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March 22, 2010

Technical Takeoff Points Here or Close for Several Nanotechnology and Advanced Technology Segments and Economic Takeoff Points Could be Close

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At the 2010 Foresight conference, J Storrs Hall, discussed technological and economic takeoff points for different technologies.

Technical Takeoff
-Embodies the essential function of the proposed technology
-is proof that the concept works
- focuses technical effort
-is a vehicle for practical experience
- attracts financial (etc) resources
-forms a crack in the dam

Air transportation

Inspiration birds
Theoretical underpinnings - aerodynamic of lift
Experimentation - Lilienthal, gliders, wind tunnel
Technical take off point - wright brothers, wing-warping (built non-crashing flying machine)
Economic takeoff point - airmail, WW1 fighters, passenger service

Nanotechnology

Inspiration - Life
Theoretical Underpinnings - molecular biology, chemistry, mechanical engineer
Experimentation - nanodevices, poistional chemistry, atomically precise fabrication (we are here)
Technical takeoff point - molecular machine tools
Economic take off point - nanofactories, molecular-level recycling, cheap devices

Quantum Dots
Inspiration - How quantum dots work
Theoretical Underpinnings - physics, quantum science
Experimentation - nanodevices, positional chemistry, atomically precise fabrication
Technical takeoff point - Invisage Technologies development of Quantum Film
Economic take off point - Using Quantum dots for most cameras, displays, thin film solar cells, lighting, quantum cellular automata for a computing niche



Quantum Dots
Inspiration - How quantum dots work
Theoretical Underpinnings - physics, quantum science
Experimentation - nanodevices, positional chemistry, atomically precise fabrication
Technical takeoff point - Invisage Technologies development of Quantum Film
Economic take off point - Using Quantum dots for most cameras, displays, thin film solar cells, lighting, quantum cellular automata for a computing niche

siRNA and RNAi via nanoparticles
Inspiration - RNA in the body
Theoretical Underpinnings - microbiology, proteins, cellular chemistry
Experimentation - RNA, proteins, nanoparticle delivery
Technical takeoff point - Calando Pharma delivers siRNA in humans
Economic take off point - Using RNAi and siRNA to cure diseases

Stem Cells, photonics, self assembly for lithography, DNA nanotechnology, high temperature superconductors are at or close to or past technological takeoff points. Economic impacts will be substantial before 2020.

The technical takeoff point for IEC fusion might have been the Bussard WB6 work, but it is taking more confirmation and work to make it really clear. It may take results and work over the next two years for clear technical takeoff and then 5-7 years for the economic take off.

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