What Use Is Nanotechnology?

Technology Review, besides being a great magazine edited by Jason Pontin, who I have known since the heyday of Red Herring, also puts on some great conferences. So I was excited and honoured to be invited to EmTech Spain, a two day conference in Malaga focussing on emerging technologies. Along with my World Economic Forum colleague Javier García Martínez of …

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What Are Emerging Technologies For?

Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and re evaluate what we are doing and why, something my good friend Doug Mather of the Creation Company has been urging people to do for years. It is very easy, whether in science or in business to develop myopia or tunnel vision, concentrating so hard on one particular task or goal …

Nanotech Isn’t Green Enough – But Compared to What?

I’ll leave the professional report readers such as 2020Science to wade through the Friends of the Earth’s latest broadside against nanotechnology which claims that it “isn’t green enough.” This brief report in “The Australian” neatly sums up the argument, which is that although nanotechnology has been spoken of as a solution to some aspects of climate change, it is is …

Nanotech and Formula One – Is It Legal?

At last weeks Nanotechnology for High performance Motorsport meeting, one of the participants, from a Formula One team, commented that he thought the current FIA regulations precluded the use of nanomaterials. A bit of digging around in the current regulations (thanks to Chris Walker for unearthing this) only finds the following prohibition on using carbon nanotubes incorporated within carbon fibres, although …

Reality vs The Nanotech Lynch Mob

I don’t like nanomaterials companies very much. In fact they are usually nothing but trouble. If they are not squandering huge amounts of investors money chasing non existent markets then they are having messy legal spats with competitors and suppliers, or even prancing around bringing hugely expensive but ultimately pointless libel suits against anyone who questions their business model. Anyway, …

New White Paper – Sustainable Technologies for the Next Decade

Prophets, priests, scientists and environmentalists have been gleefully predicting the end of the world for several millennia but it wont happen. One of the reasons that the human species has been so successful has been our ability to adapt to changing environments, enabling us, like viruses, to colonise almost every part of the planet, and make use of every available …

Cleantech in Melbourne: No Worries!

According to JP Morgan, flying to 21186 miles to Melbourne and back for a clean tech conference generated 5.63 tonnes of carbon dioxide, but unlike most conferences on this subject the hot air emissions were negligible. The Sir Mark Oliphant Cleantech: Mainstream and at the Edge conference was refreshing for the positive outlook on cleantech rather than the self flagellation …

Talking Cleantech In Melbourne

The Sir Mark Olifant Cleantech conference has been a lot of fun so far, from Eric Isaac’s opening overview of the the issues (and solutions) to Stefan Hajkowicz’s analysis of megatrends that will shape our future technology development. I’m still struck by how much cleantech seems to be focused in a few rather obvious areas, something which effectively prices a …

Sunfilm Eclipsed By Withdrawal of Government Subsidies

I have always been sceptical about investing in solar companies on the basis that the market is artificially distorted by government subsidises which can work with you, or against you. Germany’s Sunfilm which manufactures amorphous silicon modules (a-Si), has today filed for insolvency claiming its business plans have been crippled by Germany’s plans to sharply reduce its solar feed-in tariff …