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Spring 2004 Gathering
Design for a Fine-Motion Controller for Molecular Assembly

A Tutorial on Fundamentals of Nanotechnology

Held in conjunction with
Foresight Vision Weekend
Annual Senior Associates Gathering
"Putting Feynman's Vision into Action"

Palo Alto, California
May 14, 2004

    Fundamentals of Nanotechnology Tutorial    
    Program & Schedule    
    Speaker Bios    
    How to Register    
    Special Thanks    

Foresight Institute Offers Nanotechnology Tutorial

Nanotech Experts to Cover Background, Basics, and Prospects:
Steve Jurvetson, Ralph Merkle, David Lackner, and Christine Peterson Explain Tiny Tech from Near Term to Long Term

Foresight Institute, a nonprofit educational organization focused on molecular nanotechnology, will offer a Fundamentals of Nanotechnology tutorial, May 14, 2004 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Hotel Crown Plaza Cabaña Hotel in Palo Alto, Calif. Registration for the general public is $395. Current or new Foresight or IMM Institute Senior Associates, spouse or guest of a Senior Associate, or full-time students, can attend for $195.

"The Fundamentals tutorial is designed for individuals who want to get a quick grasp of the basics," said Ralph Merkle, Vice President, Technology Assessment at Foresight Institute. "We are structuring the tutorial to make sense to the general public who have some technical background, including investors, managers, analysts, attorneys, technical writers and everyone curious about our future."

Fundamentals of Nanotechnology is organized into four different segments taught by technical and business nanotechnology industry professionals.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • What are the different types of nanotechnology?
  • Which are long-term, which are near term?
  • What are nanotubes, molectronics, bionanotechnology, scanning probes, quantum dots?
  • What is the role of software?
  • In what sequence will opportunities arrive?


Program & Schedule

8:30 AM - 9 AM Registration and coffee

9 AM - 9:15 AM Welcome and Introductions

9:15 - 10:30 AM, includes discussion

Nanotechnology in Perspective: Background, Status, and Prospects

Christine Peterson
President, Foresight Institute

Making sense of nanotechnology requires a broad perspective. The term itself, which now serves as a marketing slogan for a wide range of current research and business activities, originally described an anticipated revolutionary development, since renamed molecular manufacturing. Current activities under the nanotechnology label are amazingly diverse in their techniques and purposes. Christine will survey the evolution of the field, the many flavors of modern nanotechnology, and the prospects for molecular manufacturing. Only a combined historical, political, and technical perspective can make sense of developments in the field today.

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM Break with coffee

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM, includes discussion

What is Nanotechnology: Health, Wealth and the Arrangement of Atoms

Ralph C. Merkle, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Computing, Georgia Tech

Molecular nanotechnology (MNT) is expected to have applications in every area of physical technology: medicine, computing, clean manufacturing, environmental restoration, transportation, energy, and of course, the military. Ralph will survey the prospects for MNT and examine the R&D pathway from here to full MNT. How does today's work on nanotubes, molectronics, bionanotech, scanning probes, and quantum dots contribute? Which of today's R&D areas have the biggest MNT payoffs?

12:15-2:00 PM Lunch (included)

2:00-3:15 PM, includes discussion

Making Nanotech Investment Decisions in Large Organizations, and How Small Ones Can Participate

David I. Lackner
Program Manager: Nanotechnology Ventures, NASA Ames Research Center

Whether your organization is big, small, or an "Army of One", you need to understand the nanotechnology investment decision process within large organizations, how to participate, and how to profit from the result. Much of today's spending is by government organizations and large corporations — how can smaller entities add value, and/or license the intellectual property (IP) generated? David will also sketch the pros and cons of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, and factors your company should weigh prior to involvement for nanotech projects.

3:15-3:45 PM Break with coffee

3:45-5:00 PM, includes discussion

Nanotechnology: Today's Developments, Tomorrow's Prospects

Steve Jurvetson
Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

No one is better positioned than Steve to survey the world of nanotechnology work today and what is most exciting in terms of near-term products. He'll tell us what areas are most promising and give examples of companies whose technologies are so compelling that his firm has bet on their success. How can investors, entrepreneurs, and prospective employees of a nanotech project best just its prospects? Which technical areas hold the most long-term promise for powerful results? Finally, Steve will outline his views on pathways to long-term MNT and where the Next Industrial Revolution will hit first.

5:00 PM Wrap-up and Closing

Program subject to change.

Speaker Bios

Christine Peterson

Christine Peterson
Cofounder and President, Foresight Institute

Christine Peterson lectures on nanotechnology to a wide variety of audiences, focusing on making this complex field understandable, and on clarifying the difference between near-term commercial advances and the "Next Industrial Revolution" arriving in the next few decades. She directs the Foresight Conferences on Molecular Nanotechnology, organizes the Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes, and chairs the Foresight Vision Weekend conferences. Wearing her for-profit hat, she advises investors on evaluating startups in nanotech and other key technologies, and helps entrepreneurs improve their plans and locate funding. She serves on the Advisory Board of Alameda Capital.

Dr. Ralph C. Merkle

Dr. Ralph C. Merkle
Distinguished Professor of Computing, Georgia Tech
Vice President, Technology Assessment, Foresight Institute

The New York Times said "Dr. Ralph C. Merkle is...a leading theorist of molecular nanotechnology, the still unperfected art of building machines that are little bigger than atoms." Winner of the 1998 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology for theory, the ACM Kanellakis Award, and the IEEE Kobayashi Award; Dr. Merkle has testified before Congress and given talks to audiences at the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Caltech, DARPA, IBM, Lockheed, MIT, NASA, NATO, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), RAND, the Royal Society of Medicine, and hundreds of others. He pursued research in nanotechnology at Xerox PARC and then at Zyvex. He continues his research at Foresight, and consults and speaks on nanotechnology. Ralph is currently Distinguished Professor, Georgia Tech College of Computing.

David I. Lackner

David I. Lackner
ITTP Program Manager: Nanotechnology Venture Development, NASA Ames Research Center

David Lackner brings a mix of technical, policy, and business strategy skills to his role at NASA. Mr. Lackner leads the technology transfer and partnership development activities at Ames' Center for Nanotechnology, the federal government's largest dedicated nanotechnology group. David negotiates multi-million dollar license deals, manages NASA Ames' growing nanotechnology IP portfolio, and been involved in the spin-off of several startups from NASA's labs. NASA brought him to Ames after assignments in advanced spacecraft systems engineering at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and space shuttle payload operations at Johnson Space Center. Prior to joining NASA, Mr. Lackner specialized in technology commercialization and deployment as an analyst with Stanford Research Institute. There, he consulted for firms including Motorola, Sprint, the New York Stock Exchange, and DEKA (developers of the Segway). As a member of the Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium he is editor of a report on cutting edge regional R&D. Mr. Lackner holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA and a M.S. in Technology Management & Policy from MIT, where his thesis addressed strategic technology investment decisions.

Steve Jurvetson

Steve Jurvetson
Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Steve was the founding VC investor in Hotmail (MSFT), Interwoven (IWOV), and Kana (KANA). He also led the firm's investments in Tradex and Cyras (acquired by Ariba and Ciena for $8B), and most recently, in pioneering companies in nanotechnology and molecular electronics. He was featured as "The Valley's Sharpest VC" on the cover of Business 2.0 and chosen by the SF Chronicle and SF Examiner as one of "the ten people expected to have the greatest impact on the Bay Area in the early part of the 21st Century." He was profiled in the New York Times Magazine and featured on the cover of Worth and Fortune Magazines. Steve 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." Steve now focuses on nanotech and related technologies.

How to Register

The Fundamentals of Nanotechnology Tutorial is open to the public. Space is limited to a first come, first served basis. Individuals can register online (see below) or over the telephone at 650.917.1122. Registration for the general public is $395. Current or new Foresight or IMM Institute Senior Associates, spouse or guest of a Senior Associate, or full-time students*, can attend for $195.

The Fundamentals of Nanotechnology tutorial is scheduled in conjunction with the Foresight Vision Weekend, annual Senior Associates Gathering: "Putting Feynman's Vision into Action" which will be held May 14-16, 2004.

*Limited number of student places available, send email with qualifications by March 31. Students pledge to join as a Senior Associate within one year of graduation. Full time students must Include proof of current student status & graduation date.

Registration payment may be made by VISA, MasterCard, check or international money order valid in the U.S (AMEX not accepted). Make checks payable to "Foresight Institute"; checks and bank drafts must be in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. Bank. Donations with payment by credit card may be faxed.

Tutorial Registration for Senior Associates Attending the Vision Weekend

Tutorial Registration for those who are not Senior Associates

On site registration is also available.


Room Rate (Single/Double): $109 per night plus tax. Mention Foresight Institute to obtain the group rate of $109. Hotel reservations should be made by May 14 to obtain the special rate.

Hotel Crowne Plaza Cabaña
4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306
tel (800) 2CROWNE or (650) 857-0787
fax (650) 496-1939

Local Transportation: The South & East Bay Shuttle
From San Francisco Airport: Call 800 548-4664
From San Jose Airport: Call 408-225-4444


Special Thanks

Corporate Sponsors:

Accelrys logo

Hewlett-Packard Company logo


Draper Fisher Jurvetson


Working In: Nanotechnology logo

Media Sponsors:

Kurzweil AI


Howard Lovy's Nanobot


Netconcepts, i-Marketing Innovation

Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities


Spring 2004 Gathering

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