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Market intelligence report: nanotechnology


This document provides market intelligence into the sector defined as nanotechnology by the Intermediary Technology Institute (ITI) in Techmedia. For the purposes of this report, nanotechnology is defined as: the science of manipulating materials at the atomic and molecular level to develop new or enhanced materials and products. The report describes the future market opportunities, challenges, key drivers and functional needs in the nanotechnology sector.


Information was obtained following the principles of market intelligence gathering (also known as foresighting) established by ITI Techmedia. Both primary and secondary market data were acquired and collated. Primary data was collected through discussions with industry experts, supplemented by discussions with key Scottish experts in the sector. Desk research was used to obtain secondary data from internationally recognised market analysts with expertise in the area of nanotechnology.


The research reports that significant activity is occurring in the nanotechnology area. It was projected in 2001 that USD1 trillion in products worldwide would be affected by nanotechnology by 2015, a forecast that has recently been brought forward to 2010. Despite the degree of activity, however, the market for nanotechnology products remains immature. The report finds that a plethora of opportunities exist for the application of nanotechnology across a wide range of sectors, including aerospace and defence, environment and water and transport and automotive. A number of generic trends affecting the sector are identified: greater interaction between academia and industry; increasingly coherent technical and funding strategies at the national and international level; evolving industry focus away from a technology-orientation towards a more market-oriented focus; and the recruitment of highly skilled professionals worldwide. Key drivers include: ongoing need for better technological performance; improved, cost-efficient medical treatment; and demand for improved security and defence. Key inhibitors include: sub-optimal yield and quality in nanomaterial manufacturing; slow pace of development of effective nanomaterials; and regulatory concerns over the environmental impact. It is expected that the nature of the market drivers and inhibitors will evolve over time. For example, it can be expected that the regulatory environment in which the nanotechnology industry will operate will mature and stabilise as additional research and analysis becomes available. A list of application areas identified as being worthy of further consideration were: high density data storage; anti-bacteria and anti-fouling; corrosion protection; food packaging; semiconductor devices; environmental filtration and sensing; and shape memory alloys.


There were no recommendations as this was not within the remit of the report.

Author ITI Techmedia
Published Year 2010
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies