Nanotech's not-so-hot models
Drug-discovery company Accelrys and a host of startups are staking claims in the emerging nanotech modeling sector. Are customers ready for the products? (Red Herring)
Billions in government, venture capital, and corporate R&D dollars are pouring into nanotechnology projects worldwide, and, for the foreseeable future, nano-related companies will be spending much of that money on research. San Diego, California-based Accelrys – one of the top businesses in modeling software for drug discovery – and several smaller software modeling companies are pitching their products to businesses working on materials at the nanoscale.
Industry analysts say this software increases return on investment (ROI) for those nanotech companies who can afford it, but most businesses aren’t ready to spend big money on modeling – yet.
Nanotech innovators are searching for tools to aid in rational materials design, and molecular modeling software will be one, allowing researchers to visualize graphically and understand mathematically the interactions of atoms within structures, down to the molecular level. Traditionally, this software has been the domain of university and laboratory scientists, but Accelrys and others are working to make functional programs that can be used by engineers with little specialized training. More here
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