Archive for November, 2011

NanoBusiness Recommends Nanoinformatics 2011, Dec. 7-9th, Arlington, VA

Posted on November 21st, 2011 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I will be speaking at the Nanoinformatics 2011 Conference being held December 7-9th in Arlington, VA at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City hotel.

Nanoinformatics 2011 will bring together informatics experts, nanotechnology researchers, and other stakeholders and potential contributors to advance Nanoinformatics 2020 Roadmap goals. The workshop will set a clear path for Nanoinformatics participants through the presentation of projects and research, open discussions, and strategic planning sessions.

The conference will feature nanoinformatics presentations on a variety of topics as well as focused talks on Quantitative Structure Activity Relationships and Minimum Required Characteristics. December 9th will be a working day where feedback and ideas on the Nanoinformatics 2020 Roadmap from meeting attendees will be especially welcome.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Conference Services is handling registration. Please use this link to register:

Hyatt Regency Crystal City
2799 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 418-1234

NDMX golf ball technology is now the property of OnCore Golf

Research 2.0 Equity Research Coverage
Harris & Harris Group: Nanotech Phase Change Ahead

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.
Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus Hosts Briefing on “Nanotech and Jobs”

United Airlines to operate first US commercial flight on (Solazyme) aviation biofuels

Global Nanotechnology Industry Output Expected to Reach $2.4 Trillion by 2015

I hope you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving.


Vincent Caprio “Serving the Nanotechnology Community for Over a Decade”
Executive Director
NanoBusiness Commercialization Association

Review of 10th Annual NanoBusiness Conference Day 2 – September 27th

Posted on November 21st, 2011 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Here is the continuation of our 10th Annual NanoBusiness/Nanomanufacturing Summit 2011 review from Tuesday, September 27th at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

Doug Jamison returned Tuesday morning to show us Solazyme’s roadshow video as an example of how nanotech companies are pitching themselves to investors. This led nicely into the day’s Keynote sessions featuring NNI veteran Mihail C. (Mike) Roco along with four more of our CEOs – Scott Rickert of NanoFilm, Jim Hussey of NanoInk, David Arthur of SouthWest NanoTechnologies, and Jim Phillips of NanoMech. Together with the day’s breakout session speakers, they painted a great picture of the breadth of successful business models and plans nanotech companies are executing.

Scott Rickert started things off with a talk featuring five signposts on the road to nanotech’s success in its second decade. Scott’s business model at NanoFilm is focused on delivering commercial with today’s nanotechnology while progressing towards future nanotech that accomplishes what is now impossible.

1.It’s not just for rocket scientists anymore. Practical applications of nanotechnology abound, from environmental remediation to sunscreens and other personal care products. Scott regularly writes about today’s nanotech for IndustryWeek, and under his guidance NanoFilm has been making products and profits with nanotechnology for over two decades.

2. Nanotechnology rearranges the map. While the forces of globalization have hurt many sectors of the U.S. economy, we are the center of the nanotech world. NanoFilm exports products, not jobs, to every continent while working with many international partners. Just as they have built a strong presence in Cleveland, other companies are enriching Des Moines, Tucson, Tulsa, Orlando, etc. – there is a nano presence in every region of the country.

3. Government agencies are putting more of their dollars into business partnerships and less into handouts. While stimulus packages kept some companies going, they are not the foundation of a sustainable business model. The government can be an important customer but make sure you understand what fraction of your business that represents and why. Government-sponsored research has long served to seed new companies, but when you are as old as NanoFilm (26) you need to be beyond that. Scott supports broad policies that encourage innovation and help many small and medium sized enterprises rather than targeted programs that support a few.

4. Nanotechnology is making the U.S. a manufacturing powerhouse again, not by filling 20,000 person automobile factories but through 100s of small and medium factories demanding skilled workers. The critical value of intellectual property in nano is a strong incentive for keeping production local – in your own country, and preferably in your own zip code. NanoFilm utilizes 80,000 sq. ft. of factory space in Cleveland and oversees the production of every product.

5. Nanotech bullies and crybabies are starting to have grown-up conversations. The discussions about environmental, health, and safety issues have taken on a new and more sophisticated tone. Regulatory agencies recognize that successful employers care about their workers, and are partnering with companies to develop and certify good EHS practices and procedures. In NanoFilm’s case, that means spending a lot of time talking to EPA and NIOSH.

Scott’s vision for NanoFilm is based on a horizontal business platform similar to 3M or IFF. As a vertical producer he would have to compete with the GEs, DuPonts, and PPGs of the world. Instead, he concentrates on developing three classes of nanofilms – self-assembled, nanocomposite, and surface renewable – that are coated on to customer substrates. Every product is developed in response to a customer need, through a collaborative partnership. They compete based on performance, not price. NanoFilm’s customers are also sales partners – Scott only employs 5 salespeople, but there are over 30,000 technical and sales professionals selling NanoFilm coatings as part of products each and every one of us uses every single day.

Dr. Mike Roco, Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology at the National Science Foundation, was up next. Mike, who I have known for a decade, gave us his usual penetrating analysis of the trends in nanotech R&D. Mike views nanotechnology as U.S. industry’s best hope for a transformative platform and thinks we are at the beginning of changes in the industrial landscape similar in magnitude to the post-World War II era. He thinks we are poised to begin a 5-year transition from being science-based innovators to being product-based. But it will take intense research, especially in nanomanufacturing, to make this happen. (About 10% of NSF’s NNI budget will go to nanomanufacturing this year.) He urged us to include more of the human dimension in our development processes, concentrating on products for people, not products for products. Mike presented a wealth of information on indicators of R&D quality and intensity, including worldwide funding, citation, and patent data. From 2000-2010, patent applications have grown twice as fast as scientific papers. U.S. paper production continues to grow, but the growth has slowed compared to Korea and China in particular. Chinese nano papers now account for about 15% of its output in all research fields. The nano communities in the rest of the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, and India) have also grown rapidly. The U.S continues its strong showing in quality indicators, such as the percentage citations in top-ranked journals. NSF has also analyzed some of the patents developed by nano researchers it has funded. The list is peppered with names that will be familiar to many of you, topped by Chad Mirkin and Rick Smalley. Mike moved on to discuss some of the nanotech applications showing the most promise today – catalysts, electronic devices, structural materials and coatings, energy storage, water filtration – and some of the most recent nanoscience advances that will drive tomorrow’s applications. These included a nanofabricated device from the University of California-Santa Barbara, which he called the first quantum machine; a new microscope developed at Caltech which can observe chemical reactions on the nanoscale with femtosecond resolution; and a new idea for energy storage based on graphite and water. By Mike’s count, about half the new energy conversion, storage, or carbon capture projects funded in the last decade incorporate nanotechnology, and there is already significant market penetration in major industries including semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, and catalysis. We are less far along than he had expected us to be in a few areas, such as materials by design, sustainable development, and public awareness. This is somewhat compensated by unexpected discoveries in areas such as plasmonics, metamaterials, synthetic biology, and quantum information technology. A strong international community is emerging in EHS and ELSI, but this needs to be expanded to include other governance issues such as investment policy and risk management. Continuing to look forward, Mike discussed the growth of public-private partnerships involving universities, industry, and government agencies. Just consider the area of nanoelectronics. In the U.S. we have the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NSF, NIST, SRC, multiple universities) and the SUNY/Sematech/NY State collaboration in Albany. Europe has the IMEC/Aachen/Eindhoven Triangle and the Grenoble Nanoelectronics Cluster. Japan has its own NRI, the Tsukuba Nano Center (AIST, NIMS, U. Tsukuba, NEC, Sharp, Toshiba, Hitachi & others). These kinds of hybrid partnerships are likely to form in other trending nano areas such as personalized nanomedicine, photonics, energy conversion and storage, and integrated biological and environmental studies. By 2020, we must be prepared for mass applications of not just nanomaterials but nanoscale devices and systems, often with biological components. We need new models for innovation as part of a greater emphasis on commercialization, with an emphasis on sustainable development, job creations, and returning value to society for its investments. And we need to develop and fund global institutions capable of addressing the full range of governance issues.

Jim Hussey, CEO of NanoInk, returned us firmly to the commercial world with his talk entitled “How Do You Create and Build a Nanotechnology Company” To Jim, success in that endeavor is defined not just through the development of safe, reliable, profitable products but by providing appropriate shareholder return; training, employing, and fairly compensating a skilled workforce; and contributing to the economy at local, state, and national scale. NanoInk’s trip down that road began with the licensing of dip-pen nanofabrication technology from Northwestern in 2001. An experienced entrepreneurial team brought in over $100M of private capital and began to build products and revenues. It took several years, but the technology they developed is wildly disruptive and quickly drew attention in the diagnostic and genomic communities. By reducing the amount of fluid needed by over 10 orders of magnitude, NanoInk can greatly reduce the cost and increase the performance of many kinds of biological assays. Their business is built on a mix of equipment and consumables sales, and is international. They have developed a specialized training instrument and accompanying courseware, called the NanoProfessor system, which foreign universities are snapping up quickly. Looking forward, the company may have an opportunity to break into an entirely new field as the semiconductor industry ponders the relative merits of continued miniaturization via optical lithography, known as More Moore, vs. incorporating new techniques and new functionalities, known as More than Moore. Jim, who has mentored many new entrepreneurs, closed with a few words of advice for other prospective company builders. He prefers private capital to government funding. Listen to what the customers want, it is what matters. And if you are the scientist, recognize that building product requires a different skill set than invention, so get out of the commercialization experts’ way.

SouthWest Nanotechnology CEO Dave Arthur closed out the Tuesday morning keynote session. Dave told us how SWeNT has gone from producing a few grams of single-wall carbon nanotubes per day in its startup phase (2000-2005) to kg/day with the opening of a production plant in 2008 and on to as much as 10,000 kg/day today. They have built 5 successively larger generations of their vertical fluidized reactors while working closely with NIOSH and EPA to ensure that their plant and product are safe. SWeNT now has EPA consent orders in place authorizing them to manufacture both single-wall and multi-wall CNTs in substantial quantities. They are incorporating tubes into inks to fulfill customer desire for safe and easy handling. Through a partnership with the coating experts from Chasm (many of them ex-Polaroid), they have formulated products especially appropriate for roll-to-roll application. SWeNT has received important support from both Federal and Oklahoma government agencies, totaling $6M. They have also raised $13M in equity seed and A-rounds plus $5M in debt capital from the Norman economic development coalition. They are ready for another equity infusion and are planning on closing a B-round of about $15M in the first quarter of 2012. On the customer side, things are progressing but there is still a ways to go. Typically it takes a year to move customers past their early excitement about technology and performance, to the point where they define a complete, convenient solution meeting real product needs. The main target market now is thin films for electronics; composites applications in supercapacitors, batteries, and membranes remain tantalizing, but even at 1% loading will require far higher quantities of CNTs – tonnes per day – than SWeNT can currently provide. As a transparent thin film for touchscreens, SWeNT has licensed and is producing a CNT-bearing ink developed by Chasm. Called V2V, it is not only a cheaper material than traditional Indium Tin Oxide coatings but is less expensive to apply in the necessary pattern. The company also has a program, newly funded by the State of Oklahoma, to work with Chasm and Panasonic on semiconducting inks that could greatly improve the performance of OLED TVs. They also continue to develop differentiated nanotube products, including a tube variety with a very low defect rate and a narrow mix of chiralities. A greener, ultralow cost process for manufacturing single wall tubes is in an early stage of development; Dave hopes to fund it separately from the much more advanced thin film work. As conceived, this process would reduce energy usage by 95% and carbon dioxide emissions by 99%. It would be scaleable to 10 tonnes/day at a cost of $0.10/gm and could change the prospects for composite products dramatically.

Tuesday morning continued with five company presentations in two parallel sessions, along with an update from David Bunzow from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on opportunities to use Department of Energy facilities and a talk by attorney Jeffrey Rosedale from Woodcock Washburn on strategies for extending the lifetime of your intellectual property. You will find several of these presentations online, also, featuring Nanophase CEO Jess Jankowski ,Cambridge NanoTech founder and ALD pioneer Jill Becker, Contour Energy CEO T. Joseph Fisher, and Pixelligent CEO Craig Bandes

After lunch, Jim Phillips kicked off our final afternoon. Jim is the CEO of Arkansas-based NanoMech. As an active member of the Council on Competitiveness, Jim talks to a lot of innovators and he thinks some of us nano folks are a little too pessimistic. We need to remember that even in this second decade, nano is still in its infancy. NanoMech works closely with the University of Arkansas, which made a big investment in a new laboratory for nanotech just about the time Jim came on board. According to Jim, business success depends on talent, research, entrepreneurship, environment, partners, and access to capital. NanoMech has an international and interdisciplinary team, and a great environment for innovation. They are just down the street from Wal-Mart headquarters, which means they have 1,250 vendors as neighbors (200 with revenues above $1B/yr ). NanoMech has been operating with a new business model since January which emphasizes licensing; it is similar to BASF’s model. They are targeting global markets in fields such as energy, manufacturing, environmental, sustainability, defense and security, and biomedical. NanoMech would not be alive without the SBIR program, having received support at critical times from NSF and DOD. He cautioned us not to underestimate the value of government funding in the startup phase. The mix changes as a company evolves. NanoMech is now having great success with cubic boron nitride coatings for cutting tools. It took a while to capitalize on this technology, which significantly increases the lifetime of industrial tooling, but it will generate the equivalent of $130M in revenue through licensing this year. It is important to have a good intellectual property team when you are involved with deals like this, involving joint development agreements with partners much larger than you are. Marketing is also important. Jim discussed a few examples from his earlier successes in the telecommunications industry, such as coming up with the phrase “cable modem” to describe what technically should have been called a codec. A lot more people knew what a modem was than a codec. So that is what we all have today, cable modems. They faced a similar problem with the TuffTek cutting tool line. How many people in the machine tool industry can decipher an electron micrograph showing boron nitride and titanium layers? But they all get the point of the company’s “Tool that Lasts a Lifetime” campaign, which Jim placed in big spreads in key trade publications. To continue this theme, Jim told us that NanoMech is now buying up the trademarks for lots of “little ns”. For example, their product line of suspended solid lubricant nanoparticles has been renamed from Nanoglide to nGlide.

Following Jim’s presentation, we broke into parallel tracks for two final commercialization breakout sessions before rejoining for a Washington Roundup. You will find Eeva Viinikka’s presentation about nanotech commercialization and Mike Milburn’s overview of Metabolon’s metabolytics and diagnostic platforms on the web. In the roundup, NanoBCA Advisory Board Members Joe Piche and Philip Lippel joined me for a lively discussion of the current situation in Washington. I began with some remarks about the Congressional budget wars, noting that the Technology Innovation Program at the National Institute of Standards was under fire just as its predecessor, the Advanced Technology Program had been for many years. It looks like new awards under this program, which has benefited several of our member companies, will be zeroed out in the 2012 budget. ARPA-E’s budget is likely to be well below the President’s Request for similar reasons. Phil and Joe noted that Congress’ unease at funding programs with such close ties to industry does not seem to be mirrored in other countries (with the possible exception of the UK), potentially putting U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage internationally. The overall budget situation for the agencies participating in the NNI is not quite so bleak – once the House and Senate get together, the total R&D funding is likely to be about 6% below the President’s request. If you are interested in following the details of how the budget battles affect R&D, Phil recommended that you keep an eye on the AAAS budget and policy program website. For now we are assuming that NNI funding will probably come in at about that same figure, 6% or so below the requested $2.1B. But dollars aren’t the whole picture. Most of the agencies have not received final appropriations and have been operating under continuing resolutions, which makes it very difficult to start new programs. It remains to be seen if this will slow down the funding transitions Drs. Tinkle and Roco told us about, or if the agencies will find ways to begin adjusting their priorities within existing programs.

I want to thank all the participants and attendees for two stimulating days in Boston. Many of us also enjoyed our overlap with the Water Innovations Alliance and Foundation Conference and with the Academic-Industry Workshop on Nanofabrication Techniques for Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing hosted by our National Nanomanufacturing Network colleagues.


Vincent Caprio “Serving the Nanotechnology Community for Over a Decade”
Executive Director
NanoBusiness Commercialization Association

Review of 10th Annual NanoBusiness Conference Day 1 – September 26th

Posted on November 16th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Today, we would like to provide the Nanotechnology Community with the complete review of our 10th Annual Conference which was held in late September in Boston.

To kick things off, National Nanomanufacturing Network (NNN) Managing Director, Jeffrey Morse and I invited all attendees to a reception on Sunday evening where we were able catch up on news from old friends while making some new ones. On Monday morning, Jeff and I opened the formal conference at the Seaport Convention Center, where I noted that many of the nanotechnology advances we would be hearing about were discussed as concepts 10 years ago at our first annual conference. Then, it sounded like science fiction, and now we have shown that it is reality. That is a long way to travel in a decade, and we should all be proud of the progress our community has made.
Our first speaker, Sally Tinkle, Acting Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO), gave us an overview of the Federal perspective on this journey. The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is a key component of the Obama Administration’s Strategy for American Innovation, since it will continue to “catalyze breakthroughs for national priorities” in many fields of commerce. It is also closely linked to other programs that are part of the innovation strategy such as the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership and the Materials Genome Initiative.

The NNI enters its second decade having shepherded a collective investment of $14B through FY 2011, with an additional $2.1B requested for the current fiscal year. It continues to be guided by the four goals first articulated in 2004 – advancing world-class nanotechnology research and development; fostering the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit; developing and sustaining educational resources, a skilled workforce and the supporting infrastructure and tools to advance nanotechnology; and supporting the responsible development of nanotechnology. Sally told us to expect a gradual shift in emphasis among those goals as the field continues to mature. Agencies are increasing the focus on technology transfer and nanomanufacturing focus in order to smooth out the innovation pipeline. Workforce training and the development of tools and infrastructure are also getting a priority bump. The guiding principles for these activities are laid out in the Strategic Plan released last year. Nanomanufacturing research funding is scheduled to double over five years, with much of the increase featured in the NNI’s first three Signature Initiatives (Nanoelectronics for 2020 and Beyond, Sustainable Nanomanufacturing – Creating the Industries of the Future, and Nanotechnology for Solar Energy Collection and Conversion). Sally promised there will be more outreach to the business community, such as opportunities to participate in new public-private partnerships and contribute to the development of topics for new signature initiatives. Sally also introduced Dr. James Kadtke, who was recently hired into NNCO as a liaison with state and industry groups.

The other hat that Dr. Tinkle wears at NNCO says Environmental, Health, and Safety Coordinator. She put it on to promise us that the eagerly awaited update to the NNI’s EHS strategy would appear before the end of October. This promise has since been fulfilled with the October 20th publication of the NNI 2011 Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Strategy along with a very helpful summary brochure As Sally previewed at our conference, refinements added since the publication of its predecessor include the addition of an integrated ethical, legal, and social issues package, a new section on nanoinformatics, and an integrated approach to assessing the risk of a product spanning all life cycle stages. The NNI agencies understand that our community would like them to work at a speed compatible with the product development lifecycle. They are trying to meet this need by prioritizing materials for study and by investing in the establishment of standards for measurement, terminology and nomenclature, and assays which facilitate EHS studies of a wide variety of materials. Efforts to develop nanoinformatics and predictive modeling techniques are also highlighted – by allowing sensible categorization of data these tools can reduce the materials-specific data needed to, for example, implement control banding procedures that ensure worker safety.

The Monday Keynotes continued with a presentation from NanoBCA’s longtime friend George Thompson George, who assesses technologies and develops technology strategies for Intel, continued with the theme that the nanotechnology community is entering a new era. He characterizes the transition as a shift from technology innovation to revolution. Many people think of nano now in terms of large-scale utilization of previously developed concepts. (In fact, many of us point to George’s industry as leaders in that area.) But he does not think the revolution is over. Echoing Winston Churchill’s prediction after Montgomery’s Eighth Army forced Rommel to retreat from Egypt in 1942, George told us “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” In our case, it is the end of the first phase of development for the nanotechnology industry. Since the Stone Age, humankind’s eras have been defined by the materials we learn to control and the technology society develops with that control. The semiconductor industry shipped nearly 1,020 transistors last year, enabling the ubiquitous computing environment in which we now live. But silicon – the material that defines our current age – has been pushed close to its ultimate limits. The nanotechnology that the semiconductor industry has incorporated so far will bring the age of the silicon transistor to a close. The industry is counting on revolutionary nanotechnology to usher in the next era, which may be built on graphene and three-dimensional chip architectures or on some other scalable nanomaterial. Intel invests together with its major competitors in programs like the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI) to develop new devices and computing paradigms that can continue “the magic of Moore” for decades to come. George got us all thinking about what we can learn from semi’s perspective at the point of the nanotech spear. What is it that makes Moore’s magic work, allowing each successive generation of transistor to be not just smaller but also less expensive and better performing? What materials systems other than silicon technology can support multiple generations of scaled fabrication? Can other industries support the kind of collaborative pre-competitive roadmapping and development that helped semiconductor technology get to where it is today? He noted the important roles that first government (DOD) customers and then niche consumer markets (hearing aids) played in the commercialization of the transistor, along with the early leadership of Bell Laboratories, which at the time was a near-monopoly operating a highly regulated business. He praised the operation of universities, consortia, suppliers, and national laboratories as an open innovation system for early stage research and pointed out the importance of strong intellectual property policies designed to allow a smooth transition into proprietary development work. Through the Semiconductor Research Organization, the industry spends upwards of $100M per year on highly structured public-private partnerships. The NRI research consortium is looking for the successor to the silicon switch, while other SRC programs include the Global Research Collaboration (international programs in several areas, including nanomanufacturing science), the Focus Center Research Program (multi-university projects working on technologies needed to reach the end of the CMOS roadmap), the Education Alliance (providing scholarship and fellowship support along with mentoring to attract the brightest undergraduate and graduate students to industry-relevant research), and several smaller topical research collaborations. Another important point that George said industry groups should keep in mind, if they are thinking about emulating this model, is the need to simultaneously optimize the interests of companies, agencies, students, and universities, and clarity about the time frame for the investment.

Ross Kozarsky from the Lux Research Applied Materials Team closed out the morning Keynote session. Lux continues to look at a three-part value chain consisting of nanomaterials, intermediates, and end-user products. He discussed Arkema-Zyvex-Easton as the prototypical chain. Arkema makes carbon nanotubes, Zyvex disperses the tubes in prepreg mixtures, and Easton incorporates the prepregs into molded sporting goods. Lux sees intermediates as the sweet spot right now, with the highest profit margins. Although final product producers have higher revenues. Some companies produce nanomaterials and incorporate them into intermediates themselves – graphene producer Vorbeck, for example, will only sell intermediates, not raw materials. Manufacturers of sporting goods and large products like airplanes are typical first adopters for nanotechnology. Neither of these markets use high volumes of materials. Automotive uses dominate the market for multi-wall carbon nanotubes according to a recent Lux market study, a trend they expect to continue. MWNT production capacity currently exceeds demand and will continue to do so for 5 years, he continued. This may well cut the price (currently averaging $100/kg) in half. Next Ross turned to the solar industry, another subject of a recent Lux study. They looked at several thin film technology vendors, including Solexant, Nanosolar, and ISET. All are working with ink-based roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques in an effort to reduce beat conventional PV production costs while reducing panel weight. Nanosolar and ISET use Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS)-bearing inks, while Solexant uses Cadmium Telluride (CdTe). Nanosolar has maintained a low profile since former RAMBUS head Geoff Tate replaced founding CEO Martin Roscheisen in March 2010. Solexant, which has raised $84M since 2006, delayed plans to locate manufacturing in Oregon and may abandon a $25M loan. They have also been through a CEO change, with Silicon Valley veteran Brad Mattson replacing founder Damoder Reddy in June. While these companies, trying to bring nanotechnology and other new ideas into the solar field, struggle with startup problems, First Solar and other crystalline Silicon (c-Si) manufacturers continue to drive down the cost of the conventional competition. One of the few recent nanotech bright spots in the solar field is Innovalight. They, too, set out to make thin film PV panels, but switched to a different path when they sized up the marketplace. The firm, acquired by Dupont in July 2011, decided to make just nanocrystal silicon ink, which existing panel makers use to improve the efficiency of their products.

Ross did discuss the failure of Solyndra, stating that they got the engineering scaling issues right but not the economic and business scaling issues. As you undoubtedly know the Solyndra bankruptcy, which could wipe out most of a $500M loan guaranteed by the Department of Energy, has been a contentious topic in Washington. Ross pointed out that other ambitious plans to reshape the solar market, such as Applied Materials’ attempt to produce ready-to-go cell manufacturing plants, had also failed on a similar scale. Applied’s 2010 Materials shut down of its SunFab business, with a $425 million restructuring charge, drew far less attention.

The morning continued with two parallel sessions moderated by attorneys with long and strong track records in nanotech. The first session (hosted by our EHS subcommittee chair Lynn Bergeson of Bergeson and Campbell) featured a lively discussion of the status of environmental, health, and safety issues, while the second (hosted by Foley and Lardner’s Steven Rutt) started with an panel on recent changes in patent law and continued with reports by James Watkins and Ahmed Busnaina on technologies now emerging from the NSF Nanomanufacturing centers they lead at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Northeastern University, respectively. If you are interested in more details you can download EHS presentations from Nanocomp’s Mark Banash, NIOSH’s Chuck Geraci, along with Jim Watkins’ report from the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing, from the web

Peter Antoinette of Nanocomp opened the Monday afternoon session with the first of our CEO Keynotes. Peter continued the theme of nanotech’s second act, using Nanocomp’s progress to illustrate how promising nanomaterials are finding early applications. Peter told us how Nanocomp is scaling up its production of yarns and sheets which bring the extraordinary mechanical and electrical properties of carbon nanotubes to the macroscale. Melding CNT production methods with traditional wire spinning and braiding machinery, they are now producing cables, sheets, and tapes in a newly renovated facility in Manchester, NH on two shifts, six days a week. Peter reminded us that the patent situation for carbon nanotubes is a bit murky at the moment. The two key composition of matter patents – IBM’s for single-wall tubes, and NEC’s for multiwalls, both of which have been widely licensed – are nearing expiration. It remains to be seen if other IPR related to CNT production will end up in one or more patent pools, or whether “someone will declare war”. But Nanocomp and others are building their own product and IPR portfolios, which Peter asserted are beginning to be recognized as enablers of strategically important advanced materials. NASA’s recently launched Juno mission will rely on Nanocomp’s conductive sheets to protect critical components from electrostatic discharge when the spacecraft passes through Jupiter’s radiation belts. As they often do, Nanocomp collaborated with a major prime contractor – in this case, Lockheed-Martin – to bring this project to fruition. Peter reminded us that our industry still has a ways to go in scaleup – a typical specialty chemical from a company like Toray or Dupont has production volume of tens of thousands of tonnes per year. To put it another way, he said that as proud as he is of the company’s new facility, his Dupont colleagues reminded him that in their terminology it is still two steps short of a pilot plant.

Next we returned to the breakout rooms. Mostafa Analoui, Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences at Livingston Securities, led our nanomedicine panel featuring Paul Ashton, CEO of pSivida; NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer Director Piotr Grodzinski; Omid Farokhzad of Harvard Medical School, Bind Biosciences and Selecta Biosciences; Subhas Malghan from FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH); Harris & Harris Managing Director Misti Ushio; and Anil Diwan, Chairman of Nanoviricides. Meanwhile, ONAMI Executive Director Skip Rung led a session focusing on Oregon’s green nanotechnology efforts. This session also featured Judy Giordan of ecosVC, who is assisting ONAMI-affiliated companies with innovation and commercialization strategy, also participated.

Then we returned to the plenary session for two Keynote speakers from the investment community – Scott Livingston and Doug Jamison
Scott Livingston, Chairman & CEO of Livingston Securities, spoke about the health of U.S. innovation and investment communities. Scott reports that the USA innovation machine is alive and well, but Wall St. is not well nor is the international finance picture. The Euro bank outlook is poor and there are widespread worries about China. Scott first came to the Street in the heydays of biotech and the internet, revolutions that were funded via access to NASDAQ through small IPOs. The current Wall St. environment has killed the small IPO and is killing venture capitalists. Currently the big investment firms are essentially just marketing IPOs to a small cartel, 120 hedge funds that show up for all the IPO roadshows. Last year Scott predicted a surge in IPOs, while wondering if Wall Street could deal with it. While activity picked up for a while, it has slowed down to a trickle. Many companies have filed for IPOs, with nanotech players including insulation pioneer Aspen Aerogels and concentrated solar player BrightSource Energy recently joining the backlog. So the final months of the year, Scott explained, will either bring some aggressively priced IPOs or end with a lot of unhappy, bonus-deprived investment bankers. Scott’s vision of the future includes a healthier investment scene featuring the return of the smaller IPO. He is among the few people actively trying to bring that about, with what he calls the friends and family of nanotechnology. This group is now almost 2,500 strong. Ultimately he would like to have 5,000 people across all 50 states. So far Livingston Securities has been able to offer these clients participation in seven IPOs. All their share prices were up at 1 week and 1 month, though since then they have suffered somewhat with the rest of the market. At some point Scott would like to be able to raise, say, $10M from his network and lead IPO syndicates.

Doug, as CEO & Managing Director of Harris & Harris Group, heads up a team that has been focused on nano and micro for 9 years now. With nanotechnology as a cross-cutting theme, their investments are divided among three main application areas: cleantech, healthcare, and electronics. H&H has produced gross returns of $156M on $82M initial investments, and their portfolio companies have raised $160M on public markets. There have been four exits this year – BioVex was acquired by Amgen; Solazyme and Neophotonics completed initial public offerings; and Dupont bought silicon inkmaker Innovalight. The value of their portfolio companies has grown from $198M in 2007 to $380M at the end of 2010. Several of these companies now have products appearing in the consumer marketplace. Cambrios’ nanowire conductive films are starting to appear on cell phone screens. Algenist sold $3M in products in Q1 of 2011, through the Sephora cosmetic stores. Contour Energy Systems has begun to sell long-life coin cells through several national retailers, while Bridgelux LEDs are appearing in Cooper Lighting products at Home Depot. But this forward motion has not been unhindered. There are significant short term challenges including the IPO investment issues Scott mentioned and reductions in both state and federal budgets. The market now seems to be driven by traders, not long-term investors. The companies that succeeded with IPOs have seen their share prices decline significantly in the last few months, as has Harris & Harris itself. This is part of a worldwide downward trend in asset values, with small companies especially vulnerable. It is reflected in an acceleration of competitive pressures in many industries, notably solar. Solazyme might have been a viable public company at a valuation of $1B but could not survive in the solar market at half that size. But Doug holds firm to his belief in long-range planning, and H&H is maintaining its focus on early stage opportunities – 68% of their investments have been as the first institutional investor or part of the first syndicate, with the remainder in follow-on funding.

Day 2 of the conference will be sent under separate cover.


Vincent Caprio “Serving the Nanotechnology Community for Over a Decade”
Executive Director
NanoBusiness Commercialization Association

NanoBusiness recommends 2011 AIChE Nanotechnology Conference & Workshops, Nov. 1-3, NYC

Posted on November 4th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I will be moderating at the 2011 AIChE Nanotechnology Conference & Workshops on Wednesday, November 2nd at the Javits Convention Center in NYC. The title of my panel is Nanomaterials – Emerging Applications, Market Trends and Economic Impact

Panel speakers include:

Dr. Mostafa Analoui, Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences, Livingston Securities LLC, New York, NY, Nanotechnology – Global Developments and Investment Landscape

Alton Parrish, Senior Market Analyst, Innovative Research and Products, Durham, NC, “Emerging Markets for Nanotechnology and Hard Nanomaterials”

Prof. S.V. Babu, Director, Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Advanced Materials processing, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, “Nanomaterials for Chemical Mechanical Planerization (CMP) , Processing Requirements, Emerging Technologies and the Economic Impact”

NANOMATERIALS AND NANOCHEMISTRY, NANO-ENABLED ENERGY SYSTEMS, NANOMEDICINE AND NANO-BIO CONVERGENCE – Emphasizing Emerging Science and Technologies, Applications, Commercialization and Business Opportunities

November 1-3, 2011

The Nanotechnology 2011 Conference and Workshops will focus on the synthesis, processing and application of nanoengineered materials with an emphasis on energy generation and storage, biological applications including pharmaceuticals, nanomedicine and nano-enabled devices. Cutting edge research from some of the world’s leading nano scientists/technologists and business trends from industry leaders will be presented in six conference sessions. The program will provide attendees an unmatched look at the state-of-the-art in these emerging technologies and their path to the market place.

This unique meeting will bridge the gap between science, technology and commercialization and attract an international group of participants that represent the research, business, and investment communities.

TO REGISTER FOR THE WORKSHOPS AND CONFERENCE, PLEASE VISIT One could register separately for the workshops or the conference or both.


This conference will emphasize the importance of connecting technology to the market. Those involved in the nanotechnology industry will benefit from this event. I am looking forward to seeing you in NYC.


Vincent Caprio “Serving the Nanotechnology Community for Over a Decade”
Executive Director
NanoBusiness Commercialization Association

Nanotechnology, the U.S. Economy And You

Posted on November 4th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

The nanotech world goes commercial and you’re at the epicenter.
By Scott E. Rickert

Oct. 14, 2011

I witnessed an American revolution catch fire in Boston, and I feel like a latter-day Paul Revere. “The nanotech economy is coming, the nanotech economy is coming!” and that’s good news for the U.S. — and you — because we’re at the epicenter.

The scene of the revolution I’m talking about was the Nanomanufacturing Summit and Annual NanoBusiness Conference in Boston. There, 250 nanotechnology leaders from science, business and government gathered to take stock and look ahead.

What did I see at the revolution? Three crucial transformations coming together to reshape business and the economy.

  • Nanotechnology commercialization is a fact.
  • Nanotechnology will lead the U.S. out of the economic slump and into global strength.
  • Private and public sectors are working together to make sure that happens.

Let’s start with commercialization. Ten years ago, when I walked into the inaugural version of this conference, I was one of the few with money-making nanotechnology products on the market. This time? The sessions were packed with executives from multi-million dollar businesses, and the chatter was about P&L as much as R&D. Nano-companies are defying Wall Street woes and going public. And even academics were talking about business plans, not prototypes.

What triggered the change? The virtually infinite platform of nanotechnology is now powering scores and scores of vertical markets through partnerships, customer relationships and licensing. It’s now widely accepted as the strong, innovative link in existing — and profitable — supply chains. In fact, for many large companies, nanotechnology is now simply business as usual. Folks like Lockheed Martin, GE and others, who at one time needed to troll these conferences for emerging technology, now simply buy “off-the-rack.”

Nanotechnology is, quite simply, the new normal in manufacturing. That capability is the driver that is taking the U.S. out of the economic doldrums and into global strength. As I noted in a keynote address to the conference, one country — our country — accounts for about 35% of the global nanotechnology markets. That’s 35% of a $1.6 trillion market by 2013.

The reason? Nanotechnology equals complexity. It demands high-level knowledge and a pool of skilled knowledge-workers. We’ve got it here. Dollar-a-day hands simply can’t get the job done. Nanotechnology will continue to be the lever that moves the manufacturing world, so instead of exporting jobs, America will be exporting nano-enabled products.

Dozens of companies from Europe, Asia and the Middle East were at the conference. Their goal was tapping into the American know-how for making science into business. Some were there to buy. Some were looking to invest. More than a few were making plans to set up facilities in America, to be close to the nanotech centers of power. And others were simply trying to learn our go-to-market strategies to help inform their own.

Our government leaders joined the Boston nano-revolution, too. Representatives from Congress, The White House, regulators and funders were visible and vocal. They know innovation is the key to rebuilding the economy and that the U.S. has an undeniable edge. What other technologies have the depth of unexplored potential? What other platform can support so many product verticals? Nanotechnology is the core of the new economy, led by savvy entrepreneurs who are ready to run, and Washington is committed to supporting sensible regulation and smart investment.

Have you joined the Revolution in your organization? If not, it’s time. As I told the Boston group, don’t worry if you’re not an expert. Now, more than ever, it’s easy to find one — in energy, in transportation, in heath care, in consumer goods. Locate yours, then build a partnership, build a plan, build a product — and you’ll be on the front lines of a winning economy.

Scott E. Rickert is chief executive of Nanofilm, Ltd., located in Valley View, Ohio.

Final Keynote Update – Nano Energy Summit – October 25-26th, Golden CO

Posted on November 4th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Today, we are proud to announce the Keynote Speakers lineup for our 4th Annual Nano Energy Summit October 25-26th, being held at the Colorado School of Mines and NREL in Golden CO.


9:00-9:30 Keith Blakely, CEO, R3 Fusion, Inc.

9:30-10:00 Joel Serface, Clean Range Ventures

10:00-10:30 Jess Jankowski, President & CEO, Nanophase

1:15-2:00 Scott Livingston, Chairman & CEO, Livingston Securities LLC

4:30-5:00 Kenneth E. Russell, PhD, Enterprise Strategy, CISCO

5:00-5:30 The Honorable Kelly H. Carnes, President & CEO, TechVision21

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2011: Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO
8:45-9:00 Opening Remarks
Vincent Caprio, Executive Director, NanoBusiness Commercialization Association
Griffith A. Kundahl, Executive Director, Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology (COIN)

10:30-11:30 Panel – Solar
Nanotechnology’s Role in Commercializing Solar Power
Moderator: Alan Rae, PhD, Technical Editor – Global Solar Technology
Bettina Weiss, Executive Director, PV Group
Dr. Ashok K. Sood, President & CEO, Magnolia Solar Corporation

11:30-12:30 Panel – Biofuels
Moderator: Steve Waite, Partner, Research 2.0 and NanoBusiness Commercialization Association’s Director of Strategy and Research
Haig Keledjian, CEO, VG Energy
Dr. M. Karen Newell-Rodgers, Director of the Texas A&M Health Science Center, Chief Scientist, Viral Genetics/VG Energy

12:30-1:15 Lunch

Seth Terry, PhD, Vice President, Manufacturing Development, Oberon FMR, Inc.

2:30-3:00 EH&S Update
Don Ewert, IH, Field Services Director, nanoTox, Inc.; Past-Chair, AIHA Nanotechnology Working Group

3:00-4:00 Panel – Promising Nanotechnologies for Renewable Energy
Moderator: Lino S. Lipinsky de Orlov, Partner, McKenna, Long & Aldridge
Seth Finley, Chief Operating Officer, MemPro
Karen Buechler, Co-Founder, President and CTO, ALD Nanosolutions
Alan W. Weimer, Executive Director, Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels (C2B2), University of Colorado (Boulder)

4:00-4:30 New change to the patent law and its effects on R&D
George C. Lewis, P.E., Patent, Copyright and Trademark Law, Merchant & Gould P.C.

5:00-6:30 Reception

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2011: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO
9:00-10:00 Panel
Moderator: Laura Faulconer, PhD, Director of Innovation Projects, Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology (COIN)
Richard Adams, Manager, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, NREL

10:00-11:00 Panel
Moderator: Jim Hurd, Director, NanoScience Exchange
Robert Tenent, Senior Scientist, Chemical and Materials Science, NREL

11:00-1:00 VIP Tour of NREL’s New Ultra-Energy Efficient Research Building

Denver Marriott West
1717 Denver West Blvd, Golden, Colorado 80401

Toll free 888-238-1803
Room Rate: $141 per night
When making your reservation, be sure to use the code “Nano Energy Summit” to receive your discounted rate.

Bergeson & Campbell P.C.
Lynn L. Bergeson Will Speak During the NanoEHS Workshop Series Webinar

Nanotechnology, the U.S. Economy, And you.
The nanotech world goes commercial and you’re at the epicenter
by Scott Rickert, CEO, Nanofilm

Scott Livingston’s 4th Annual Livingston Healthcare & Life Science Conference
Thursday, October 27th in midtown Manhattan
If you are interested in finding out more information please email

I would like to remind you that the presentations from our 10th Annual NanoBusiness/Nanomanufacturing Summit 2011, September 25-27th, Boston, MA are now available online. To view the presentations, please visit


Vincent Caprio “Serving the Nanotechnology Community for Over a Decade”
Executive Director
NanoBusiness Commercialization Association