Advancements in the nanotechnology industry promise to offer improvements in capabilities across a spectrum of applications. This is of immense strategic importance to the defense and security sector, which has historically leveraged technological advances.
"While nanotechnology offers solutions to a wide-ranging array of individual problems, matching application-level problems with nanotechnology solutions is going to be a significant challenge for nanotech developers," observes Technical Insights Research Analyst Rahul Nayar. "Nanotechnology is often seen as a set of solutions rather than a monolithic product or technology group."
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The key to success for nanotechnology firms is to develop optimal solutions that not only offer advantages in terms of improved performance or lower cost, but also cater to a specific and clearly defined application. Although its knowledge base stems from general, broad-stream technology development in a number of different areas, firms should implement nanotechnology on a case-by-case basis.
Forming a strong partnership between nanotechnology and defense firms will help synchronize nanotechnology development with application-level requirements. Such a strategy allows a nanotech firm to combine its core domain knowledge and capability with defense contractors' applications level experience.
"By focusing on clear application-level problems that are relevant to their customers, nanotech firms give themselves a safe, solid first step, and an ideal launch pad," says Nayar. "It also allows them to prove their technology and to generate revenues to support ongoing development."
Partnerships with government defense institutions such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. military wings through mechanisms like the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, will also serve an important role in ensuring application-specific development and encourage quicker adoption of nanotechnology into mainstream applications.
These partnerships also encourage funding support for smaller, start-up nanotech firms. This is crucial given the long gestation periods and extended basic and applied research cycles for nanotech development.
"Small nanotechnology start-ups offering high-tech solutions face funding challenges, especially when they clear the government-funded phases of technology development and are planning to commercialize the technology," explains Nayar. "Such problems only emphasize the importance of cooperation and collaboration in the field of nanotechnology."
Nanotechnology for the Defense and Security Industry, part of the Technical Insights Aerospace Subscription, provides a technological overview and outlook for the adoption of nanotechnology (nanomaterials, nanosensors and nanodevices), in the defense and security sector. The study is segmented into technology and applications, viewpoint, technology adoption factor analysis, as well as assessment of global innovation and opportunities. This research service includes detailed technology analysis and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Executive summaries and analyst interviews with the press are available.
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Nanotechnology for Defense and Security