[rp-ml] Nanotech

From: Brock Hinzmann (bhinzmann@sric-bi.com)
Date: Sun Aug 07 2005 - 06:54:54 EEST

While the NNI was started by the Clinton administration,
make no mistake. It is very popular with both of the major
political parties. The Bush administration has certainly
shown no hesitation in canceling or rolling back any
Clinton policies they didn't like and has increased the
NNI funding substantially. The nanolobbyists argued that
nanotech would have a $1 trillion impact on the U.S.
economy and nobody challenged their numbers. No politician
is going to say no to getting behind that.

Especially, as it turns out, when, much of what gets
funded was being funded already, but wasn't called
nanotechnology. That's actually what ticked some
scientists off, because now they had to rewrite their
proposals to put the word nanotechnology or nanomaterials
in the title. It does mean a change for the way businesses
thinks about what business they are in. Thinking about
designing and manufacturing materials from the nanoscale
up changes things. Thinking about electronics in terms of
the entire periodic table is different. And much of
biotechnology that will be different will have to do with
nanotechnology. If companies were going to fund that
anyway, then, yes, there's some pork there. But they
aren't going to turn the money down.

The question is, can you make the case that RP or fabbing
will make a $1 trillion difference in the economy.


On Sat, 6 Aug 2005 19:36:57 -0700
  "Marshall Burns" <MB-ListMail2@Ennex.com> wrote:
>Hi Greg,
>>> We will be having
>>> <http://www.theartistsway.org/exhibitions.html>
>"Illuminations" the 2nd Annual Artist's Way Exhibition
>next Saturday! To
>which you (everyone) are all invited...
> Sorry I won't be in Florida to check out
>your show.
>>> for what seem to be entirely political reasons,
>>>nanotechnology has
>attracted billions of dollars
>>> Would you please explain what you mean by "political
> Sure. I'll do the best I can. Brock Hinzmann
>and some others
>here may be able to shine more knowledgeable light on the
> My understanding is that the US National
>Nanotech Initiative,
>which is a roughly $billion/year program, was created by
>some folks in the
>Clinton White House who saw it as a combination of an
>economic stimulus and
>a way to look good through big scheming. I think that's
>basically what is
>usually meant by "pork barrel" programs, except this is
>on a national scale.
>While I am all in favor of supporting research in
>nanotechnology, I'm not
>sure that a reasoned analysis of the current
>opportunities would have
>justified this level of funding for the projects it
> For example, I would think a much greater
>impact on US
>manufacturing productivity and competitiveness could have
>been achieved -
>and in a much shorter term - by allocating a significant
>portion of the NNI
>funding to placing low-cost 3-D CAD and digital fabbers
>Dimension, Z) in high schools and colleges across the
>country, together with
>effective training in teaching their use in engineering
>and creative
> Obviously, this is a biased point of view on
>my part, or for
>anyone else on this list. Such a program would create a
>huge boost for our
>industry. In my biased opinion, it's a boost that would
>have a much greater
>positive impact on the economy than the NNI does. I guess
>the guys in the
>Clinton White House either didn't know about fabbers and
>how important they
>are to the future of manufacturing, or they just thought
>they're not sexy
>enough for a major presidential initiative (but I would
>think they are sexy
>enough), or the nanotech lobby was better than fabber
>lobby. The latter is
>the most likely reason, I would think, that the NNI
>happened, since I don't
>think there is a fabber lobby. That's what I mean by
>"political reasons."
> Would you say I've got that wrong, Brock?
> Hmmm, maybe the lesson here is that we need
>a lobby???
> Please don't take any of this to be knocking
>nanotech. I love
>nanotech. My project for the X Prize is aimed at
>advancing nanotech
>research. What I am saying is that the NNI is a political
>move and a more
>reasoned investment would have shared NNI's resources
>with nearer-term
>manufacturing technologies, i.e., digital manufacturing.
>Best regards,
>Marshall Burns
>www.fabbers.com <http://www.mburns.com/>

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