Institute for Molecular Manufacturing

Overview

The Institute for Molecular Manufacturing (IMM) is a nonprofit foundation, established in 1991, to conduct research aimed at developing molecular manufacturing. IMM also promotes guidelines for research and development practices that will minimize risk from accidental misuse or from abuse of molecular nanotechnology (2).

IMM's mission is to enable and conduct research on molecular systems engineering, perform safeguard design, and promote guidelines for research and development practices that will minimize risk from accidental misuse and intentional abuse (1c).

Facilities and Research Initiatives

IMM funded the first textbook in the field, Nanosystems, which is credited with bringing molecular nanotechnology into mainstream scientific acceptance and, consequently, the federal funding process. IMM sponsord the first textbook in the emerging field of nanotechnology applied to medicine, Nanomedicine by IMM Research Fellow, Robert Freitas. IMM has briefed NATO, the US Senate, and US military agencies (including vice chairman of Joint Chiefs) on potential molecular nanotechnology applications, especially those affecting the environment and the military.  IMM was, for many years, the primary co-sponsor and co-funder of an important conference series in the molecular nanotechnology field (1a).

Currently, the IMM Board has four project areas approved for sponsorship. The IMM project areas are:

  1. Molecular Nanotechnology Theoretical Feasibility Project: This project is to help establish the theoretical feasibility of MNT in the technical literature and community. This may include technical publications, and co-sponsorship or participation in a workshop on the theoretical feasibility of molecular nanotechnology.
  2. Molecular Nanotechnology Demonstration Project: The objective of this project is to demonstrate specific milestones in the technical roadmap to MNT. The project would be done in conjunction with a team of researchers at one or more partner laboratory facilities.
  3. Assembler Safeguards Project: This project builds on prior work that IMM has done on conceptual designs for assembler safeguards. It would propose, design, and simulate embedded safeguards for assemblers. IMM has identified additional research on anti-abuse embedded safety mechanisms for assemblers as an important next step in the continuous improvement process for the Foresight Guidelines on the responsible development of molecular nanotechnology.
  4. Nanomedicine Project: The objective of this project is to provide ongoing support for research into the applications of molecular nanotechnology to medicine. There are many exciting medical applications that would be enabled by nanotechnology. Perhaps the most fundamental would be the ability to do repair at the cellular level, or the ability to significantly extend the healthy human life span. These and other applications are described in the Nanomedicine multi-volume series (1b).

Strategic Partnerships

The Institute for Molecular Manufacturing (IMM) conducts and funds nanotechnology research as a complement to its sister organization, the Foresight Institute, which serves an important educational role for nanotechnology (1a).

Sources

  1. Institute for Molecular Manufacturing (2007). Retrieved on November 11, 2012
    1. “About IMM” from www.imm.org/about
    2. “Current Research Funded by IMM” from www.imm.org/research
    3. “Molecular Manufacturing” from www.imm.org
  2. Nanotechnology Now (2012, May 2). “Nanotechnology Focused Not For Profit Sites.” Retrieved on November 11, 2012 from www.nanotech-now.com/not-for-profit.htm