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Identifying Science and Business Issues: The Case of Nanotechnology. Dr. Danial Wayner, Director General National Institute for Nanotechnology, Edmonton Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences, Ottawa. The Case of Nanotechnology. Contents. Catching the nanotechnology wave

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identifying science and business issues the case of nanotechnology

Identifying Science and Business Issues: The Case of Nanotechnology

Dr. Danial Wayner, Director General

National Institute for Nanotechnology, Edmonton

Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences, Ottawa

contents

The Case of Nanotechnology

Contents
  • Catching the nanotechnology wave
  • Managing emerging technologies
  • Business opportunities in nanotechnology
  • What government can do
nanoresearch vs nanotechnology

The Case of Nanotechnology

Nanoresearch vs Nanotechnology

Nanoresearch

  • research at the atomic, molecular or macromolecular levels to:
    • create and use structures, devices and systems that have novel properties and functions with critical length scales typically under 100 nm
    • provide fundamental understanding of phenomena and materials at the nanoscale in 1, 2 or 3 dimensions
nanoresearch vs nanotechnology1

The Case of Nanotechnology

Nanoresearch vs Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology

  • useful applications of nanoscience/engineering knowledge and discoveries
    • integration into existing technologies
    • new applications based on transformational or revolutionary discoveries
slide5

The Case of Nanotechnology

networks

atoms

macro/supra

molecules

systems

organism

molecules

self-organizing

Assemblies

organ

Biological

Complexity

tissue

cell

  • Integrated Nanosystems
  • Artificial organs/tissue
  • Chemical information systems
  • integrated with electronics
  • Adaptive materials

Complexity (# of nanocomponents)

organelle

Non-Bio

Complexity

protein

DNA

www

nucleic/

amino

acid

electronics/

photonics

nano

materials

bulk materials

0.1

1

10

100

103

106

107

>108

Length Scale (nm)

catching the nanotechnology wave

The Case of Nanotechnology

Catching the nanotechnology wave
  • What is the wave?
    • most of what we hear and see is nanoresearch
    • there are increasing incremental improvements to traditional technologies (e.g. nanocomposites)
    • some discoveries suggest discontinuities in product development, manufacturing paradigms
    • there is a feeling that we are on the verge of something revolutionary but it is still not well defined
  • Hype versus Reality
    • the research and investment communities are fueling unreasonable expectations
catching the nanotechnology wave1

The Case of Nanotechnology

Catching the nanotechnology wave
  • How do we know it is coming?
    • It is underpinned by many years of research
    • It builds on a succession of high profile reports
    • It requires significant capital investment in infrastructure and capacity building
    • it promises economic impact on optimistic timescales
catching the nanotechnology wave2

The Case of Nanotechnology

Catching the nanotechnology wave
  • Nanotechnology fits this description well:
    • It is based on many years of basic research in physics, chemistry and biology. And several major areas of nanotechnology still require substantial scientific research before commercial ‘technologies’ will emerge.
    • there are many parallels with the biotech revolution
    • Future nanotech research and production facilities will require massive investments
    • There are an increasing number of startups even though markets are not yet clearly defined
catching the nanotechnology wave3

The Case of Nanotechnology

Catching the nanotechnology wave
  • Trying to catch the wave is risky!
  • Anxiety over IP, wealth generation leads to:
    • Taking a new ‘technology’ out of a university or government lab and into a ‘start-up’ company before major research problems are resolved
    • products without markets, markets without products
    • unanticipated problems in scale up, moving from prototypes to production
    • incomplete understanding of the value chain – low ROI
    • if not managed well, disillusionment/backlash (dot coms, photonics)
managing technology risk some science policy issues

The Case of Nanotechnology

Managing Technology Risk – Some Science Policy Issues
  • National S&T priorities
    • defines strengths, weaknesses, opportunties, threats at a national level
    • provides a framework within which funding decisions may be taken (critical mass)
    • creates opportunity for organizational synergies
  • Technology Clusters
    • regional clusters of competing and collaborating firms, associated with university and government research facilities to share the risk and the rewards
    • well developed receptor capacity
    • spin-offs when necessary but not necessarily spin-offs
managing technology risk some science policy issues1

The Case of Nanotechnology

Managing Technology Risk – Some Science Policy Issues
  • Funding
    • Provide long term funding of research into nanoscience in both the universities and government labs, e.g., NINT
    • Provide other incentives to SME’s (contracts vs grants)
  • Outreach/education
    • closing the gap between science and business/investors
  • Nano Environmental, Ethical, Economic, Legal, Social Implications (NE3LS)
    • public rejection can derail technologies (e.g. GM foods)
    • developing a NE3LS capacity at this early stage is an opportunity for Canada to establish a competitive edge in a global economy
slide13

NINT: Building

  • NRC
  • ResearchPrograms
  • Industry Partnership Facility

UniversityAlignedNanotechResearchPrograms

NRC/UofASharedNanotechFacility

The Case of Nanotechnology

NINT: Collaborative Model

NRC

Province+UofA

$40M

Cross-

Appointments

Cross-

Appointments

$20M

$20M

$40M

$12M/a

business opportunities in nanotechnology

The Case of Nanotechnology

Business opportunities in nanotechnology
  • Short Term (less disruptive)
    • Nanomaterials
    • Nanotools
    • Nano-electromechanical systems
  • Long Term (more disruptive)
    • Nanoelectronics/quantum computing
    • Bionanotechnology/personalized health care
    • Integrated Nanosystems/Convergent Technologies
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