The $18 Billion Dollar Nanopants: No Refunds!

We always enjoy poking fun at some of the absurd parts of the nanoworld, from scraping the barrel for sexy nanotech products to the various indices claiming to track the “nano industry’. It turn out that there are a number of very good reasons why, despite a staggering eighteen billion dollars of public funding (that’s taxpayers money) being pumped into nanotech since 1997, all we have so far is stain resistant pants and bouncier tennis balls.

We Interviewed government funding agencies, companies and researchers around the world and revealed that many of them have only just begun working on nanotechnologies while government funding is rather harder to get at than usually imagined. The report reveals that:

• Global government spending on nanotechnologies totalled 4.8 billion US dollars 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 2007 onwards.

You can download the report here.

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