Why does Northern California need a nanotechnology initiative?


'This is the center of the nanotechnology world.'

- leader of Japanese nanotechnology initiative delegation to Northern California.

'The Bay Area is where the cutting edge nanotechnology companies will be born.'

- head of UK nanotechnology initiative delegation to Northern California.

'The valley is where the next wave of nanotechnology development will come from.'

- member of Swiss nanotechnology initiative delegation to Northern California.

'You will fall behind without a regional effort' - all the above delegations

Over the past year delegations from Japan, UK, Switzerland, China, Korea, Germany, and others have toured Northern California to examine the 'Silicon Valley way' of doing hi-tech business, including region's successful development of 'super' clusters for biotech and IT.

While the Bay Area is a center for nanotechnology, there is a growing consensus that a more coordinated effort will be required for the Bay Area to retain its lead in the emerging nanotechnology economy. The requirements for a successful nanotechnology cluster, i.e. access to multi- and interdisciplinary teams, large capital equipment costs for core facilities, large research investments, and collaboration & convergence of multiple industries and sectors require both a higher degree of coordination than currently exists as well as a roadmap and action plan for the future.

Northern California's preeminence in cutting edge technologies, venture capital, hi-tech industries, and entrepreneurial spirit has positioned the region to develop the leading nanotechnology cluster in the world. But these natural advantages alone are not enough to offset coordinated domestic and global competition.

Globally, other countries are spending more than the US, both on an absolute basis (Japan) and a purchasing power parity basis (China). Domestically, Southern California, Texas, New York, Florida, Alaska, and North Dakota, have launched major nanotechnology initiatives in the past 12 months. These initiatives have attracted billions of dollars to date.

The Northern California Nanotechnology Initiative (NCnano) will act as the catalyst to bring concentrated effort and resources to bear for creating a regional nanotechnology cluster. Acting as a clearinghouse and economic coordinator, NCnano will facilitate a multidisciplinary approach to develop the nanoscale biotechnology, molecular electronics, advanced materials and manufacturing technologies that will dominate science and the economy in the 21st century.

Nano activists agree the timing is right for an initiative for Northern California. Our focus is Northern California, not just Silicon Valley, encompassing Sacramento as well as San Francisco and the East Bay. By broadening our geography we embrace the academic and national labs and the state government.


The Northern California Nanotechnology Initiative: Facilitating Economic Development in Northern California by leveraging the world leading R&D institutions of the San Francisco Bay Area - nanotechnology initiatives that will help develop the 21st century economies of the region and the world.

copyright 2003, The Northern California Nanotechnology Initiative - all rights reserved

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