Michael R. Drapp, a 34-year veteran of the high-technology industry, has formed nanoEdge™ Technologies, a business development and intellectual property management company focused on the emerging nanotechnology space. The company also plans to invest in promising technologies and act as a nanotechnology incubator.
“Nanotechnology is the next great frontier: for technology, for industry, and for humanity as a whole,” says Drapp. “This isn’t hyperbole. Every previous technological shift has been limited to mankind’s external environment. Nanotechnology will also invade our internal space. Our medical treatments, our food, our entertainment…even our very definition of “self” will be impacted. This next shift will redefine the current demarcation between technology and humanity.
“Consider the title of the recent National Science Foundation report: 'Ethics of Human Enhancement'. They are talking about the use of technology to reengineer humanity – what some would call eugenics. Does this raise ethical, legal and environmental issues? Absolutely.
“But this emerging 'nanosphere' also presents incredible opportunity. I formed nanoEdge™ Technologies because I’ve seen too much valuable IP die on the vine or get highjacked because the brilliant people who developed the science weren’t focused on or perhaps skilled at maximizing the commercial potential of their ideas.
“It’s not enough to give somebody in your company a business development title to promote the mousetrap you think you have in your hand. You have to be able to see the emerging opportunities and identify innovative ways to combine that mousetrap with other technologies to create entirely new products and markets. This requires a particular skillset and experience base that can conceptualize and execute across multiple disciplines and industries and connect dots that others aren’t seeing yet.
“For example, a Middle Eastern company came to us looking for funding for their nano-camera and nano-sensor technologies. They didn’t realize they had already been eclipsed in the applications they were targeting by a European technology. We were able to give them some innovative ideas for adding value to their product design and creating new applications in other industries. This will help them better focus their final stage R&D and reposition their go-to-market strategy for a successful launch.
“This is where nanoEdge™ excells at adding value. We have an exceptional track record of creating multiplied returns for clients from opportunities that they didn’t know they had.
“This expertise is even more critical for nanotech companies because more often than not, the true value of their IP is not in a single product but rather in the application of their IP to other products, services and technologies – what I term 'nanosynergistics'. You can’t leverage this kind of integrated value via a traditional in-house sales and marketing model. You need a bigger network and higher levels of access. And you have to be able to envision and execute across multiple disciplines and industries.
“Our goal at nanoEdge™ is to help our clients productize and commercialize their intellectual properties to maximum advantage. Licensing, technology transfer, reengineering and design, new product development, mergers or acquisitions, venture capital, joint ventures, strategic partnerships – we’ll leverage our networks and whichever channels and strategies will produce the best business and financial outcomes for each client.
“I started my first technology company when I was 20 and I’ve ridden a lot of market waves up and down over the years. But when I look out at the emerging nanospace and the technologies that are now in the lab or getting ready to launch, I can’t see an end to this new wave – to the potential applications and their impacts. I can’t think of an industry or area of life that won’t be affected.
“And I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather invest than right here – on the 'nanoEdge' of the next technology revolution.”