As requested I have commented on the Royal Society Report. I did this by Annotating the pdf form of the document.

You can see from my comments that I do not have too many radical disagreements with your summary of the findings and the observations from the workshop(s). Perhaps my major conclusions are as follows :-

  1. Nanotechnology is a broad concept, not an entity with a physical geometry threshold. There will be many avenues for investing; some will be valuable, but most will turn out to be black holes.
  2. It will (in all probability) develop into a valuable underpinning of society, but we must be careful to dispel hype about it.
  3. My definition is "Technology where the size of features necessary to deliver its macro-scale functionality is measured in nm". This allows software, electronic, optical, mechanical and passive interpretations. It also allows larger and smaller features or dimensions to be present.
  4. That enhanced evolution (Biology) will be the most effective way to deliver nano-machines. And that these could be available in the very short term. A limiting factor to the exploitation of this will be the development of effective biological interfaces.

I hope you find these ramblings useful/relevant.

Ian Phillips (ARM)