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Re: <nettime> DNA and computers
Eduardo Navas on Sun, 7 Sep 2003 18:15:55 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> DNA and computers


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ognjen Strpic" <ognjen {AT} mi2.hr>
> bad thing, in my view, about current trends in nanoresearch is that they
> seem to be desperate to (finally) cash in some of their accomplishments.
> the recent popular literature is flooded with points about business
> opportunities of nanotech.
>
> "By 2015, nanotechnology could be a $1 trillion industry" (first
> sentence on the back cover of Ratner & Ratner, Nanotechnology, Prentice
> Hall, 2003). last section of the same book is "Venture capital
> interested in nano".

This is very true.  What I did not mention in my previous post about my
visit to Cal Tech is that, yes, there was a very direct connection with
major corporations (I visited around 1998, so the research now is even more
mind-boggling). The director of the nanotechnology research lab kept talking
about how the researchers were always splitting their time between research
and the commercial application of such research.  There was a certain
implication in his voice to a compromise the research institution had made
in order to acquire the necessary funding to develop projects.

 But as soon as we visited the actual research labs, we soon learned that
most of the researchers were very eager to sell their developments to major
corporations.  One particular project that stands out to this day in my mind
was a researcher talking about putting inmmense amount of information
(gigabytes+++) if not more on what looked like a credit card (remember this
is 1998).  Banks were very interested in this particular project, and he was
"negotiating" with one or two.  He admitted that the banks would never be
able to use the full potential of what the card could offer, but that was
not his problem...  later on he mentioned commodities that he could buy with
his deal.  This vibe was all over the labs, and I felt like the director was
frustrated not just with the corporations but the incentives driving the
minds of the young researchers.  I do find it very problematic, as I did not
learn about one project being developed without direct money rewards being
involved.  Sad but true.

Eduardo Navas

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