The first manifestation of microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS) was in 1934, when Charles Smith of Bell Laboratories published a paper in Physical Review that discussed his observations of the piezoresistive property of silicon. A number of MEMS devices have been commercialized, beginning with the pressure sensor in 1990. The National Science Foundation (NSF) continues to provide support to MEMS R&D in the form of Small Business Innovation Research grants for early phase design and development activities. Marketing of MEMS is quite challenging and expensive, since application sectors are diverse and fragmented, and require application engineers who are well informed about customers' needs and requirements. The progress on standards for MEMS has been less than exciting. It's fortunate that nanotechnology manufacturing has been an area of significant funding from organizations that include the NSF. MEMS developers were not so fortunate in the field's early days, and that lack of support contributed to the slow-down of the commercialization timetable.