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The Impacts of Nanotechnology on Companies

Policy Insights from Case Studies

image of The Impacts of Nanotechnology on Companies

Nanotechnology has its origin in the converging abilities of physics, chemistry and materials science.  Its purpose is the manipulation of atoms and molecules in order to create new properties of materials and systems for a wide variety of applications in a very broad range of sectors. Nanotechnology is forecast to create large markets and many new jobs and may be the springboard for industrial renewal and long-term growth. Governments around the world have targeted this emerging technology in their R&D investments and are strategising about the best ways to promote the responsible development and use of nanotechnology given the absence of any in-depth analysis of its commercialisation.

What are the potential economic impacts of nanotechnology, how are companies using nanotechnology for innovation, and what are the key challenges in its commercialisation? These are some of the issues that this book addresses, based on a large number of company case studies in several countries.

English

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Insights from previous studies on nanotechnology developments and commercialisation

This chapter reviews a selection of previous studies on nanotechnology developments and commercialisation as a backdrop for the company case studies. Publication and patent data highlight the interdisciplinary, science-based and market-driven, nature of nanotechnology. However, case studies and surveys also point to challenges that companies face, ranging from bottlenecks in funding, human resources and process scalability of R&D. Some of these challenges may be more severe for smaller companies that seek to enter established value chains, while larger companies can benefit from critical mass and complementary assets in R&D and related instrumentation. IPR issues and public perception of nanotechnology can also complicate the business environment.

English

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