Russia's nanotechnology "Manhattan Project" gets slow start

From The Economist, a look at Russia’s technology, including nanotech:

After years of high oil prices, money is again no object: in 2007 Russia put 130 billion roubles ($5.5 billion) into a state corporation for nanotechnologies that is being likened to the Manhattan Project…

But the big problem for high technology in Russia is neither money nor ideas. It is the country’s all-pervasive bureaucracy, weak legal system and culture of corruption. This may explain why the nanotechnology corporation has so far found only one project to invest in (and that is registered in the Netherlands).

On a visit to Russia in 2006 I was told to expect about half of Russia’s nanotech funding to be sidetracked due to corruption. Maybe they are going slowly on purpose, to try to reduce that. —Christine

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