Carbon Nanotubes to Improve Fuel Cells

(http://www.physorg.com/news1408.html )
Quote: "The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc., Motorola, Inc. and Johnson
Matthey Fuel Cells, Inc. a $3.6 million grant to develop "free standing" carbon nanotube electrodes for micro-fuel cells in order to meet the ever-growing demand for more power and longer run times in portable microelectronics. The Advanced Technology Program award from NIST supports a 3 year, $7.4 million project to exploit the unique properties of single wall carbon-nanotubes (SWNT) in order to achieve siginificant breakthroughs in fuel cell performance, durability and manufacturability."
Sounds very promising! Especilly when those three giants get down to business... Your comments.
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On 3 Oct 2004 20:08:58 GMT, neutron snipped-for-privacy@lycos.com (Neutron) wrote:

Sounds like a small grant to try some things.
Promising? Why? There are zillions of such grants. And they don’t write press releases telling you they will spend a few $$ for nothing. Once in a while, one may pay off, but most result in incremental if any progress.
And that isn't even mentioning economics.
Why don't we wait for results, or evaluate published research, rather than worry about this hype?
bob
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I agree and disagree at the same time. If any of these companies did nothing, they would never get grants. To get those grants you have to show you really do your business. I'm pretty sure if you come to NIST and tell you want some money for research they will ask you for what you've done in the past.
But I still partially agree with you, because not all of granted projects lead to success. It's about statistics. Some do, some not. Anyway, don't be so skeptic, we're still progressing in technology in general.
Good luck.

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On 4 Oct 2004 01:17:53 -0700, neutron snipped-for-privacy@lycos.com (Neutron) wrote:

Mostly agree with that. (Some get grants because they have an idea which looks worth trying, even though they do not have a track record. That does not affect your main thrust.)

Yes. My objection to the original post was that you seemed to be hyping a proposal. I'd rather see results. But most of what you write here I think we basically agree on.
(_Most_ proposals do not lead to exciting results. Many things are tried, so a few can win out. Even in a successful co, only a small fraction of ideas work out. And many of the steps along the way are small.)
bob
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On 3 Oct 2004 20:08:58 GMT, neutron snipped-for-privacy@lycos.com (Neutron) wrote:

There's sure a lot of "sounds promising" out there. Has been for quite a while now. $3.6 million, or $7.4 million over 3 years, are very tepid indications of faith.
John
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