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The Nanomanufacturing Revolution and Continuing Impact: Nanomanufacturing Summit 2011

Written by: 
Jeff Morse, PhD

As the impact of public and private sector investments in nanotechnology for more than a decade now continues to evolve, we are moving into a new era whereby a decade of intense scientific research gives way to fundamentally new products that will have significant societal and economic impact. As the predicted billions and trillions of dollars of emerging nano-enabled products enter the marketplace, the interest and focus on nanomanufacturing and the commercialization of nanotechology will grow. Nanomanufacturing processes previously considered fundamental science are now key enablers to solve critical issues in the evolution of many products, fueling the innovation cycle to realize completely new products. These processes include bottom-up directed assembly, top-down high-resolution patterning and manipulation, molecular and biological systems engineering, and hierarchical integration across multiple length scales.

The impact of nanomanufacturing has already begun to be realized with examples that include directed self-assembly (DSA) for high-density bit patterned data storage media, the inclusion of DSA in the roadmap for the semiconductor industry, and the scaled production of nanocomposites and nanomaterials via both new and existing manufacturing infrastructure. Nanostructured materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and a range of nanoparticle materials have achieved new levels of performance for applications such as transparent electrodes, thin film transistors, next generation electronics, energy storage, nanomedicine, renewable energy, and resource remediation. This range of nano-enabled products represents both significant markets as well as critical national needs.

From the public and private investment perspective, the focus on fundamental science and knowledge over the past decade has now begun to produce dividends, with numerous nanotechnology companies throughout the value chain experiencing successful growth, resulting in return on investments through strategic mergers and acquisitions, as well as initial public offerings, with the prospects of many more beginning to evolve. As the number of nanotechnology enabled products and markets continue to grow, nanomanufacturing remains the essential bridge between the discoveries of the nanosciences and the commercialization of nanotechnologies. Nanomanufacturing is the controllable manipulation of materials structures, components, devices, and systems at the nanoscale (0.1 to 100 nanometers) in one, two, and three dimensions for large-scale reproducibility of value-added components and products. To accelerate the proliferation of nanotechnology enabled products, the scientific community is witnessing the beginning of a revolution of new process methodologies, tools, materials, and systems that are becoming established within the global manufacturing base. As such, many new products, markets, and processes seek to realize value-added commercial products enabled by the collective performance of their nanoscale building blocks.

To this end, the National Nanomanufacturing Network (NNN) in conjunction with the NanoBusiness and Commercialization Association (NanoBCA), is pleased to announce The Nanomanufacturing Summit 2011, to be held in Boston, September 25-27, 2011.  Contributions in the areas of nanomanufacturing related sciences and nanotechnology commercialization are being solicited from experts and organizations in the field, along with the broader nanomanufacturing community. Topical areas include the technical, business, regulatory, standards, environmental health and safety, and workforce training issues for nanomanufacturing. Abstracts for papers are being solicited for these key focus areas and topics having an emphasis on various aspects of nanomanufacturing approaches, applications, and research challenges.  The topical program tracks and session topics will be further detailed on the conference website. Conference presentations will include updates on established techniques and practices, overviews of future trends and roadmaps, and reports of emerging processes, materials, and applications. We look forward to the contributions from the community at large, along with your participation in this event.

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