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A Matter of Size: Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INVESTMENTS IN NANOTECHNOLOGY
Investment in nanotechnology, including both public and private funding, is a major factor used to benchmark the standing of countries’ support for nanotechnology R&D. According to Lux Research3,4 and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST),5 the United States is a global leader among governments funding nanotechnology (Figure 2-1). Nevertheless, it is difficult to compare U.S. public spending on nanotechnology R&D with funding with that of other governments because of differences in calculating and budgeting expenditures. For example, how various governments define nanotechnology, invest through combinations of public and private funding, calculate indirect costs, and report R&D cost factors, including researchers’ salaries, can differ from U.S. practice in connection with the NNI.
Despite its current strength, the U.S. position in nanotechnology investment is being challenged as nanotechnology funding in other countries increases to similar levels.6 Boosts in R&D budgets to $1 billion a year for nanotechnologies and materials in the European Union have been announced recently, and launches
FIGURE 2-1 World nanotechnology funding, 2005. (Left) Nanotechnology funding globally by source, 2005 (U.S. $ billion). (Right) Government nanotechnology funding by country, 2005 (U.S. $ million). SOURCE: Lux Research, Inc. 2006. The Nanotech Report. 4th Edition. New York: Lux Research, Inc.