MMEI was founded in 1994 by three people with strong scientific and financial backgrounds, a very long investment horizon, and a belief in the importance of nanotechnology. In addition, MMEI attracted several advisors with outstanding backgrounds in a variety of areas, both technical and non-technical, including Nobel laureate Roald Hoffmann (chemist), Dr. Ralph Merkle (computer scientist), and a broad range of business, legal, and financial experts. Also, from its founding, MMEI has always enjoyed a good working relationship with the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing (IMM) and the Foresight Institute (FI).
MMEI was the first funding organization dedicated to nanotechnology or molecular manufacturing. Though it was arguably ahead of its time, it had high leverage because the field was so small in the early years. It made several investments in tools to enable the advancement of this important field, including:
- A radically lower-cost scanning tunneling microscope aimed at nanotechnology applications.
- Molecular design software focused on diamond-based, atomically-precise structures.
- Improved Molecular Modeling algorithms.
- A CRADA grant for leading-edge work at Oak Ridge National Lab.
In 2001, the U.S. government started the National Nanotechnology Initiative Soon, several other countries started their own programs to invest in this rapidly-expanding field. In a short time billions of dollars were flowing into nanotechnology, allowing MMEI to evolve from just investing to focusing on consulting and public speaking. Today it still is a leader in these areas. Contact us to learn more.