Will the US Stimulus Bill Prove the Savior for Nanotech?

Last week in a column published by Nanotech Now Alan B. Shalleck chronicled the many business woes of nanotech companies in the current economic environment.

While it seems I have been going on and on about how talk of nanotechâ''s â''gold rushâ'' is clearly misinformed and the problem is not some rush to commercialization but rather the shocking lack of commercialization thus far, I am heartened that there are some like Shalleck who recognize that the commercialization of nanotechnology is struggling.

Shalleck provides the evidence of this faltering business situation and offers a solution: the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Shalleck points that in the ARRA â''nanotechnologyâ'' is specifically cited as â''one of the country's economic saving industriesâ''. Now I know we're in trouble.

Despite my skepticism, Shalleck strikes an optimistic chord as he urges nanotech entrepreneurs to scope out ARRA funds to finance their companies for applications in everything from building insulation to DNA diagnostics.

This doesnâ''t seem to leave much hope for the current crop of nanotech businesses struggling to stay afloat and even for the new breed they can expect to wait some years before the funds get into their pockets for launching a new business.

I guess in this environment, even optimism is a little scary.

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