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Winners ideate
What nanotechnology can do!
01/04/2010

Finally, nanotechnology is all set to revolutionise the age of modern technology. For the uninitiated, nanotechnology is old age manufacturing with new age atoms. The Centre for Responsible Nanotechnology observes that this technology will help in making new nanofactories that will produce any product rapidly, cheaply, and cleanly. Technically, it is a revolutionary, transformative, powerful technology. But more importantly, it can be potentially either very dangerous or extremely beneficial.

Going by statistics, investment in nanotechnology has increased exponentially in the recent years. According to a nanotechnology development blog, investment in nanotechnology research was over $8.6 billion globally in 2004, which increased to $12.4 billion in 2006; the area accounted for $50 billion of global sales in 2006. Countries investing heavily in nanotechnology are the US, Germany, Japan and South Korea. But China is rapidly emerging too. Nanotechnology is of particular interest to China to maintain itself as the manufacturing hub of the world. While the US is the leading investor in nanotechnology with 28% global share, others include Japan with 24%, Western European countries with 25%, and the remaining being accounted by other regions, including Asia, Canada and Australia. In 2010, the National Nanotechnology Initiative of the US government gave a nanotechnology funding request in 13 federal departments and agencies for $1.64 billion. In 2001, this figure was $494 million. The UK government, during the middle of this decade, prepared a report berating their slow response in nanotechnology.

What cannot be denied is that although the field has huge promise, it also poses the danger of misuse (for example, to create untraceable weapons of mass destruction). The emergence of this technology field is inevitable. Imperative is the need for global regulations controlling research and funding, and intelligent use.

By:- Akram Hoque
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