, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 581-586

Introduction to the symposium issue: nanotechnology innovation and policy—current strategies and future trajectories

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Nanotechnology involves the understanding, controlling and engineering of matter at the atomic and molecular scale of 1 to 100 nm in at least one dimension. Using structures designed at this extremely small scale, there are opportunities to build materials, devices and systems with properties that can not only enhance existing technologies but also offer novel features with potentially far-reaching technical, economic, and societal implications (Roco et al. 2011). Encompassing multiple disciplines—including physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, and engineering, nanotechnology is a platform technology with widespread applications in construction, consumer products, defense, electronics, energy, medicine, process industries, and many other sectors. The transformative and general purpose prospects associated with nanotechnology have stimulated more than 60 countries to invest in national nanotechnology research and development programs. Although early R&D on nanotechnology stret