You can still find lots of people and reports refering to a "trillion-dollar nanotechnology market by 2015" (good example here: "Wales invests in $1 trillion 'Doctor Who' technology") – it seems to be the standard justification for requesting funding for any kind of nanotechnology-related venture or project. Of course, those trillionizer hypemeisters were using the neat trick to calculate the entire value of "nanotechnology-impacted" products and not just the value of the nanotechnology-based materials included in these products (see here how that calculatory magic works).
It therefore is quite refreshing to finally see a market report titled "Nanotechnology: A Realistic Market Assessment" that estimates the worldwide sales revenues for nanotechnology to be $26 billion – yes, that's illion with a b, not a tr – in 2015.
According to this report, the largest nanotechnology segments in 2009 were nanomaterials, with sales reaching $9 billion in 2009. This is expected to grow to more than $19 billion in 2015. Sales of nanotools, meanwhile, will experience high growth. From a total market revenue of $2.6 billion in 2009, the nanotools segment will increase at a 3.3% CAGR to reach a value of $6,812.5 million in 2015.
Sales of nanodevices, on the other hand, will experience moderate growth. This market segment was worth $31 million in 2009 and will increase at a 45.9 percent CAGR to reach a value of $233.7 million in 2015.
$26 billion in 2015 is in a different uniuverse than the previous record forecast of $2.95 trillion. It won't make for eye-catching quotes in business plans, grant applications and political speeches, but it feels a lot more honest.