Prof. Morinobu Endo of Shinshu University in Japan, widely regarded as a Nobel candidate for his work with carbon nanotubes, speaks out bluntly in an article in RedNova News: ” ‘Nanotechnology is certain to play a crucial role in creating technological innovations in the 21st century,’ says Endo, who is believed to be a Nobel Prize candidate for his discovery of nanotubes and a method to mass produce them. Endo says success in nanotechnology is a ‘matter of life and death’ for developed nations, because developing nations are rapidly catching up in the mature technologies that led the 20th century, such as antibiotics and semiconductors. ‘Without technological innovations, industries in developed nations will be caught in a price competition with developing nations and will consequently suffer a further hollowing-out,’ he says.
He also believes nanotech could do much to assist smaller firms: “In Japan, Endo believes that nanotechnology will be a key force in boosting the competitive edge of small and midsize companies, the sector most severely affected by cheap imports from emerging economies. ‘Nanotechnologies can be incorporated easily into manufacturing at not only large firms but also at small- and medium-sized local companies,’ he says. ‘They differ from 20th century-style technologies, which tend to be dominated by large firms because of the large-scale funds and research needed for industrial use.’ “