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Biotechnology
clouds-forming
Endless growth potential

A new era has dawned. In the scientific and technological competition between nations, nanotechnology is at the fore, with China and the USA the major players in the race.

While the USA launched the multi-billion dollar National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) back in 2001, China is now engaged in a frantic race to catch up. After all, carving out a share in a global market destined to be worth 3,000 billion USD is at stake here.

According to the latest OECD report, in 2006 China invested more on research & development than Japan, taking second place behind the USA.

Economic experts expect China to supplant the USA and take first place by 2008 at the latest, and Chinese government plans to boost research funding give further credence to this forecast.

Meanwhile, many European countries have launched their own nanotechnology initiatives, with ever-growing investments focusing on the environmental and materials sectors.

Small particles with a big future

Nanotechnology is the research field forecast to display the greatest growth potential over the coming years and decades. Even today the writing is on the wall: experts estimate the worldwide market in nanotechnological products and services at over 100 billion USD.

Another forecast by the British firm Evolution Capital Resources puts the figure for 2010 at over 1,000 billion USD.

At the upper end of forecasts is the one by experts at the US consultancy firm Lux Research, who put the 2014 market potential for nanotechnology at 2,600 billion USD. This runaway growth over less than ten years would mean a turnover for nanotechnological products and services ten times greater than the estimated turnover for biotechnology. Furthermore, if this forecast proves correct, in less than ten years nanotechnology would be generating turnover greater than that of the telecommunications and IT industries put together.