This chapter offers a review of the U.S. program in nanoscience and nanotechnology as it is positioned in the context of the rapidly evolving global efforts. At the start of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) 20 years ago, government investment into nanotechnology research and development (R&D) was on par between the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, while the United States had a strong lead in the number of nanotechnology patents over the rest of the world.1 However, during the intervening years, researchers have witnessed sustained investments by other developed nations and the European Union (EU), as well as an acceleration of work by developing nations, especially China. Today, the United States is but one of several nations where nanoscience discoveries and technology applications are making important contributions to the economy and to the health of their citizens. This chapter compares the current efforts of the United States to those of other nations and attempts to assess the NNI investment in the context of global commitments. In light of this assessment, the committee concludes that it is unrealistic to expect or to advocate that the United States should lead in every area of nanoscience and technology, and instead argues that it should identify the most critical research areas where the United States should lead the world. This chapter begins with an assessment of the recent changes in the global nanotechnology ecosystem. It goes on to evaluate the status of global facilities for nanotechnology development, approaches to nanotechnology transfer and commercialization, the
training of a skilled workforce able to adapt to the rapidly (sometimes disruptively) changing needs of industry, global efforts to ensure responsible development of nanotechnology, and concludes with a review of the U.S. nanotechnology signature initiatives through which much of the domestic NNI R&D is coordinated.
To assess the status of nanotechnology R&D programs and their scientiﬁc and economic impact across the world, the committee assessed several indicators of the resource inputs into regional programs and the return on these investments, including the level of investment in nanotechnology R&D, the number of related publications and patents, and the focal areas of the investments. For comparison with the United States, the following four regions have been studied in most depth: (1) China; (2) Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan; (3) Europe (the EU-28 group consisting of the combined efforts of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom [UK]); and (4) Canada.
One easily measured indicator of the scale and impact of regional nanotechnology programs is the number of nanotechnology papers published in archival journals, by region.2Figure 3.1 shows the number of nanotechnology publications per year for the different regions.3 Note that these data are plotted on a logarithmic scale that visually compresses differences between regions. The data show that since the beginning of the NNI (2000), the total of annual publications has risen from about 30,000 per year to about 200,000 per year in 2017, consistent with the growing importance of nanotechnology. The data also show that in 2000, the United States accounted for about one-third (approximately 10,000 per year) of the international papers published per year. While the number of papers from the United States has risen to about 40,000 per year by 2017, the fraction of U.S. publications has fallen to about one-ﬁfth of the global total. The data in Figure 3.1 show that the EU-28 countries have consistently published more papers per year than the United States,
2 See also National Research Council, 2013, Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., https://doi.org/10.17226/18271. For recommendations on other types of data that can be collected to measure the impact of nanotechnology, see, for example, Recommendation S-2.
3 These data have been extracted from the nanotechnology database recently published in Z. Wang, A.L. Porter, S. Kwon, J. Youtie, P. Shapira, S.F. Carley, and X. Liu, 2019, Updating a search strategy to track emerging nanotechnologies, Journal of Nanoparticle Research 21(9):199, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11051-019-4627-x. The committee thanks the authors for permitting a customized search of their database.
while Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have consistently published slightly fewer. The annual publication production of these three regions appears to be leveling out with time, suggesting either maturation of the ﬁeld or stagnation in investment levels for basic nanoscience studies. The most signiﬁcant trend shown by the data is the rapid growth in publications of the developing nations of China and India, and, to a lesser extent, Canada. China’s investments in nanotechnology have resulted in an extraordinary growth in annual publications from about 3,000 in 2000 to around 70,000 in 2017. The data in Figure 3.1 indicate that this growth in annual publications shows no evidence of abating and easily exceeds the growth rate of publications from the United States. It is these startling data that lead the committee to conclude that basic nanoscience has not yet fully matured, and alternative explanations must be sought for the decline in the U.S. share of the published nanoscience literature.
Nanotechnology in China
The remarkable rise in annual publications from China has coincided with its major commitment to the development of nanoscience and nanotechnology; a decision grounded in a belief, shared by the United States and indeed all the nations with large programs, that nanotechnology underpins future national economic expansion, prosperity, health, and security. China established the National Steering Committee for Nanoscience and Technology in 2000, just as the United States established the NNI. The Chinese effort and achievements have been dramatic, and that country is now leading per several metrics. The number of journal publications, for example, is often cited as a measure of research productivity, and Figure 3.1 shows that China not only took the lead in the number of publications during the last decade, but as of 2017, has published almost twice as many papers per year as the United States. Moreover, China is now the largest contributor to the top 1 percent of most-cited papers related to nanoscience and nanotechnology,4 signiﬁcantly outperforming the United States in this metric also. While there may be uncertainties in how papers are counted and assigned to categories, it is clear that China is leading both in the numbers of relevant publications and with the impact of these publications in the nanotechnology R&D community.
The number of patents in a given ﬁeld is an indication of research that can have commercial impact. Chinese nanoscience and technology programs emphasize the importance of patenting of technology. According to data available from the publicly accessible aggregator site StatNano,5 while the United States leads all countries
4 Editorial, 2017, The power of the tiniest shoot, Nature Nanotechnology 12:833, doi: 10.1038/ nnano.2017.197.
in total number of nanotechnology patents ﬁled in the U.S. and European Patent Ofﬁces, this is not the case on a global scale. Recent assessments of nanotechnology patenting recorded in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) database provide important insights in future nanotechnology commercialization, as shown in Figure 3.2.6 It is evident that by 2015, nanotechnology patents resulting from research in the United States accounted for about 15 percent of the global total, while those from China now account for around 52 percent of this total. It is also clear that the rate of growth of Chinese nanotechnology patents is increasing rapidly, while the U.S. fraction of the global total has changed little since 2008. China now claims 45 percent of the global patent applications in areas related to nanoscience and technology between 1997 and 2016.7 According to Zhu et al.8 and Applebaum et al.,9 China surpassed the United States in total number of nanotechnology patents sometime between 2009 and 2011. While the number of patents may not correlate perfectly with economic and national security impact, and the relative value of patents ﬁled in different countries is hard to assess, the trend in patent numbers paints a similar picture to that seen from the number of publications, conﬁrming China’s growing leadership in nanotechnology.
This shift in nanotechnology patenting from the United States to the developing world, and particularly the ascendancy of China, is correlated with the shift in global locations of high-technology (HT) manufacturing. The most recent (2018) National Science Board (NSB) report showed that the $1.6 trillion value of high-technology manufacturing is now distributed between China (31 percent) and the United States (24 percent) in 2016 (see Chapter 1, Figure 1.5).
The R&D output metrics are clearly related to the level of investment directed to nanotechnology. The Chinese National Guideline on Medium- and Long-Range Programs for Science and Technology Development for 2006-2020,10 issued by the Chinese central government, identiﬁed nanoscience as the largest of its four areas of basic research. Strong government funding has attracted many Chinese scientists to move
6 H. Zhu, S. Jiang, H. Chen, and M.C. Roco, 2017, International perspective on nanotechnology papers, patents, and NSF awards (2000-2016), Journal of Nanoparticle Research 19:370, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11051-017-4056-7.
7 “Small Science in Big China: An Overview of the State of Chinese Nanoscience and Technology,” Springer Nature, https://media.springernature.com/full/springer-cms/rest/v1/content/15302926/data/v3, accessed 04/16/2020.
8 H. Zhu, S. Jiang, H. Chen, and M.C. Roco, 2017, International perspective on nanotechnology papers, patents, and NSF awards (2000-2016), Journal of Nanoparticle Research 19:370, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11051-017-4056-7.
9 R. Appelbaum, M.A. Gebbie, X. Han, G. Stocking, and L. Kay, 2016, Will China’s quest for indigenous innovation succeed? Some lessons from nanotechnology, Technology in Society 46:149-163.
10 See State Council, People’s Republic of China, The National Medium- and Long-Term Program for Science and Technology Development (2006-2020), https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Cybersecurity/Documents/National_Strategies_Repository/China_2006.pdf, accessed 04/16/2020.
into nanoscience research and induced foreign-trained Chinese researchers to return to China. As of 2015, the Chinese Nanoscience Research program has invested about ¥1.0 billion to support nanotechnology projects (¥1 billion ~ $142 million USD). This investment amount (if accurate) is much smaller than the U.S. investment, which certainly reﬂects the different costs of performing R&D in the two countries, and may also reﬂect a more narrow set of priority topics in China.
The Chinese nanotechnology effort focuses on four areas:
- Materials and manufacturing is the most general area and is where many of the beneﬁts of nanotechnology have been found historically, a trend that is likely to continue.
- Information technology has been and will continue to be driven by nanotechnology.
- Energy and environment focuses on renewal energy and energy efﬁciency, with emphasis on catalysis, photovoltaics, and rechargeable batteries.
- Medicine and health represents a major thrust (see Box 3.1). Overall, the speciﬁc areas of catalysis, renewable energy, and medicine are highlighted as areas in which China expects to lead.
The ability to quickly identify, and then very effectively focus resources on areas that will create a global competitive advantage are deﬁning features of the Chinese nanotechnology coordination effort.
Nanotechnology in Europe
According to a 2019 Eurostat news release,11 the EU-28 countries spent almost €320 billion on R&D in 2017, 2.07 percent of its GDP (€1 billion ~ $1.1 billion), which is a little lower than the U.S. investment rate, which was at 2.79 percent of GDP in 2017.12 It has invested a substantial fraction of this through both its
11 See Eurostat, “First Estimates of Research & Development Expenditure: R&D expenditure in the EU Increased Slightly to 2.07% of GDP in 2017,” https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/9483597/9-10012019-AP-EN.pdf/856ce1d3-b8a8-4fa6-bf00-a8ded6dd1cc1, accessed 04/16/2020.
12 See OECD Data, “Gross Domestic Spending on R&D,” https://data.oecd.org/rd/gross-domesticspending-on-r-d.htm, accessed 04/16/2020.
Seventh Framework Programme (known as FP7)13 and the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (known as H2020).14 Nanotechnology is seen as a horizontal and enabling technology and, as such, is funded under each of the three pillars of the H2020 program, but particularly under the pillar “Excellent Science and Industrial Leadership.” According to the NanoData Landscape Compilation 2017 published by the European Commission (EC) in 2018,15 nanotechnology projects accounted for 8.8 percent of all H2020 projects as of July 2017, representing 8.4 percent (€1.95 billion) of the EC contribution to the H2020 funding to that date. This is reduced slightly from FP7, for which 10.4 percent (€4.66 billion) of the funding had the term “nano” in a project title or abstract. That said, it is noted that H2020 is only one source for nanotechnology R&D funding in Europe. The total EU-28 investment into nanotechnology R&D may be much larger.
While the number of annual nanotechnology publications originating from the EU-28 and the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) states is still increasing year by year,16 the share of the EU-28 contribution to the worldwide nanotechnology publications has decreased from 40 percent in 2000 to 26 percent in 2017. This trend is similar to the United States and largely owing to the exponential increase of publications from China. Among the EU-28 and EFTA countries, Germany, the UK, France, Spain, and Italy—in that order—had the greatest number of publications. The NanoData Landscape Compilation Update Report 201717 breaks the nanotechnology ﬁeld down by eight impacted application areas: (1) Information and Communications Technology (ICT); (2) Manufacturing; (3) Health; (4) Energy; (5) Photonics; (6) Environment; (7) Transport; and (8) Construction. Reviewing the percentages of publications in these eight subﬁelds compared with the total number of nanotechnology publications in each ﬁeld, from the data reproduced in Table 3.1, provides an indication of the regional strength for each application domain. These data suggest that Asia is leading in ICT, Manufacturing, and Energy, while for the EU-28 and EFTA and North America, Health, Transport, and Construction have the highest representation. (It should be noted, however, that these
15 European Commission, 2018, NanoData Landscape Compilation Update Report 2017, doi: 10.2777/031727, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/69470216-f1f6-11e8-998201aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-81483247.
16 H. Zhu, S. Jiang, H. Chen, and M.C. Roco, 2017, International perspective on nanotechnology papers, patents, and NSF awards (2000-2016), Journal of Nanoparticle Research 19:370, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11051-017-4056-7.
17 European Commission, 2018, NanoData Landscape Compilation Update Report 2017, doi: 10.2777/031727, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/69470216-f1f6-11e8-998201aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-81483247.
TABLE 3.1 Cumulative Publications Using “nano*” Search Term from 2000-2016, Divided by Application Field and Region
|Asia||EU-28 and EFTA||North America|
SOURCE: Data from European Commission, 2018, NanoData Landscape Compilation Update Report 2017, doi: 10.2777/031727, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/69470216-f1f6-11e8-9982-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-81483247, accessed 04/16/2020.
are cumulative publications data covering 2000-2016 and may not represent more recent trends.)
Another way to look at particular regional focus areas is via particular initiatives. Among the EU-28, there are currently three funded “European Flagship” projects (each funded at €1 billion18 over 10 years): the Human Brain Project, the Graphene Flagship (both funded originally under FP7), and the recent Quantum Technology Flagship. Two of these are intensively nanotechnology-centric.
To assess patents granted and patent applications, the EC’s NanoData Landscape Report19 reviewed data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Ofﬁce (USPTO), European Patent Ofﬁce (EPO), and WIPO for the period 1993-2013; the review yielded more than 50,000 nanotechnology patent families (granted patents and patent applications). Among the nanotechnology areas provided in Table 3.1, ICT had the highest number, followed by Health, Manufacturing, Construction, Energy, Photonics, Environment, and Transport. The EU-28 and EFTA contribution in each of these areas ranges from 14 to 23 percent, with the highest relative contributions to the areas of Photonics, Construction, and Energy, again hinting at regional pri-
18 €1 billion ~ $1.1 billion USD.
19 European Commission, 2018, NanoData Landscape Compilation Update Report 2017, doi: 10.2777/031727, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/69470216-f1f6-11e8-998201aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-81483247.
orities. The committee ﬁnds the emphasis on ICT to be of particular signiﬁcance in considering the U.S. ability to ensure its national security in the digital age.
Nanotechnology in Japan
Japan has made signiﬁcant investments in nanotechnology R&D since the year 2000. Its scholarly and commercial contributions have captured the world’s attention, and many of the ubiquitous Japanese high-tech products are nanotechnology enabled. Japan started a large-scale national nanotechnology investment in 2001, shortly after the start of the NNI. Japanese policy in nanotechnology R&D has been included from the second to the ﬁfth Science and Technology Basic Plans issued by the Japan Science and Technology Agency. According to Japan’s Center for R&D Strategy (CRDS),20 Japan was the second leading country in nanotechnology funding, with ¥164 billion (~$1.5 billion USD) allocated to nanotechnology in 2014. According to the same CRDS report, in 2014, China was ﬁrst, with the largest number of publications, followed by the EU and United States, with Japan and South Korea almost tied in fourth place. This trend is consistent with the recent report by Zhu et al.21 While Japanese output in nanotechnology publications has been relatively steady over the years, South Korea has increased signiﬁcantly since the year 2000. By 2016, it had surpassed Japan with a total global share of publications of 5.8 percent versus 4.8 percent for Japan.
In terms of nanotechnology patents in the USPTO, Japan has seen a decrease in its share of patents from 10.51 percent in 2010 to 6.54 percent in 2016, occupying fourth place after South Korea (7.43 percent). The United States maintains a substantial lead, but it has also seen its share decrease signiﬁcantly from 61.88 percent in 2010 to 42.54 percent in 2016. When considering WIPO patent awards, Japan has seen its share decrease even further, mostly owing to the exponential growth of China’s contributions. In 2015, Japan’s position in WIPO awards was ﬁfth place, with a 3.25 percent share. The leading four patent producers were China (61.78 percent), United States (15.70 percent), South Korea (6.34 percent), and the EU (4.91 percent). In the past two decades, China revised its patent law to better align and comply with international standards. China’s increasing ability to innovate has led to a transition from acquiring knowledge and technology from abroad to developing and protecting its own. The will to develop an innovation capacity at
20 CRDS, JST, “Nanotechnology and Materials R&D in Japan (2018): An Overview and Analysis/ CRDS-FY2017-XR-02,” https://www.jst.go.jp/crds/en/publications/CRDS-FY2017-XR-02.html, accessed 04/16/2020.
21 H. Zhu, S. Jiang, H. Chen, and M.C. Roco, 2017, International perspective on nanotechnology papers, patents, and NSF awards (2000-2016), Journal of Nanoparticle Research 19:370, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11051-017-4056-7.
home has led to leadership in patent quantity but not uniform quality. Given the size of its domestic market, China has not always sought U.S. patent protection. This is an evolving patent landscape.
With the recognition that experimental nanotechnology R&D efforts are ever more complex and sophisticated, it is more common than ever for nanotechnology research to be conducted in specialized shared facilities whose costs can be spread and knowledge shared. Accordingly, Japan launched in 2010 the Tsukuba Innovation Arena for Nanotechnology22 (TIA-nano) as the Innovative Network for Nanotechnology Applications, with research areas in nanoelectronics, power electronics, N-MEMS, nano-GREEN, carbon nanotubes, nanomaterial safety, and light and quantum measurements. TIA operates in ways that are similar to other prominent international research, development, and innovation hubs, such as the Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC)23 in Belgium, the Micro and Nanotechnology Innovation Campus (MINATEC)24 in France, or Albany Nanotech Campus25 in New York State. Additionally, since 2012, Japan launched the Nanotechnology Platform Japan,26 comprising a network of 38 facilities, contributed by 26 member institutes and universities that are joined to establish one single structure for a “Shared-Use Cutting-Edge Facility for Nanotechnology.”
The CRDS report27 enumerates 37 major R&D ﬁelds in Nanotechnology and Materials grouped in seven categories: Environment/Energy, Life Sciences/Health Care, ICT/Electronics, Social Infrastructure, Design and Control of Functions/ Materials, Science and Technology Fundamentals, and Common Supporting Policies. The CRDS also enumerated 10 key current commercial opportunities for nanotechnology: Separation Technologies, Biomaterials and Devices for Controlling Interactions Between Living and Artiﬁcial Materials, Development of Super-Composite Materials Through Nanodynamic Control, Innovation in IoT/AI Chips, Nano-IT-Bio-Mechanical Integrated Manufacturing, Integrated Design and Control Technology for Quantum Systems, Operando Measurements, Data-Driven Materials Design (Materials Informatics), Strategic Measures on ELSI/EHS for Nanotechnology, and Forming R&D Centers and Platforms to Absorb the World’s
22 See TIA, https://www.tia-nano.jp/page/dir000002.html, accessed 04/16/2019. See additional information at RIETI, https://www.rieti.go.jp/en/publications/summary/15100012.html, accessed 04/16/2020.
25 See SUNY Polytechnic Institute, “Albany NanoTech Complex,” https://sunypoly.edu/research/albany-nanotech-complex.html, accessed 04/16/2020.
27 CRDS, JST, “Nanotechnology and Materials R&D in Japan (2018): An Overview and Analysis/ CRDS-FY2017-XR-02,” https://www.jst.go.jp/crds/en/publications/CRDS-FY2017-XR-02.html, accessed 04/16/2020.
Knowledge.28 It is this set of objectives that is driving the strategic investments within Japan.
Nanotechnology in Canada
While Canada has substantial efforts in nanotechnology, its inﬂuence in the global community is less than that of the countries assessed above (China, the EU, Japan, South Korea) as a natural consequence of scale, but it is still of high relevance because of its special relationship with the United States. Canada supports the advancement of nanotechnology through federal and provincial Science and Technology funding programs, with a particular emphasis on regional clusters and national ecosystems. Since 2001, the federal government has invested in two nanotechnology R&D infrastructure centers (the National Institute for Nanotechnology29 in Edmonton and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology30), funded 125 Canada Research Chairs in Nanotechnology,31 and invested in state-of-the-art nanofabrication and characterization facilities across the country through its Canada Foundation for Innovation.32 In 2019, the federal government funded a NanoMedicines Innovation Network33 through its Networks of Centers of Excellence (NCE) program.34 Annual federal investment in nanotechnology is of the order of CAD$230 million, equivalent to ~$174 million USD, as compared with ~$1.4 billion annual investment in the United States. The 2012 nanotechnology ecosystem map produced by Global Advantage Consulting Group Statistics Canada identiﬁed the creation of 70,000 jobs and annual revenues of CAD$25 billion, equivalent to ~$19 billion USD for nano-enabled Canadian companies.35 Canada has a particular strength in the area of advanced materials, supported through
28 CRDS, JST, “Nanotechnology and Materials R&D in Japan (2018): An Overview and Analysis/ CRDS-FY2017-XR-02,” https://www.jst.go.jp/crds/en/publications/CRDS-FY2017-XR-02.html, accessed 04/16/2020.
29 See MCW, “National Institute of Nanotechnology (NINT),” http://www.mcw.com/Projects/Details?f=p&title=National-Institute-of-Nanotechnology-NINT, accessed 04/16/2020.
31 See Canada Research Chairs, https://www.chairs-chaires.gc.ca/about_us-a_notre_sujet/indexeng.aspx, accessed 04/16/2020.
32 See CMC Microsystems, “FAB: Discover Facilities and Capabilities,” https://www.cmc.ca/discover-facilities-and-capabilites/, accessed 04/16/2020.
34 See CFN, “Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program,” https://www.cfn-nce.ca/aboutus/our-network-community/networks-of-centres-of-excellence/, accessed 04/16/2020.
35 See Global Advantage, “Canada’s Nanotechnology Ecosystem (2017),” https://globaladvantageconsulting.com/portfolio/canadas-nanotechnology-innovation-ecosystem-2017/, accessed 04/16/2020.
research in universities, prototyping facilities, and pilot plants in government research centers and companies. Canada’s established global leadership in cellulose nanocrystals36 is an example of directed investments to establish a Canadian manufacturing basis for a promising materials system. As a result of both federal and provincial investments, two pilot/production plants37 were established by FPInnovations, Canada’s national forest research institute, almost a decade ago to support Canada’s global competitiveness in this ﬁeld. To similarly leverage Canada’s strength in semiconductor materials for electronics and photonic applications, federal and provincial governments have invested in two foundries providing prototyping and low-volume manufacturing facilities for companies in Canada and from abroad. Building on an early investment in low-dimensional electron systems and nanostructures in semiconductors, Canada now has a world-renowned effort in quantum information science and technology with investments in quantum materials, quantum computing, and quantum circuits and devices. This deep-rooted expertise has led to a number of commercial enterprises, including D-Wave Systems (ﬁrst quantum computer based on superconducting circuits) and 1Qbit (quantum software and algorithms). While it may not represent the whole of nanotechnology in Canada, the research program areas at the National Institute for Nanotechnology in 2016 were focused on hybrid nanoelectronics, energy generation and storage, metabolomics sensor systems, and nano-enabled materials.38 Similarly, the research activities at the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology focus on smart and functional materials, connected devices, next-generation energy systems, and therapeutics and theranostics.39
Nanotechnology in South Korea
South Korea has sustained a nanotechnology R&D policy since 2001. In 2017, its investment was KRW 643 billion (~$0.5 billion USD). South Korea has quickly grown its inﬂuence and share of inﬂuence in nanotechnology. In terms of direct government investment and tax incentives for research in industry, Korea led the
36 See information on Canada’s nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) technology, at Natural Resources Canada, https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/our-natural-resources/forests-forestry/forest-industry-trade/forestproducts-applications/cellulose-nanocrystals/13349, accessed 04/16/2020.
37 The Canadian nanocellulose plants are in Montreal (https://newsroom.domtar.com/cellulosenanocrystals/) and Windsor, Quebec (https://www.celluforce.com/en/products/), both accessed 04/16/2020.
38 See evaluation report on Canada’s National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) in Edmonton for the period 2008-2009 to 2013-2014, at Government of Canada, https://nrc.canada.ca/en/evaluation-national-institute-nanotechnology, accessed 04/16/2020.
39 See Waterloo Institute of Technology annual report, 2018-2019, at University of Waterloo, Institute for Nanotechnology, https://uwaterloo.ca/institute-nanotechnology/about, accessed 04/16/2020.
Asia Paciﬁc countries with 0.35 percent of its GDP in 2015 according to the OECD Science, Technology, and Industry Scoreboard 2017. In terms of publications per year, South Korea occupies fourth place, just above Japan. In both USPTO and WIPO patents per year, South Korea sits in third place. In response to China’s investment in R&D, the South Korean government announced a massive investment in nanotechnology in 2018. In parallel to the development of a national nanotechnology roadmap (2020-2030), the government is earmarking more than a trillion won40 to increase industrial competitiveness and basic R&D in key sectors such as automotive, energy, health, and ICT. Founded in 2001, the NanoTechnology Research Association (NTRA) was tasked with promoting the commercialization of nanotechnology and supporting the creation of nanotech companies. It created the NanoKorea conference and exhibition as a means to connect businesses engaged in the commercialization of nanoconvergence technologies and to cultivate foreign markets and international collaboration (see Box 3.2). The NTRA also gathers statistics on nanoconvergence industries, informs policy planning, and addresses bottlenecks in its ecosystem through a Technology to Business platform (T+2B).
The assessments above indicate that while the United States remains a competitor in nanotechnology, the committee concludes that it is no longer the unambiguous leader of R&D in this ﬁeld. Programs, initiated by other developed and emerging economies, at around the same time the NNI was formed, have implemented a variety of mechanisms that seem to have been highly effective in raising the scale and productivity of their programs. The most effective of these mechanisms include:
- Focused support of the most innovative basic science research and technology development with a prolonged period of stable funding that has encouraged a migration of each nation’s most able technical talent to nanotechnology.
- Agile, and highly effective, coordination among the various national or regionally supported funding agencies with the goal of maximizing the impacts of fundamental research to advance applications and solutions to societal problems in recognized areas of strategic importance.
- Successful, integrated R&D efforts addressing societal challenges that are highly interdisciplinary, involving nanotechnology-enabled materials, structures, devices, and systems. (The novel, and in many cases highly
40 One trillion won is equal to $850 million USD as of January 2020.
- The establishment of mechanisms to promote government-industry partnerships, to create and nurture national nanotechnology ecosystems, and to speed the commercialization of the promising R&D results.
- The creation and maintenance of shared state-of-the-art nanotechnology infrastructure that supports fundamental and applied science, commercialization of nanotechnology products, and development of nanotechnology-enabled systems and applications.
- National educational and training policies to promote the rapid growth of a highly trained and nanotechnology-skilled workforce that meets the ever-changing but constantly expanding needs of high-technology industry.
effective, coordination of research in disparate ﬁelds has contributed signiﬁcantly to the rapid rise of new centers of leadership outside the United States.)