IEEE Nanotechnology Symposium – Day Two – Plenary

Here are the highlights from the Plenary session on day two of the IEEE San Francisco Bay Area Nanotechnology Council 6th Annual Symposium“Nanotechnology: State of the Art & Applications”

Dr. Burton Lee, Stanford University, “State of European Nanotech.”

  • Discussed European framework for funding.  However, financial crisis requires radical innovation to spur industrial growth and stability.
  • Political process is more complicated due to multi-nation involvement.  The EC takes a broader view than the US since they have top-down coordination of activities.
  • Focus is on industrial applications, nano-electronics & photonics, automotive, and construction (including energy innovation).
  • EU wide 740 M Euro / year goes to support nanotechnology. Germany has the largest spending of 290 M Euro / year.
  • However, there are questions about the true level of commitment to nanotechnology within the EU
    • Example their web pages are out of date.  Showed an example of 2007 last update. July 2009 last update
    • Showed statistics from surveys of industry, government and NGOs in Germany.  More often than not complete polar opposites on what should be done.
  • Summary:  Excellent fundamental research but not having global impact.


  • Impact on US?  A: It is very tough to raise venture capital in Europe in coming years.  Many European companies are moving to Silicon Valley.  They develop their product here and then release to Europe.
  • How about clean tech vs nano tech?  A: Clean tech has been around 30 years.  There is more interest in clean tech and it is simpler to implement via tax credits.
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