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Five Steps to Next-Level Nanotechnology

July 27, 2012
Rickert's Five Steps: Connect with nanotechnology specialists. Broaden the view with field specialists. Partner with nanotechnologists in your industry. Explore nano-manufacturing opportunities. Network with local nano-leaders.  

    In the beginning there was nanotechnology – a brand new field of research for a small cadre of scientists.  I feel fortunate that I was one of those early researchers.  I feel even more fortunate that I played a part in transforming nanotechnology from a word that drew blank stares into am everyday solution in thousands and thousands of products. 

     That’s why I was surprised at the shocked reaction from industry colleagues when I announced that my company has joined the American Chemistry Council:  “Are you changing your focus from nanotechnology?”   Absolutely not.  We’re sharpening it!

     Smart companies are strengthening their nanotechnology stance by widening it.   They’re succeeding by doing what nanotechnology has done -- grown and gone mainstream.   I believe there are five steps that form a ladder to the next level of success.  How many rungs have you climbed?

The Path to the Top

1. Connect with nanotechnology specialists.

This is where the elite scientists, the innovators, the first-to-market innovators still come from.  For me, the Nanobusiness Commercialization Association is that organization.  When others still considered nanotechnology an esoteric discipline, they were bringing the best minds in science, industry, government and education togetherto create a new field.    From new technologies to safety to government policy, they’re still at the forefront.

2. Broaden the view with field specialists.

That’s where Nanofilm’s membership in the American Chemistry Council comes in.  The ACC has the mission of “enhancing safety in our performance, processes and products.” By joining with other leaders in the associated fields of chemistry,we can share overlapping knowledge and resources.  Together, we’rebetter able to develop the best procedures to ensure unquestionable consumer and employee safety. Together, we havestrong and broad-based platform to broaden our scope of involvement in policy making.

3. Partner with nanotechnologists in your industry.

There are almost certainly nanotechnology companies engaged in your business today, right now.  Find them in your industry organizations– or urge your nanotech partners to join.  For example, Nanofilm is a member of the Glass Association of North America, the Society of Information Display, even the Vision Council for optical professionals – because we make products in all those industries.  Whether the industry is cosmetics or computers, solar panels or car batteries, a nano-connection will serve everyone’s best interests.

4. Explore nano-manufacturing opportunities.

The federal government is planning to invest over $1 billion in advanced manufacturing in the coming year. I agree with information shared by the Nanomanufacturing Conference that nanomanufacturing represents the new generation in advanced manufacturing. It already touches a wide range of industries from energy to medicine, agriculture to electronics.  It’s an opportunity for you to open doors for your organization and help the U.S. develop a competitive global economic edge for the 21st Century.

5.  Network with local nano-leaders.

It’s almost certain that there are nanotechnology organizations in your area, as well as companies employing nanotechnology in their products. That could be the shortest path to a smart development partnership.  In most major cities there’s a nano-based organization you can join. Look for it.  In Nanofilm’s headquarters city of Cleveland we founded the Nano-Network for exactly that purpose, creating a collegial link among some three dozen nanotech organizations statewide.

     Are you doing what it takes to get your organization where it wants to go?  Start here. Start now. The experts, the partners, the advisors are all around. And the next level is within reach. 

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