The U.S. continues to dominate globally in nanotech development. Last year the U.S. invested $6.4 billion in the nanotech industry, leading all other countries in terms of government funding, corporate spending, venture capital investment, and patent issuance. But it’s uncertain how long the U.S. can maintain its dominance in this industry.
Japan, Germany, and South Korea have been challenging the U.S. since 2008, with increasing publications, patents, government funding, and corporate spending. Compared to the U.S., all three also remain more focused on nanotech and appear more adept at commercializing new technology. The relative magnitude of the technology manufacturing sectors in these three countries are the world’s highest. Consequently, their economies stand to benefit the most from nanotech commercialization.
Whereas the capacity in the U.S. to commercialize nanotech technologies and leverage them to grow the economy is comparatively mediocre. U.S. competitiveness in long-term innovation is also at risk, as the relative number of science and engineering graduates in its population is significantly lower than it is in other countries.
Russian and Chinese governments have launched generous nanotech investment programs, but the technology hasn’t gained momentum in either country’s private sector, both of which have a history of skimping on R&D.