Nanotech is not small

OECD Observer

Click to enlarge.

Nanotechnology R&D continues to grow in priority on national science agendas in OECD countries, both in terms of public and private funding. The United States, Europe and Japan each spend between US$500 million and $1 billion a year on nanotechnology R&D.

In 2003, the United States passed the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, authorising $3.7 billion in federal subsidies for three years beginning in 2005, for projects supported by the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), a federal R&D programme established in 2001. Government funding for the NNI itself is projected to increase to $886 million for 2005, to constitute roughly 3% of overall US government R&D expenditure.

Japanese and western European programmes combine government support with academic and private-sector R&D activities. In 2003, Japan spent about $800 million, while western European government spending (the European Union plus Switzerland) on nanotechnology R&D totalled about $650 million. And the European Commission recently launched a €24 million project called NanoCMOS to further semiconductor studies.

Similar advances have been made in Korea, with a $2 billion Nanotechnology Development Programme launched in 2003, and in Canada, with the establishment of the National Institute for Nanotechnology. Significant nanotechnology programmes also exist in Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, China, Chinese Taipei and Singapore.

The US National Science Foundation projects that worldwide annual industrial production in the nanotechnology sectors will reach over $1 trillion by 2015.

©OECD Observer No 243, May 2004

Economic data


Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly

Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • Globalisation’s many benefits have been unequally shared, and public policy has struggled to keep up with a rapidly-shifting world. The OECD is working alongside governments and international organisations to help improve and harness the gains while tackling the root causes of inequality, and ensuring a level playing field globally. Please watch.
  • Read some of the insightful remarks made at OECD Forum 2017, held on 6-7 June. OECD Forum kick-started events with a focus on inclusive growth, digitalisation, and trust, under the overall theme of Bridging Divides.
  • Checking out the job situation with the OECD scoreboard of labour market performances: do you want to know how your country compares with neighbours and competitors on income levels or employment?
  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa.
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017