The Business of Nanotechnology and Solar Energy...Such as it is

Last week Nanosys offered up an odd press release to announce its forming of a new wholly owned subsidiary called QD Soleil that would focus the companies nanotechnologies in the area of solar panel cell design.

For those of you not familiar with the brief history of Nanosys they are known primarily for their â''seminal estateâ'' of intellectual property that includes over 500 patents. And likely to a lesser extent for their failed attempt to get a $100 million IPO on the back of $4 million in revenues a few years back.

This distinctly biotech strategy of building a business model on staking claim to as much IP as you can possibly can I have commented on before. But aside from this phenomenon there were a couple of other bits to this press release that really struck me and are initially indicated by the use of the word â''designâ'' in the first sentence.

It seems that the new company is not really going to produce solar cells based on Nanosysâ'' nanotechnologies but offer up its â''portfolioâ'' for licensing to larger companies to exploit in solar cells.

But the press release really migrates into strange territory when Josh Wolfe, co-founder and Managing Partner of Lux Capital, points out "The acquisition of QD Soleil would be an ingenious way, especially in this environment, to take a focused approached to innovation and R&D."

This marks a first for me where a company puts out a press release on the creation of a new subsidiary only to come out and say explicitly in the release that it would make a good acquisition target. Okay, I have seen this kind of maneuver before but only implicitly, not using a financial pundit as a mouthpiece for your real aims.

I guess we have just taken another step further into seeing how a company without much in the way of products and just IP generates revenues.


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