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Posted: June 30, 2009
It's tough to make big bucks with tiny technology
(Nanowerk News) There is a good article over at the Minnesota Star Tribune which rings a cautionary note on the "get rich quick with nanotechnology" hype.
"The University of Minnesota boasts lots of impressive-sounding programs: Center for Nanostructure Applications, NanoBiotechnology Initiative, Nanofabrication Center, and Nano & Microsystems Applications Center.
Will any of this stuff translate into an economic windfall for Minnesota? So far, the U has licensed nanotechnology to three companies, two of them local, with mixed results.
Nanocopoeia Inc. of St. Paul is trying to divest its original medical device coating business to focus on pharmaceuticals. Rushford Hypersonic next month will open the world's first hypersonic plasma particle disposition plant in southeastern Minnesota. Innovalight Inc., formerly based in St. Paul, has since moved to Sunnyvale, Calif. The company, which originally focused on light bulbs, is now making solar cells.
The university's uneven experience with nanoscience mirrors corporate America's teasing and often frustrating flirtation with a technology that's failed, so far, to match hype with reality. Despite millions of dollars in government research money and venture capital, making big bucks off nanotechnology remains an elusive dream."