Sending the wrong message


Dear Small Times:

I’ll start by freely admitting that FEI is a fabulous company and the Titan is an awesome piece of gear. That said, selecting the Titan as the Best of Small Tech 2006 Product of the Year in the September/October issue was not a good choice.

By choosing the Titan as Product of the Year, we’ve told the uninitiated casual observer that the most important breakthrough product in nanotechnology is one that enables nanoscale science. The message we’ve sent is “Nano is still at the research side of research and development. Don’t get too excited yet.”

Oxonica and Authentix have very real identification technologies using nano particles. Acrymed is one of several companies using nanotechnology in anti-microbial applications. Fuel cells, catalytic devices, MEMS applications... The list goes on and on. Very real products are becoming better because of what nanotechnology has to offer.

FEI gets my vote for “big influential company that actually cares about nano science” and the Titan is clearly the winner of “nanotechnology enabler of the year”. What about picking a product next year that’s actually better because of nanotechnology? Maybe we could pick one that: 1) used nanotechnology; 2) got better; 3) gained some market share, and; 4) rewarded the investors that took the risk.

Les Makepeace
Senior Vice President, LITMUS Defense