A new report from Lux Research – usually all sunny optimism in contrast to our more measured and cautious approach – does the old scaremongering trick of ranking countries according to a variety of metrics, but in this case common sense doesn’t seem to be one of them.
According to the PR “U.S., Japan, Germany, and South Korea remain leading countries, but China, India, and Russia begin to close the gap” which is akin to claiming that the US is the world’s largest economy but the Democratic Republic of the Congo is catching. Let’s not forget that 100% of India’s nanotech budget for last year was surrendered unspent which must mean that the US is moving backwards.
The Chinese situation is more complex, but our office there and my frequent discussions with policy makers indicate that while there is some good work going on, most of the scientific activity is derivative rather than ground breaking (see for instance this report illustrating that Chinese output per researcher is actually falling) and most of the Chinese companies producing nanomaterials tend to be at the low value bulk material end of the spectrum.
Still, its good to have a choice of opinions – hopefully one of them will be more or less right.