International strategy for Nanotechnology Research
- Cite this article as:
- Roco, M. Journal of Nanoparticle Research (2001) 3: 353. doi:10.1023/A:1013248621015
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The worldwide nanotechnology research and development (R&D) investment reported by government organizations has increased by a factor of 3.5 between 1997 and 2001, and the highest rate of 90% is in 2001. At least 30 countries have initiated or are beginning national activities in this field. Scientists have opened a broad net of discoveries that does not leave any major research area untouched in physical, biological, and engineering sciences. Industry has gained confidence that nanotechnology will bring competitive advantages. The worldwide annual industrial production is estimated to exceed $1 trillion in 10–15 years from now, which would require about 2 million nanotechnology workers. U.S. has initiated a multidisciplinary strategy for development of science and engineering fundamentals through the National Nanotechnology Initiative. Japan and Europe have broad programs, and their current plans look ahead to four to five years. Other countries have encouraged their own areas of strength, several of them focusing on fields of the potential markets. Differences among countries are observed in the research domain they are aiming for, the level of program integration into various industrial sectors, and in the time scale of their R & D targets. Nanotechnology is growing in an environment where international interactions accelerate in science, education and industrial R & D. A global strategy of mutual interest is envisioned by connecting individual programs of contributing countries, professional communities, and international organizations.