Home > Press > Increasing Levels of Nanotechnology Activity in the Developing World
Significant Patent and Participative Barriers Remain
Increasing Levels of Nanotechnology Activity in the Developing World
October 20, 2005
In papers posted 19th October with the Azonano Online Journal of Nanotechnology, a researcher from the Institute for Nanoscale Technology at the University of Technology, Sydney has shown national engagement with nanotechnology research and development has now increased to 62 countries, including 19 developing countries.
However, early signs are that developing countries will direct nanotechnology R&D to 'value-add' to export markets, rather than use nanotechnology to promote sustainable development.
The considerable absence from countries with a low Human Development Index signals that the 'nano-divide' is already here and exists just as strongly within the developing world as between the 'North' and 'South'. Examples are used to demonstrate that engagement with nanotechnology R&D does not have to be capital-intensive, however, entry costs and barriers will vary from country to country.
Despite increasing levels of developing country nanotechnology R&D, patent ownership and developing country representation in international nanotechnology discussions remain key barriers to ensuring nanotechnology's benefits are widespread.
Viewing the overall picture of health-related nanotechnology patents using the esp@cenet® database, the research shows that control lies firmly with the industrialized countries of the North. However, whilst the U.S. holds a strong lead in this area, the 2004 data indicates that China is placing pressure on U.S. dominance. Ownership rests firmly with the private sector, following a relatively earlier Multinational Corporation engagement with nanotechnology than witnessed with biotechnology. The health-related research is primarily oriented towards therapeutic applications, particularly drug delivery mechanisms, with great interest in various forms of cancer and hepatitis. Many of the diseases and conditions cited in the patents hold increasing relevance for the developing world although there is a great danger in assuming that such research can, or will, be transferred.
Global participation in the development of nanotechnology policy and directions appears limited to U.S.- and European-led efforts with the notable absence of China from key international meetings. As it is currently placed, nanotechnology is in danger of replicating the inequitable trends of biotechnology with respect international participation in dialogue.
Overall, there are some encouraging signs that certain developing countries could play a significant role in the global development of nanotechnology. Yet, in light of increasing, market-based barriers and limited country participation on a number of levels, early signs are that nanotechnology will promote a greater global technological divide.
The papers may be accessed at:
Nanotechnology and Developing Countries - Part 1: What Possibilities?
Nanotechnology and Developing Countries - Part 2: What Realities?
Institute for Nanoscale Technology
University of Technology, Sydney
Copyright © Don Maclurcan
If you have a comment, please Contact
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
PETA science consortium to present hazard testing strategy at nanotoxicology meeting: High tech field ripe for use of sophisticated non-animal testing strategies April 22nd, 2014
Scientists disagree on responsible research April 8th, 2014
Caltech Researchers Create Light-Bending Silicon Chip: Bending the Light with a Tiny Chip March 10th, 2014
Building a Better Future — Lessons from 3 Months of Lifeboat Foundation Expert Interviews September 1st, 2013
Preparing for Nano
Durnham University's DEEPEN project comes to a close September 26th, 2012
Technical Seminar at ANFoS 2012 August 22nd, 2012
Nanotechnology shows we can innovate without economic growth April 12th, 2012
Thailand to host NanoThailand 2012 December 18th, 2011
Harris & Harris Group to Host Conference Call on Second-Quarter 2014 Financial Results on August 15, 2014 July 23rd, 2014
UCF Nanotech Spinout Developing Revolutionary Battery Technology: Power the Next Generation of Electronics with Carbon July 23rd, 2014
Deadline Announced for Registration in 7th Int'l Nanotechnology Festival in Iran July 23rd, 2014
A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014