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IMM Presentations & Activities

IMM promotes the advancement of molecular manufacturing by funding direct research, and by presenting at meetings, seminars, and conferences.


D. R. Forrest, “Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems,” Nanomanufacturing Conference and Exhibits, Society for Manufacturing Engineers, Framingham, MA, 22-23 April 2008.


Robert A Freitas, Jr. won the 2007 Foresight Prize in Communication.

D.R. Forrest and N. Jacobstein, “Low Cost, Atomically-Precise Manufacturing of Defense Systems: Progress and Applications,” presented at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers conference Productive Nanosystems: Launching the Technology Roadmap, DoubleTree Hotel Crystal City, Arlington, VA , 9-10 October 2007.

David Forrest, Robert Freitas, and Neil Jacobstein provided substantial contributions to the International Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems with three Working Group Proceedings: Molecular Machine Pathways, Diamondoid Mechanosynthesis, and Near-Term Applications. In addition, they provided editing assistance on the Fabrication section.

Neil Jacobstein discussed molecular nanotechnology at the “Robust Futures Workshop” in the Reuters Digital Vision Program, Stanford University, March 9, 2007. This workshop got rave reviews from participants.

David Forrest presented a talk on “Molecular Nanotechnology and the National Defense” at the Institute for Defense Analyses, 19 January 2007.


Neil Jacobstein gave a talk on “Nanotechnology and Naval Energy R&D” at the Office of Naval Research sponsored Naval Science &Technology Partnership Conference: 2006, August 2, 2006.

Presentation: Forrest, D. R., “Transport Phenomena in Nanomechanical Systems for Molecular Manufacturing,” presented at the 2006 TMS Fall Extraction & Processing Meeting: Sohn International Symposium, San Diego, CA, 27-31 August 2006.

As a member of the Working Group for the Battelle/Foresight International Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems, David Forrest presented a talk on “A Perspective on Approaches and Pathways to Productive Nanosystems” on March 20th at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN.

Robert Freitas presented an invited lecture, “Nanomedicine and Medical Nanorobotics: The Path Forward,” at the Sixth Alcor Conference: An Inside Look at the Science and Medicine of Tomorrow, 7 October 2006, Scottsdale, AZ.

Robert Freitas and Ralph Merkle co-founded the Nanofactory Collaboration. This group facilitates alliances with researchers on projects that advance the development of molecular manufacturing systems.


IMM contributed two presentations on molecular manufacturing at the “Workshop on Molecular Self-Assembly for Manufacturing of Materials and Devices at the Molecular Scale,” held 9-11 February 2005 at the National Research Council, Washington, DC.

Neil Jacobstein gave a Keynote Talk on “The Future of Bits and Molecules” at the Annual Investors Meeting of Levensohn Venture Partners in May 2005.

Neil Jacobstein discussed molecular nanotechnology and the Foresight Guidelines at an Aspen Institute Socrates Seminar that he moderated on “Future Perspectives” July 2-4, 2005.

Neil Jacobstein provided a presentation on the feasibility and ethics of molecular manufacturing, to the New Zealand Ministry of Science and Technology in Wellington, NZ.

Neil Jacobstein presented a talk entitled, “Foresight Guidelines Update: Traction, Feedback, and Draft Version 5.0″ at the Foresight Vision Weekend, 23 October 2005.

David Forrest and Josh Hall participated in a debate “Nanotechnology: Radical New Science or Plus Ça Change?,” U. of Nottingham Surface Science Summer School, Nottingham, UK, 24 August 2005. A transcript of the debate and streaming video are available. Forrest posted post-debate comments and you will also find comments from Richard Jones on his blog.

David Forrest presented a talk entitled: “Progress in Molecular Manufacturing,” (both slides and audio available from this link), Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology: Focusing on the Cutting Edge, 13th Foresight Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology, San Francisco, 22-27 October 2005.

Neil Jacobstein reviewed and provided comments to Ralph Merkle and Robert Freitas on their book on Kinematic Self Replicating Machines.

David Forrest presented an invited talk for the Society for Manufacturing Engineers at their emerging technology forum in Minneapolis, 4 May 2005.


Robert Freitas submitted the first patent ever filed on diamond mechanosynthesis:
Robert A. Freitas Jr., “A Simple Tool for Positional Diamond Mechanosynthesis, and its Method of Manufacture,” U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/543,802, filed 11 February 2004; U.S. Patent Pending, 11 February 2005.

Robert Freitas gave an invited lecture, “Pathway to Diamond-Based Molecular Manufacturing,” at the First Symposium on Molecular Machine Systems at the First Foresight Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology, 22 October 2004, Washington, DC.

Robert Freitas gave an invited lecture, “Nanomedicine and Medical Nanorobotics,” at the First Foresight Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology, 23 October 2004, Washington, DC.

Robert Freitas and Ralph Merkle co-authored the technical book Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines (Landes
Bioscience, 2004), a landmark survey of the theoretical and experimental literature pertaining to physical self-replicating systems and self-replication.

Neil Jacobstein gave a keynote talk on: “Nanotechnology and Molecular Manufacturing” at the 11,000 member American Association of Clinical Chemistry Oak Ridge Conference, April 30, 2004.

Neil Jacobstein gave a keynote talk on: “Inventing the Future of Nanotechnology” for a monthly Forum of executives at the Greenwich Connecticut Country Club, March 25, 2004.

Neil Jacobstein made recommendations to the National Academy of Sciences on their upcoming panels and studies on the feasibility of nanotechnology, Spring/Summer, 2004.

Neil Jacobstein gave a talk on “The Strategic Significance of Nanotechnology and Molecular Manufacturing” at the Foresight Senior Associates Gathering, May 16, 2004.

Neil Jacobstein gave a briefing on “Nanotechnology and Molecular Manufacturing” to a group of officers and faculty at the National Security Forum, Maxwell Air Force Base, May 27, 2004.

Neil Jacobstein created and moderated a three-day Aspen Institute Socrates Seminar on “Future Scenarios: Tunneling Through the Uncertainty Barrier”, July 2-5, 2004. The seminar dealt with the need to anticipate the possibility, probability, and potential impacts of powerful new technologies, including molecular nanotechnology and manufacturing.

David Forrest presented the keynote address, “Molecular Manufacturing for Clean, Low Cost Textile Production,” at Ecotextile 04 in Manchester, UK, on July 7, 2004. He also prepared a corresponding paper on the same subject.

David Forrest participated in a workshop on “Analysis of a Series of Emerging and Potentially Disruptive Advanced Manufacturing Technologies,” at the National Council for Advanced Manufacturing in Washington DC, July 22, 2004.


Neil Jacobstein gave a presentation on “Prospects for Molecular Manufacturing” to an invitation only International Fondazione EL.B.A.NanoForum on Nanoscale Science and Technology co-sponsored by the Max Planck Society: August 28-31, 2003.

Neil Jacobstein spoke at a Cato Institute Panel Discussion Co-sponsored
with The Economist on “Nanotechnology: The Money, Science and Politics of the “Next Big Thing”“, December 11, 2003:

Dr. Forrest served as a reviewer for the report “Nanotechnology for the Intelligence Community,” Committee on Nanotechnology for the Intelligence Community, National Research Council, ISBN: 0-309-55081-5, 19 pages, 8 1/2 x 11, (2005).


A white paper, “Balancing the National Nanotechnology Initiative’s R&D Portfolio,” was presented to the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Neil Jacobstein gave a presentation on Molecular Nanotechnology as part
of a panel on “Nanotech: The Next 1017 Nanoseconds” moderated by Steve Jurvetson at the Churchill Club, April 17, 2002.

David Forrest was an invited speaker at the Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Team’s Reading Nanoscience Workshop, University of South Carolina Philosophy Department, August 2002.

IMM awarded three IMM Prizes in Computational Nanotechnology at the 10th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.

2001 and before

Neil Jacobstein presented an Aspen Institute Socrates Seminar entitled “Genes, Nanobots, and Megawatts” July 5-8 2001.

David Forrest presented an invited talk entitled, “Molecular Manufacturing: Implications for Polymers,” to the ASTM D-20 Committee on Polymers, Montreal, Canada, 23 July 2001.

David Forrest Presented a seminar on “Molecular Manufacturing and the National Defense” at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, West Bethesda, MD, 24 September 2001.

Dr. Forrest co-organized a session on Nanotechnology at ASM Solutions 2001, November 2001.

David Forrest presented an invited talk entitled, “Molecular Manufacturing Development and Technology Planning,” at the 32nd International SAMPE Technical Conference, Boston, MA, November 2000.

David Forrest organized a session on Molecular Manufacturing at ASM Solutions 2000, October 2000.

IMM Research fellow Dr. John Storrs Hall spoke on “Towards a Hardware Description Language for Molecular Machinery”at the Seventh Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology (October 15 -17, 1999)

On 26 June 1992 Eric Drexler provided testimony at a Senate hearing. The submitted written testimony and the oral testimony include discussion of environmental applications.