Global nanotech review by U.S. Office of Naval Research

Ronald Kostoff of the Office of Naval Research brings our attention to some new ONR publications, listed on this page: “Two recent reports (1, 2) contain a text mining survey and analysis of the global nanotechnology literature, and should be of use to nanotechnology research performers, managers, planners, sponsors, evaluators, vendors, and implementers/ users…

“Some highlights of these documents include:
* The Far Eastern countries have expanded nanotechnology publication output dramatically in the past decade.
* The Peoples Republic of China ranks second to the USA (2004 results) in nanotechnology papers published in the Science Citation Index (SCI), and has increased its nanotechnology publication output by a factor of 21 in a decade.
* Of the six most prolific (publications) nanotechnology countries, the three from the Western group (USA, Germany, France) have about eight percent more nanotechnology publications (for 2004) than the three from the Far Eastern group (China, Japan, South Korea). 
* While most of the high nanotechnology publication-producing countries are also high nanotechnology patent producers in the US Patent Office (as of 2003), China is a major exception.  China ranks 20th as a nanotechnology patent-producing country in the US Patent Office. 
* China has minor representation in the most highly cited nanotechnology documents”

China’s relative lack of patents *may* just show that they aren’t spending their time on paperwork and their funds on attorney fees. Their minor representation in the most highly cited documents could possibly be due to Western disinterest. Or perhaps these are real indicators that China is farther behind than many are claiming. Even in that case, however, it would be unwise to assume this will continue.—Christine

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