presented his case, and in all but the minds of a very few, clearly made the case that his position ought to at least be tested.

Ray Kurzweil
Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil: Ray was the principal developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray has successfully founded and developed nine businesses in OCR, music synthesis, speech recognition, reading technology, virtual reality, financial investment, medical simulation, and cybernetic art. All of these technologies continue today as market leaders. Ray's Web site,, is a leading resource on artificial intelligence. Read more about Ray, here.

One of his fundamental beliefs is what he calls "The Law of Accelerating Returns" - read about it here. Also worth viewing is his The Singularity Is Near video.

For futher insight into this unique mind, read these article by and about him: Promise and Peril of the 21st Century and Ray Kurzweil's Plan: Never Die and The Singularity : A talk with Ray Kurzweil and Ray Kurzweil, Material Girl (Audio) and Testimony of Ray Kurzweil on the Societal Implications of Nanotechnology (PDF)

Jeff Harrow
Jeff Harrow

Jeff Harrow: Harrow Technology Report
Insight, analysis, and commentary on the innovations and trends of contemporary computing, and on its growing number of related technologies. A twice monthly webpage and voice report, dealing with the topics, events, and science of the day, and theorizing about possibilities. Jeffrey R. Harrow does an outstanding job of putting it all together for us, and presenting it in a way that is easy to understand. He stimulates the mind, piques the curiosity, and generally gets you more interested than you were before you came to the party. You can read or listen to his reports. From Be Concerned. Be Very Concerned to NBIC Perspectives to Why Should *I* Be Interested In This? IT'S ALL GOOD!

"An ongoing journey towards understanding, and profiting from, a world of exponential technological growth!"

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Quantum Dot Corporation (QDC) "Quantum Dot Corporation (QDC) develops and markets novel solutions for biomolecular detection. QDC's products and services employ quantum dot (Qdot®) particles, tiny semiconductor crystals that emit light brightly in a range of sharp colors. These nanometer-sized Qdot particles have unique, highly desirable properties that make them a superior detection platform for biology." See Science Magazine Recognizes Quantum Dot Research as One of the Top Ten Scientific Breakthroughs of the Year

Zyvex "We started Zyvex to develop practical uses for molecular nanotechnology to transofrm how we make physical goods — creating clean, flexible, and powerful manufacturing for the 21st century. Zyvex is moving along that path rapidly, with current product offerings in R&D tools, nanomaterials, and assembled micromachines. Our team is dedicated to nanotechnology because we believe it will fulfill its promise to transform the world in profound ways."

Biophan Technologies "NanoView is intended to utilize nanomagnetic particles as contrast agents that preferentially bind to tissues of diagnostic interest, creating improved detail and contrast in images. If successful, this technology would improve signal intensity and permit the use of multiple markers."

FEI Structural Process Management Solutions for Semiconductors, Data Storage, Materials, Science, and Life Science.

Veeco Metrology Group Metrology and process equipment systems for industry leaders in the semiconductor, data storage, telecom/wireless and scientific/research markets.

Nanoscience Instruments
Phoenix, AZ, USA. Provides high quality nanoscience instrumentation, accessories and supplies to educators, researchers and engineers.

The Nanomanipulator from the Center for Computer Integrated Systems for Microscopy and Manipulation (CISMM) at UNC Chapel Hill. Part of the Nanoscale Science Research Group (NSRG). Images & Movies

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Authorizing nearly $3.7 billion over four years, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (PDF, 64 KB), and on December 3rd, 2003, President Bush signed it into law. Although the yearly budget is only a little more than for previous years, the important thing is that it will make the effort permanent, creating the National Nanotechnology Research Program (NNPR) to replace the expiring National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). While we have misgivings relating to the omission of a study of the feasibility of molecular manufacturing (which was included in an earlier version of the bill - see Molecular Nanotechnology - Omission in the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, we believe this bill is a step in the right direction. To be congratualted for their efforts are Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), and U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.). See Nanotech R&D act becomes law for details.

While not a policy-making group, the newly formed Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group (NTAG) is charged with providing technical information on nanotechnology to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The NTAG consists of experts representing a range of disciplines, such as bionanotechnology, drug delivery, biosensers, MEMS, sensing, chemistry, physics, business, commercial and government. Given that they will advise those who advise the President, count on them to have some influence. We'll keep a watch out, and report on them when policy is made.

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Some old, some new, all valuable and informative. Click here to see the whole listing of our picks for 2003.

Our choices for the best books of 2003:

The Next Big Thing
Is Really Small

Jack Uldrich
Deb Newberry
Hacking Matter: Levitating Chairs, Quantum Mirages, and the Infinite Weirdness of Programmable Atoms. Wil McCarthy.  February 2003
Hacking Matter
Wil McCarthy
The Mother of All Minds - Dudley Lynch
The Mother of
All Minds

Dudley Lynch
Metaplanetary - Tony Daniel 2001
Tony Daniel

See our Nanotechnology Books section for a comprehensive listing of other science and science fiction books.
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The Space Elevator
Click to enlarge.
Pat Rawling, Artist. Concept of a space elevator as viewed from geostationary transfer station.
The Space Elevator To learn more, visit the Institute for Scientific Research

Winners of the 2003 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes in Nanotechnology

Extropy - The International Transhumanist Organization

"The Extropy Institute acts as a networking and information center for those seeking to foster our continuing evolutionary advance by using technology to extend healthy life, augment intelligence, optimize psychology, and improve social systems. Through its networking function, the Institute brings together the finest critical and creative minds to challenge conventional thinking about human limits and to develop, critique, and implement new ideas about the use of technologies of all kinds to improve the future. As an information center, the Institute acts as a repository and portal for detailed information on advanced technologies, their positive potentials, their challenges, and their possible dangers." Go see what Natasha Vita-More, Max More, Greg Burch, and the Extropy team have to say.

Using nanotubes and etched silicon, UC Berkeley physicists build world's smallest motor Only 15 years after University of California, Berkeley, engineers built the first micro-scale motor, a UC Berkeley physicist has created the first nano-scale motor - a gold rotor on a nanotube shaft that could ride on the back of a virus. "It's the smallest synthetic motor that's ever been made," said Alex Zettl, professor of physics at UC Berkeley and faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "Nature is still a little bit ahead of us - there are biological motors that are equal or slightly smaller in size - but we are catching up."

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