3.1 Public Funding of Nanotechnology: Executive Summary
This report provides a summary of public funding of nanotechnology in the European Union and other world regions. Countries considered include the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Austria, The Netherlands, Germany, and Russia, the United Sates and Japan.
Some of the key findings from this analysis include:
Globally, public funding is yet to peak. Significant new funding is coming from countries which had yet to elaborate a nanotechnology strategy; Russia being the clearest example. Countries which have had longer funding commitments are continuing to increase their investment, albeit at slower rates of growth.
Individual national programmes are coming to an end. Some of the longer running European nanotechnology programmes are coming to an end; NanoNed in 2009, and Finland's FinNano in 2010. Developing models to sustain these, in the case that public funding input decreases in those countries, is a key challenge.
Developing industrial investment and commercialisation remains the primary challenge. The concern of almost every policymaker is how to develop the commercialisation of nanotechnology research, and specifically how to ensure that public funding acts to leverage increased industrial investment in nanotechnology.
Countries are approaching this in different ways, from creating organisations which make direct equity investments in companies, to making funding more focused on the development of whole value chains.
Funding agencies are also keen to mention that they are paying attention to HSE and ethical concerns. An argument has been made that whilst HSE concerns are mentioned, research in this area accounts for a low share of total funding. This situation may also be changing; EHS research in the US National Nanotechnology Initiative accounted for 2.9% of the total 2005 budget, rising to 5% in 2009, for example.
Visits: 3672, Published on: April, 28th 2009, 10:15 AM, Last edit: June, 26th 2009, 10:34 AM Size: 2 KByte