Global nanotech leaders gathering in Chicago
October 31, 2005
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
The question caught
me off balance. Driving home from the Bears game, Brice Heath,
a marketing exec at HSBC asked, "What do you think about
Chicagoans know more about the nickel defense than the science
of small particles. "I'm not sure I'd rush out, and take
a job in nano," I said. Turns out Heath is happy at HSBC.
He just wants the scoop on nano.
like Heath, head to McCormick Place for Nanocommerce 2005 Tuesday.
leaders in nano will be there. Local luminaries like Northwestern
professor Chad Mirkin, Abbott Labs global business research director
Paul Epner and Motorola technology VP Jim O'Connor, Jr. will be
among 70 speakers.
the largest business-oriented nanotech conference in North America,"
says Sean Murdock, Nanobusiness Alliance executive director and
organizer of the show. Murdock thinks Chicago area businesses
ought to get more involved. "The governor supports nanotechnology.
Companies need to engage. If that happens, Chicago will be a world
leader," Murdock says.
is the most significant technological frontier being explored
today," says Jack Lavin, director of the Illinois Department
of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Gov. Blagojevich has budgeted
$36 million in the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne.
There's an additional $5 million in the governor's 2006 budget
for Northwestern's Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center.
CEO of Small Times Media, which tracks nano-tech progress, thinks
Heath should reconsider his career choice.
has a solid foot in Small Times' rankings of states and nanotech
businesses, moving from No. 8 in 2003 to No. 6 in 2004 and down
one slot to No. 7 in 2005," Glaza says. "The future
is nanotechnology. No question. I'd encourage my daughters to
work in nanotechnology."
Development Council released its tech success roadmap last week.
The findings resulted from a 14 month process involving 150 volunteers
including reps from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Civic
Committee, Chicago's major academic institutions, the venture
community as well as not-for-profit organizations, government
and the private sector.
in an environment where tech commercialization is not left to
chance," says Bell Boyd & Lloyd partner Chris Bloom,
chairman of the study committee. "Chicago needs a sustained
effort to support technology commercialization."
draws three conclusions. Chicago is a major hub of tech research,
but our region must renew its commitment to tech commercialization.
Chicago needs to benchmark success in this area, and regularly
publicize a scorecard illustrating progress.
to market Chicago tech within Chicago, to the nation and to the
world," Bloom says.
also recommends building connections between academic researchers
and prospective entrepreneurs, connecting manufacturers with sources
of new technology, and linking financial resources with new ventures.
of the EDC's roadmap is the creation of an organization to provide
connectivity, benchmarking, marketing and support for technology
commercialization in the region. Bloom points to San Diego CONNECT
as a role model.
of Chicago MBA candidate Karan Goel won first
place in the Fortune Small Business business plan competition
for his on-line tutoring company, PrepMe.com. Goel appears on
the cover of the November issue. ... Marty Singer,
CEO of PCTEL and Midwest chairman of the American Electronics
Association, was appointed to the PCAOB standing advisory group.
PCAOB is a private, non-profit unit created under Sarbanes-Oxley
to oversee auditors.
George Van Dusen was honored last week for his
commitment to biotech, receiving the Illinois Biotechnology Industry
Organization's (iBIO) Maitland award. Under Van Dusen's leadership,
Skokie pledged $10 million to support the Illinois Science + Technology
Park which is expected to create 3,200 jobs. IBIO holds its Midwest
Life Sciences Meeting Wednesday at Navy Pier
Black Data Processing Association hosts its annual CIO
reception Thursday at the O'Hare Marriott.
Krauss is a Chicago area tech writer and consultant.