Nanotechnology is the term that is been consistently using in the present day among scientists, military personal & rest of the science enthusiasts. What exactly is nanotechnology one might ask? Nanotechnology is about analysis and engineering of structures with the size in-between 0.1 & 100 nanometers (1nm = 10-9m). So at this scale new effects occur & boundaries that were earlier with physics, chemistry & biology are been broken. In the future nanotechnology is predicted to lead to a stronger, lighter more powerful materials.
In recent years military research and development (R&D) of nanotechnology has been expanded remarkably. With the United States spending far ahead of the rest of the world its research expands from electronics, to bio materials. Even though it is still in the primary stages, efforts are being made to bring the applications to military soon. One quarter to one third of the federal funding is going for nanotechnology goes to military R&D.
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Nanotechnology will likely infuse into all areas of military. From microscopic electronics to glasses, uniforms, weapons to large scale battle management & strategy planning systems will work as human- like reasoning at increasing level of autonomy using sensors, communication devices& displays. Stronger but light weight materials, more efficient & effective energy storage and propulsion will allow faster & more agile vehicles on all terrains, precise projectiles, small arms, anti- personal missiles. New battle suits worn by soldiers could monitor the body status & react to injuries. Possibilities on complex communication & automated land vehicles, ships & aircrafts would be possible through increasing computer power through nanotechnology. Small miniaturized robots in microscopic scale can be used for surveillance & other purposes. On the other hand nanotechnology will enable cheap sensors for chemical & biological warfare agents as well as materials for decontamination. Most of all these applications are ten or more years ahead & the market is getting ready for it.
"Out in 2040 the position of international boundaries & frontiers are likely to be a source of tension" said by the ministry of defense Strategic trends programme - Global strategic trends - out to 2040 fourth edition.
In that they mention that the tension will raise either between two opposition states or two existing ethnic or nationalist group whose historic territories are divided by an international border. They believe that even though some disputes will come to a close due to legal arrangements such as the 2008 Russia China settlement of a long year old dispute regarding their Amur River border, most of them will not be resolved that easily especially where ethnic differences are aggravated by inequality & historical rivalry.
With the rise of conflicts in upcoming years countries try to safeguard their economy, citizens & infrastructure through military superiority. In the case where they would show case that they have the fire power to strike back if they are being attacked at any given point.
In the coming years, nanotechnology is expected to bring a new revolution to the world. To have an idea of a nano structure it is of sizes between 0.1 nano meter (single atom) to a 100nm (large molecule). As mentioned earlier 1nm= 10-9 m is a billionth of a meter.
Nanotechnology is about investigating as well as manipulating matter on the molecular level. In the analysis & design of systems in the nanoscale, the boundaries between different scientific disciplines become irrelevant such as mechanics, biochemistry, genetics, artificial intelligence, neurology, and robotics. Development in these areas will accelerate each other simultaneously because one way or another they are all linked in the nano platform.
One major breakthrough is the carbon nanotubes which can be metallic or semiconducting. They could be used as electric interconnects, for memory or switching in future high-density computers. They provide the field emission of electrons (without heating the cathode) in displays. The strength of carbon nanotubes is way higher than of steel while the density is only 1/6.
(Below is the structure of the nanotube) So with added fibers & composite materials nano tubes would be much stronger at a low weight.
Further more research & development of nanotechnology got a strong boost when other parties such as Europe & Japan came to have an interest in it. United States founded the National nanotech initiative known as (NNI) in late 2000. After that spending by the US and in turn Japan & Europe has been increased rapidly. According to M.C Roco government nanotechnology funding on international outlook has recorded that in 2003, 700 - 800 million US dollars were spent by governments such as US, Western Europe, Japan & the rest of the world. Almost 30 countries had active plans for nanotechnology at the end of 2001.
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BMBF Nanotechnologie in Dutchland reported that in Germany total public nanotechnology funding was â‚¬153 million in 2001 and about 198 million in 2002 & according to C. Roman it's Ours to lose- An analysis of EU nanotechnology funding and the sixth framework programme mentions that the European Union is spending an annual average of â‚¬175 million.
In addition to the funding there are a lot of research & development investments throughout the world by large multinational corporations.
Even though initial research will bring about fundamental products such as nano -layered magnetic disk heads a Hugh market development is forecasted & according to M.C Roco/W.S Bainbridge (eds): Societal implications of nanoscience & nanotechnology records that worldwide sales in 10 -15 years of more than $ 1 trillion per year.
There are predictions that the conflicts will be there in coming years & the governments should be prepared to safe guard their people & resources.
This study presents the overview of nanotechnology in warfare & the future of conflicts around the globe.
Nanotechnology in warfare
Word count - 792
2.1 Military nanotechnology spending
In areas of military research & development nanotechnology is the most prominent area US government is looking at. In 1996 it was named as one of the six strategic research areas for defense. After the implementation of (NNI) the shares of department of defense (DoD) has risen tremendously. It only seconds to National science foundation. According to Roco, ioc.cit (note 11) National nanotechnology initiative below table shows the breakdown according to the spending in US $million
As shown in the table the departments have spent a lot of funding on nanoscale research.
According to M.C Roco: National nanotechnology investment in the FY 2003 budget request by president 2002
Below table shows the breakdown of military funding in the US NNI for basic research (6.1), applied research (6.2), advance technology development (6.3) for different DoD agencies, in US$ million
And according to National nanotechnology initiative, loc. Cit (note25) (page .34) the DoD has founded three NNI centers of excellence.
They are the institute for Soldier nanotechnologies at MIT, the institute for nanoscience at the naval research laboratory
& the center for nanoscience innovation for defense at UCSB.
So within the US DoD, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) gets the highest share of (NNI) funding. Even with years going by the findings get bigger.
Microscopic picture of research caring out on a cell surface
2.1.2 Solider nanotechnologies
One of the major projects that are running in the US Army is soildernano technologies. In order to get NT enabled systems closer to actual military use.
They have identified that it is a major point into looking into soldier safety & enhancing capability in winning the combats.
When assessing why all this research needs to be done we can assume that the governments want to have a superior defense & offence force when it is required. The following area is being discussed on the future conflicts that are predicted to take place & the importance of technologically advanced military force.
3. Front line Disputes
3.1 increasing defense & security challenges
Since the cold war there was high probability of inter- state warfare. This was mainly due the facts of instability, societal conflicts & terrorism. The global system has come into a stage where it is more interdependent & interconnected and that has caused conflicts whenever there was any miscommunication or mistrust. Some state & non-state groups such as terrorist groups have gained increased global reach. As predicted the trends are likely to continue.
Analysis of frontline disputes shows areas with most probable for conflicts by 2040 on Strategic trends programme: Ministry of defense
In Evens G, Dictionary of international relations 1999 tells that defense primarily refers to states and alliances resisting physical attack by a third party. Defense is about survival of the state and is not a flexible activity.
Defense & security will be vital in both physical & cyber domains. With the defense in process
Population growth & other scenarios will come in to effect which will depend on defending access to physical needs for survival. Most of these will be international and linked to globalization. Which would lead the major powers & alliances work in to a common goal to safe guard their common interests.
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Below are the global trends in armed conflicts
Shown in center for international development and conflict management.
But with the new technological advancements such as nanotechnology will enable less fatality rate where the governments will be able to defend attacks with suppression with the help of superior weapons & strategies.
4. Nature of competition
Word count - 468
Business dictionary.com defines competition as "open market rivalry in which every seller tries to get what other sellers are seeking at the same time - sales, profits & market share by offering the best practicable combination of price, quality & service. Where the market information flows freely, completion plays a regulatory function in balancing demand & supply."
The same scenario applies to weapon manufacturing industry as well. There are lots of privet & governmental weapon manufacturing institutions in the world.
4.1 Porter's five forces & market map (appendix 2&3)
Competition is properly identified in the porter's five forces. If we further analyze the forces
Competition among rival firms (eg-Arma lite.inc, Boberg arms) brings the profits down. Even though the competition is not perfect the firms are not that sophisticated for reactive prices. They would battle out from competitive advantage perspective over their rivals.
In doing so companies can adopt following means as competitive moves
Changing prices e.g lowering or bringing it higher for short term gains
Improving product differentiation introducing new technologies such as nanotechnology to the weapon industry.
Creative channels of distributing e.g - direct selling or agents such as Knesek guns
Some of the key attributes that cater into industrial rivalry is large number of firms operating in the market, high fixed costs, strategic stakes being high, diversity of the rivals.
4.1.2 Threat from substitutes
A threat of substitute exists when products demand is affected by the price change. The more the number of options, demand becomes more elastic. While the competition engages when products come from outside the industry. Eg- Conventional weapons & nuclear weapons are substitutes for nanotech weapons.
4.1.3 Bargaining power of buyer
This is one of the most critical areas of competition where buyer's power especially governments in the case of weapon buying is substantially higher than most of the industries. The governments have the upper hand most of the times eg-DoD purchases products from defense contractors who would need to battle out to win contracts.
4.1.4 Bargaining power of supplier
A weapon manufacturing industry needs raw materials. Supplier concentration, significant costs to switch suppliers make competition among weapon developing organizations where if they can control most of these which makes them the highest probable organization of winning contracts.
4.1.5 Threat of new entrance
With the tension & competition building up within the existing firms in the weapon manufacturing industry there poses another threat of new entrance to the market. But these industries have characteristics that protect the high level profit levels of firms where there will stop additional rivals from entering the market. They are the barriers.
With the above evaluation we can come to a conclusion that weapon manufacturing industry is a highly competitive industry & one must change themselves to sustain in a market like this.
5. Strategic marketing response
Word count - 332
We can use the generic strategy to respond to the five forces. Michael Porter identified three strategies which will one of them act as a leverage to give strength & defense against the effects of the five forces.
The three strategies are
Focus or niche strategy
Due to the market competition cost leadership is not the way to tackle this problem especially because the R&D costs & other accumulating cost are very high. Focus strategy shouldn't be used because it should be targeted at mass market.
So the best strategy would be the differentiation to the mass market.
Differentiated weapons such as nanotechnologically engineered weapons can satisfy the needs of customers through a sustainable competitive advantage. This provides the companies to keep aside the prices & focus on value that generates a higher price & a better margin. In order to benefit from differentiation the company should segment the market in order to provide segment specific goods & services.
For example segments should be divided into Military, Police & other law enforcement agencies & security agencies.
So the military will be given the highest technologically advanced weapons & the rest would be given according to the specific needs of the segments.
Differentiating segments will incur added costs in creating competitive advantage. There is a chance that this differentiation being copied by a competitor firm. So the differentiation should be always improved & innovated.
With the use of Appendix 4 Concept circle the organization must decide on how to use the environments such as the macro, Meso & micro. In the macro environment the organization must comply to government regulations such as control the flow of weapons which will enable them to be seen as a social responsible organization where the company can target the government to sell their newly advanced nanotech weapons.
With proper education to the customers about the nanotech weapons & proper distribution would enable to cater into separate segments that have selected earlier.
6. Marketing professionals word count - 109
As per the selected strategy -differentiation we have segmented the market into three segments Military, police & rest of the law enforcement agencies & security firms. So when catering into these three segments marketing professionals should look into the personalities, procedures & protocols of different agencies before marketing & promoting new products. Given in the appendix 5 & 6 force field analysis & mind map marketing professionals should look into how demonstrations should be done, how to handle the pressure groups & how they should use mind maps to develop new ideas which are segment specific which will enable the organizations to improve & innovate new areas of expertise.
Word count - 168
Through the introduction we discussed that nanotechnology as an emerging theme. Then we discussed about the military industry & how nanotechnology is expanding rapidly in it. With the use of tables it was easy to identify that governments such as US spends huge amounts of money in nanotechnological field.
Then we looked at the environment level why nanotechnology will help in the future. We discussed that there are predictions that say conflicts will grow into the future. So it is essential that governments would prepare for the worst case scenarios with the help of nanotechnology.
With the help from porters 5 forces analysis we discussed that competition will be a major factor in this industry & to work ahead of it companies should use the differentiation from the generic strategies to segment the products & cater into different segments separately & the marketing professional should be aware of the segments & work accordingly to stay ahead of the situation to sustain in the market & thrive in it.