09 November 2009

Nanotech to Grow from $147 Billion to $3.1 Trillion

Image via AreaDevelopment
The nanotechnology industry is due to grow from a $147 billion a year business to a $3.1 trillion a year business by the year 2015. The nano industry will insert itself into virtually all areas of economic activity from medicine to energy to construction to space travel.
Nanotechnology has allowed the transformation of aerospace, agriculture, biotech, national defense, energy, medicine, and transportation, and it is currently being used in everything from batteries and solar panels to eyeglasses, baseball bats, tennis rackets and cameras. By altering the states of the elements and materials, nanotechnology can help make products stronger, lighter, and more durable.

A recent report by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) highlighted more than 1,200 companies, universities, government laboratories, and other organizations involved in nanotech research, development, and commercialization. The number is up 50 percent from the 800 organizations identified just two years ago. The report also identified the top three sectors for companies working in nanotech as materials, tools, and medicine. “There is now not a single state without organizations involved in this cutting-edge field., “says David Rejeski, PEN director.

...“Nanotech tends to develop around metropolitan areas with world-class research facilities,” says Murdock. “A lot of it has to do with the changed structure of innovation and corporate investment in R&D and we anticipate rapid growth [in many of the clusters].” The map of nanotech activity created by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies shows development centered around major universities Massachusetts and California, have traditionally served as the centers of nanotech, but new technologies are developing in other states.

North Carolina: The Research Triangle near Raleigh, North Carolina, has been recognized as a burgeoning spot for nanotech and recently moved up into the top five locations, displacing Oakland, California. Not long after the National Nanotech Initiative started in 2005, the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology (NCBST), an organization that identifies and helps develop important technologies for the state, began tracking the development of nanotech and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of nanotech in North Carolina. It identified 69 companies working in nanotechnology that spanned industries from biotechnology to chemicals, coatings and materials. _areadevelopment
The largest threat to the nanotechnology industry will come from government, naturally. If government decides it wishes to help the nanotech industry, then nano is doomed. Otherwise, nanotech could be one bright spot in a very dim-looking tech future. It is the bad luck of the energy, biomedical, banking, and transportation industries, that Mr. Obama decided to lay his Magical Hands upon them so early in his presidency.


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Blogger neil craig said...

That is "only" a 70% growth rate per year slightly ahead of Moore's Law & thus attainable. Most people do not appreciate the amazing effect of compound growth.

You are right that only government can stop it, though possibly by opposing it rather than supporting it. After the Chinese explorations of the 1430s the government line changed & they ultimately banned ownership of 2 masted vessels. The rest is history - European history.

Tuesday, 10 November, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Yes. But if the US government opposes nano, everything (including large numbers of scientists) moves to China, and continues development.

Given the weapons potential of nanotechnology, China is not about to abandon the quest.

Russia is a sad nano story, a Potemkin village of nano research. Most of the billions devoted to the research has already been diverted to personal accounts overseas.

Tuesday, 10 November, 2009  

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