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Posted: January 26, 2007

Nanotechnology market size often exaggerated

(Nanowerk News) Frequently one can read an article about nanotechnology in which the estimated market size for nanotechnology products is stated matter-of-factly as to be in the trillions of dollars by as soon as 2010.
The "nanotechnology market" as a unified market was first quantified by the National Science Foundation in its massive 280-pages report from March 2001 – "Societal Implications of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology" (pdf download 3.1 MB) – with the much publicized estimate of worldwide market size of $1 trillion annually by 2010-15 (pages 3-4 of the report).
This number often gets quoted indiscriminately, without defining what this "nanotechnology market" is or what exactly this $1 trillion number means.
A thorough reading of the NSF's and others' nanotechnology market reports makes clear these estimates refer to impacts – the impact nanotechnology will have across the entire value chain of a product that contains some form of nanotechnology. These "impacts" go far beyond just pure nanomaterials.
A Nanowerk Spotlight "Investing in nanotechnology stocks - golden opportunity or bad idea?" takes a critical look at market size forecasts, clarifies the definition of a nanotechnology company, and takes a review of the performance of nanotechnology stock indexes.
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