se are busy times for those following innovation law and policy including nanotech and cleantech. Manufacturing and patents are central themes.
First, I was in Pittsburgh Friday when President Obama visited Carnegie Mellon University and announced the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) (text attached below). AMP flows from the attached "Report to the President on Ensuring American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing," June 2011, President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) (also attached below).
In addition, on Thursday, the House finally passed a bill on patent reform, following the Senate's passage earlier in the year.
The PCAST Report featured several angles on nanotechnology. The Report discussed areas where promising, useful technologies face potential market failure, which suggests government should play a stronger role in promoting the technology through, for example, public-private partnerships. Several specific examples were discussed including nano-scale carbon materials, nanotechnology enabled medical diagnostics, flexible electronics, and next-generation optoelectronics. The Report also comments on the criticality of nanoelectronics. The PCAST Report noted only briefly the role of patents, noting China has a strong patent initiative.
Furthermore, another new initiative from the Obama Administration is the Materials Genome Initiative (also attached). The gist is to use computational and combinatorial methods to speed up materials commercialization.
What will be next? One new development linked to all of this is that the Pennsylvania Nanomaterials Commercialization Center, with offices in Pittsburgh, has announced a new round of funding focusing on energy applications (Idea Submission deadline, July 20, 2011, http://www.pananocenter.org/) Pittsburgh is also a center for the western Pennsylvanian Marcellus Shale commercialization push. While innovation is a national issue, Pittsburgh certainly is a leading point of focus in current innovation and econonmic issues. This explains the President's visit.