Nanotechnology Execs See Big Growth

Feb. 16, 2007
Companies are able to capitalize on nano-enhanced products.

Nanotechnology executives are very optimistic these days. Twenty five percent of the 407 nanotechnology business leaders who responded to a recent poll expect sales of $10 million or more next year.

"We believe their optimism comes from the success they've had so far with improvements to existing products and processes," said Edward March, executive in residence at UMass Lowell, noting that most of the companies were already marketing nano products to customers. The survey was conducted by UMass Lowell and Small Times Magazine.

About 60% said they have the infrastructure, capital and workforce they currently need for their companies to commercialize their nano-enhanced products, and high-volume manufacturing is the most critical R&D need.

There are some bumps along the road as companies said they were still struggling with financing and intellectual property issues. "Companies with a longer development time horizon to commercialize their breakthrough 'gee whiz' products are more likely to be concerned about financing since they might need expensive, sophisticated equipment in the future," said March. "Developing agreements concerning shared-use facilities and intellectual property rights among partners will also be an increasing challenge going forward."

Thirty-nine percent of respondents said if the U.S. were to strengthen its R&D capability in nanotechnology, high-volume manufacture of nanotech materials and products would be most important. The second-place answer, basic long-term research, garnered only 15%.

The full report can be found at in the Surveys page.

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