EMERGING TECH

Are you ready for the rising nanotechnology market?

Opportunities for contractors in health, energy, military markets

Cybersecurity and big data will have to share the the market spotlight soon, as nanotechnology is rapidly emerging as a promising area with plenty of opportunities for contractors.

Speaking at the 2013 AUSA Conference Tuesday, Lockheed Martin Nanotechnology Lead Rebecca Schwartz described the potential of nanotechnology and its applications as she envisioned what the soldier of tomorrow will look like: leaner, smarter and safer.

Using pencil lead as an example, a single atom of graphene is extremely strong and conductive, allowing for a number of applications, particularly when it comes to the military.

These days, soldiers are hiking miles in heavy gear, but nanotechnology would allow for lighter, stronger material, which would in turn allow the soldier to utilize more situational awareness equipment and other helpful systems, Schwartz said.

The military isn’t the only place where nanotechnology could thrive, however; both the medical and energy fields could make use of it, as well. Medical nanotechnology could assist in diagnoses and treatments, and nanotechnology used in energy markets could assist in alternative energy harvesting.

“We’re just beginning to scratch the surface,” Schwartz said.

As with any emerging technology, there are a series of hurdles that must be faced—nano-manufacturing and reliability of nanotechnology are just two of them—but as time goes on, the kinks will be hammered out, and you can expect nanotechnology to be a fruitful market, just like health IT or mobile tech.

Schwartz said that there aren't yet any request for information notices or request for proposals out, but as more time is spent developing these technologies, there is much yet to come.

About the Author

Mark Hoover is a senior staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at mhoover@washingtontechnology.com, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.

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