Issue



Dear reader,


07/01/2006







I recently had the opportunity to interview a living legend of nanotechnology. Morinobu Endo is unassuming about the role he has played in commercial nanotech. But as the Q&A on page 18 shows, his role has been fundamental.

As we chatted briefly before the interview formally began, Endo took the opportunity to let me know what he thought of the media - in particular, industry and trade journals. They keep engineers and business people apprised of the latest developments, provide a forum for discussion, and help everyone understand the latest trends. Without them, he said, progress would slow.

I was prepared for a discussion about Professor Endo’s revolutionary work developing processes for manufacturing carbon nanotubes. I was pleasantly surprised to have a discussion about my work too. “Your journal is very important,” Endo said in summary, punctuating his statement with the intent look that only a lifelong teacher knows how to give.

It is with those words of encouragement and the sense of responsibility that comes with them that I take the reins of Small Times magazine as editor-in-chief. Small Times has come a long way since its first issue in September 2001. We tracked a MEMS industry that sailed into a perfect storm and has now re-emerged. We explained the up-and-coming nanotech arena and charted its progress in research, engineering and investment circles. We even, dare I say, helped define the sector.

But the truth is that, like the MEMS and nanotech sectors we cover, Small Times is just getting started. And as you will see in this issue, we are branching out a bit. We have a cover package on cutting-edge semiconductor processes and a special report devoted to nanoelectronics with contributions from toolmakers, industrial innovators, and entrepreneurial startups.

You will also find the first installment of our state rankings. The rankings package has proven to be one of our most popular editorial products over the years so we have decided to make it an ongoing feature. This first installment includes an analysis of the U.S. states in which venture capitalists have been most actively developing MEMS and nanotechnology. Future issues will include state rankings based on the additional categories of research, industry support, innovation and work force.

The best magazines are constantly evolving in response to the shifting sands of technology, business and the publishing industry. Therefore, we will be making some additional changes in our coverage over the coming months. You will see a renewed focus on fabrication and manufacturing, more in-depth coverage of tools and materials, and reporting on new applications for micro and nanotech. Of course, we will continue to provide the analyses of trends in industry, finance, law and economic development which our readers have come to expect.

If you agree with Professor Endo that this magazine plays an important role, then let us know how you think it might play that role better. Our reader surveys have provided solid feedback on what our readers like best and what they would prefer to see more of. But as I experienced with my recent discussion with Professor Endo, sometimes it’s that unexpected comment that makes all the difference.

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