Investors assess nanotechnology

from the blind-men-and-an-elephant dept.
A recent article from United Press International ("Investors weigh merits of nanotech", 11 May 2001) reveals that investors are still uncertain about nanotechnology, largely because it is an ill-defined new field. According to the article, investment experts say gauging the level of private investment in nanotechnologies is nearly impossible because no industry statistics are available and because of disagreements over what nanotechnology means.

The article quotes Foresight Senior Associate Steven Vetter, CEO of Molecular Manufacturing Enterprises Inc., a seed capital firm in St. Paul Minnesota: "It's hard to gauge the levels of investment because there is so much confusion over what the term includes . . . What's happened is that the term has become stylish and has been broadened to apply to many more things."

"Nanoscience is a more appropriate term at this stage than nanotechnology," said Josh Wolfe of Lux Capital, an investment firm in New York City.

And even though IMM Research Fellow and Foresight founder Eric Drexler has played a pivotal role in the development of the field, we have to point out that the articleís characterization of Eric as "the world's leading authority on nanoscience" is a bit of an exaggeration!

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