Issue



Dear reader


11/01/2006







At Small Times we have always prided ourselves on staying ahead of the curve. Whether it is trends in MEMS fab outsourcing, the latest tools or materials innovations, or even nano startup financing, we have always aimed to report and analyze what has recently happened, and also point out for readers what we expect to come next.

The issue in your hands takes it a step further by explicitly predicting what will be the major trends of 2006. My personal prediction for 2006 is that the world at large will better understand our industry. I don’t mean that the man on the street will appreciate the difference between the active nanomaterials in a nanoelectronic device and the passive ones in a baseball bat. Nor do I mean that he will understand the nuances of nanotech’s environmental, health and safety debate (though both of the aforementioned would be nice.)

Rather, I mean that the mainstream population - starting with the mainstream press - will understand that while micro and nanotechnology do not constitute a traditional vertical industry, they do represent a clearly definable horizontal industry with a common collection of manufacturing techniques, tools and materials.

The best analogy has always been the biotech industry. Consumers don’t buy biotech products, they buy pharmaceuticals and tomatoes. Yet at the same time there is a definable biotech industry centered around core technologies and tools. Micro and nanotech is the same. And, as Small Times’ group publisher, Patti Glaza, points out on page 48, it’s all part of a big ecosystem that also includes business development, marketing, finance, economic development and more.

Astute readers will have noted the change in our tagline that occurred with the July/August issue. “Micro and Nanotech Manufacturing, Tools and Materials” defines the industry we cover, whether it is reporting on new MEMS packaging techniques, AFM imaging modes, or the unveiling of a new type of dendrimer molecule. (Or, for that matter, on the latest micro/nano legal trends.) And you’ll find those types of stories consistently within our pages. The applications, of course, remain critically important, and you will continue to find reports on micro/nano efforts within various verticals, from defense to electronics to sporting goods.

Astute readers will also have noticed that SmallTimes.com, the online counterpart to Small Times Magazine, was re-launched in September in conjunction with NanoCon International. Our new online reader’s network is easier to read, features new content categories, has an expanded list of companies involved in micro and nanotech, hosts more magazine content, and now supports webcasts, white papers and micro-sites. If you haven’t logged in lately, check it out at www.smalltimes.com.

For those subscribers who prefer the online experience to printed publications, you can also now choose to get Small Times Magazine in a digital delivery edition instead of print. It’s exactly the same magazine, only you get it sooner and the content is interlinked and searchable. Next time you resubscribe, just choose the “electronic/digital” option.

David Forman is editor-in-chief of Small Times. He can be reached at davidforman@smalltimes.com.