Five major MEMS commercialization hurdles entrepreneurs need to know

(October 26, 2010) — Steven Walsh, the Albert Franklin Black Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of New Mexico, recently spoke about the lessons learned from 25 years of MEMS technology, educating attendees of the MEMS Technology Summit (10/19-10/20/10, Stanford University).

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In a podcast interview with Debra Vogler, senior technical editor, Walsh summarizes the 5 major commercialization hurdles MEMS companies face, whether in a disruptive, discontinuous-based product paradigm or a sustaining, continuous-based product paradigm. In the first case, a company must have at least a 10% improvement in cost and at least a 2-3× improvement in some other parameter. For a sustaining technology, you can go with an ~2× improvement and you have to make it better, faster, cheaper. Another decision point: do you have the funds, can you develop the product yourself, and you have to decide whether to go fabless. He also offers specific advice for the entrepreneurial team.

He ends his interview with a recitation of BioMEMS devices that are in exciting stages of development, including a MEMS needle that eliminates the need for a stabilization agent in vaccines, optical solutions that aid vision, and targeted cancer therapies.

Additional podcast interviews from MEMS Technology Summit:

MEMS cantilevers enable better MEMS sensors: Chat with Beth Pruitt, Stanford

Nanotechnology promises have gone unfulfilled, says Stanford prof

Water on the moon? NASA MEMS-based Phazir spectrometer chat with Steve Senturia

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