US public approves more government nanotechnology funding

A press release published at Yahoo Finance, "U.S. Leadership in Nanoscience Should Be A Government Priority, Say Survey Respondents," revealed that the US public is not very knowledgeable about nanoscience and nanotechnology, but that when the current applications and implications are explained, they strongly support US government research funding to maintain US leadership in the technology.

Press Release Source: GolinHarris

U.S. Leadership in Nanoscience Should Be A Government Priority, Say Survey Respondents
Tuesday September 14, 11:56 am ET

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly 90% of Americans believe that continued U.S. global leadership in technology is important to the nation's economy, and more than 76% believe that funding for research into the new fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology should be a priority of both federal and state governments. In an online survey of 400 respondents conducted by GolinHarris, 60% said the government should increase current funding levels for nanotechnology research.

"Americans clearly understand the importance of U.S. global leadership in technology," said Lane Bailey, worldwide director of public affairs and manager of the firm's Nanoscience Practice in Washington, DC. "While most Americans know little about nanoscience, when the applications of current research and the strong global competition are detailed, they feel strongly that the U.S. must increase federal research spending to ensure American leadership in nanotechnology."

Current U.S. spending on nanotechnology research is $900 million per year under the Bush Administration's 2003-2004 budget. In 2002, spending outside the U.S. was twice what the U.S. government spent on nanotechnology research during the same year. U.S. companies and the federal government are not keeping pace, and U.S. leadership in this new area of technology development is threatened.

"These results demonstrate that the American people understand that tomorrow's economic growth and national security depend on today's investments in scientific research," said Daryl Hatano, Vice President for Public Policy at the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). "It is particularly telling that likely voters placed an even higher priority on U.S. leadership in technology than respondents who indicated that they were not likely to vote."

Other results from the survey include:

  • 60% of Americans believe it is very important for state governments to also get involved in nanoscience research funding;
  • 80% of Americans cannot name a single company that is a leader in nanotechnology development; and
  • the older you are, the more you understand the importance of U.S. leadership. Younger Americans may take U.S. technology leadership for granted.

Nanoscience is the science of making things very small; and refers to a new array of machines and materials whose key parts are less than 10 nanometers, about 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

The survey results were released by GolinHarris at the annual Albany Symposium on Global Technology in Lake George, NY, on September 14. The survey was conducted by GolinHarris in conjunction with Sawchuk Brown Associates, an Albany, NY-based public affairs agency, and the SIA from September 8-9.

Founded in 1956, GolinHarris is a full-service public relations firm, providing professional counsel and strategic communications programs to clients through 27 offices around the world. GolinHarris clients include McDonald's Corporation, Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., the Lowe's Companies, Nintendo of America Inc., Texas Instruments, State Farm Insurance, Sprint Corp., Florida Department of Citrus, and the William Wrigley Jr. Co. GolinHarris is headquartered in Chicago. It is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG – News).

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