Liveblogging the Foresight Conference

Today’s first talk is by Richard Smith of Nanotechnology Network on policy issuses. It’s a great overview of the issues, from where government money goes, to public perception and regulatory concerns, to how to cross the “Valley of Death” — the gap between research and a fundable business plan. He pointed out that most government research funds are distributed through the old boys network (true but rarely mentioned), that the ELSI funds in the NNI budget mostly did not get spent on ELSI, and that the term nanotechnology is used far too broadly (also true but I’ve given up on that one). His suggestions for crossing the Valley of Death: (1) SBIR/STTR, (2) ATP, (3) Agency BAAs and a couple of others that I missed. He pointed out that if you read an Agency BAA when it is issues, it’s too late. You need to meet with the people writing them and get involved in that process. Sorry for the acronyms; I’m having to move fast here…He also mentioned that the Prey movie may star Keanu Reeves, which would make it a big film, unfortunately….—Christine

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