Don't judge a nanotech white paper by its cover

A brief nanotech white paper from Cientifica (registration req’d — press oblong “download” button on left to get reg screen) explains the reason why government research spending on nanotech takes a while to reach commercial use. From the conclusion:

“Given the two to three year lag between funding being granted and a laboratory starting work, plus an average of seven years to get from R&D to a product, it is no surprise that nanotech has yet to deliver on its revolutionary promise. Even the earliest nanotechnology work, which in the pre nanotech days was funded from existing scientific budgets, will only now be yielding results. As a result, venture capitalists and technology transfer officers dealing with nanotechnologies will find themselves increasingly busy over the coming years.”

So the conclusion seems to be advising patience. However, the title (“Where Has My Money Gone? Government Nanotechnology Funding and the $18 billion pair of pants”) and early content give the impression that governments’ nanotech research money has been wasted. This is unfortunate and unhelpful to the field, since many more people will see the title than will read the report. —Christine

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