Nanotechnology shows little return for US$18bn public funding
30 January 2006
London, UK. Nanotechnology has had very limited commercial impact despite
US$18 billion of public funding since 1997, according to a recently released
report by Cientifica, an independent supplier of nanotechnology research and
The report "Where Has My Money Gone" was compiled from interviews with
government funding agencies and researchers around the world. It reveals
that many of them have only just begun working on nanotechnologies while
government funding is harder to get at than imagined. The report reveals
- Global government spending on nanotechnologies totalled US$4.8
billion in 2005.
- Japan spends three times as much as a proportion of its gross
domestic product as the United States.
- Government nanotechnology funding takes an average of two to three
years before it even reaches the lab.
- Governments have deep pockets but short arms when it comes to
handing out research funds.
- Much government spending is concentrated on research areas with
little immediate commercial impact.
- The true impact of nanotechnology will only start to be felt from
Commenting on the findings, Cientifica CEO Tim Harper said "Only by
talking to the people at the coal face of nanotechnology, the research labs,
can you get a real idea of what nanotechnology is all about. These people
speak a very different language from that of Wall Street, and the story that
emerges is very different from the hype and over expectation that we have
come to associate with nanotechnology."
The report is available from