related funded research. Again, however, there are elements of best practices that the committee specifically recommends for consideration.
The nanotechnology-showcase activity in the annual TechConnect conference4 sponsored by a partnership of industrial sponsors is a good example of this type of exposure. The event
• Invites startup companies that have technologies of identified commercialization interest to participate.
• Arranges meetings between sponsors and start-ups for detailed assessment of specific commercialization opportunities, such as entering into joint-development partnerships and licensing agreements.
• Includes both nanotechnology and nano-enabled technologies in one large conference.
Some of the NNI agencies are to be congratulated for their efforts to hold similar types of showcase events. An example is the Navy SBIR program’s Beyond Phase II Conference.5 The committee urges that agencies consider how to engage more closely with potential commercializing entities and industries to maximize the participation at and impact of such events. Many companies that are seeking to commercialize nanotechnology have teams in “new technology evaluation,” “strategic marketing,” “acquisitions,” or “corporate ventures,” which are natural contacts for NNI agencies that want to partner in the organization of showcase events.
Other entities outside government are in a position to facilitate technology transfer, such as the Nano Business Commercialization Alliance (www.nanobca.org), which helps small, medium, and large businesses, along with investors, entrepreneurs, and inventors to network with NNI representatives. Industry-specific professional organizations, for example, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Physical Society, the Materials Research Society, the American Vacuum Society, the Optical Society of America, SPIE (the international society for optical engineering), and the American Chemical Society have all contributed substantially to nanotechnology knowledge dissemination and technology transfer. SEMI (Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International) has a technology showcase (“The Extreme Electronics Tech Zone,” http://www.semiconwest.org/exhibits/techzone) at its annual Semicon West conference and trade show, at which inventors
4 Matthew Laudon, private communication, open session of the Panel on Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative: Phase II, Irvine, Calif., May 15, 2012. See also the TechConnect World website at http://www.techconnectworld.com, accessed February 27, 2013.