Report from the US government at the global level.
Forum participants described the nanofabrication as an emerging set of developments that will become a global megatrend: a technological revolution that is now in the making, but that many knowledgeable people - in science, business and government - hope to see flourish in the coming years, generating new opportunities, "disruptive innovation“, Job creation and various social benefits.
They consider the United States to be the leading nation in funding and sponsoring nanofabrication as well as the overall quality of its R&D, as well as being the leading nation in some specific areas of nanofabrication, such as the development of nano-therapeutic drugs and the design of semiconductor devices. However, they warned that the United States faces global competition and that it will have to continue struggling to compete in some areas of the industry (in particular advanced batteries).
Between the challenges in nanofabrication Those facing the US include:
- A drastic change in financing (funding to universities and governments has dropped dramatically in favor of an increase in private sector funding) a key US funding gap in the middle stages of the manufacturing to innovation process, as illustrated below ;
- Lack of business safety, environmental and health standards
- The lack of a vision/ US general opinion on nanofabrication.
- Threats to intellectual property from USA
Actions in favor of nanofabrication
Actions our experts say the U.S. will need to take to improve the competitiveness of nanofabrication include:
- Strengthen innovation in the US by updating ongoing innovation-related policies and programs,
- Promote innovation in US manufacturing through public-private partnerships
- Design a strategy to achieve a holistic view of nanofabrication in the US.
In terms of policy issues facing the US, our experts include the development of international standards for commercial nanofabrication, the need to maintain support for basic research and development of nanotechnology, and the development of a revitalized, integrative and collaborative approach to issues of this kind.
Why did GAO conduct this study?
Nanotechnology has been defined as the control or restructuring of matter at the atomic and molecular level within a size range of about 1 - 100 nanometers (approximately one thousandth of the width of a hair on the head).
The US National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) began in 2001 and focuses primarily on research and development; so far, they have invested nearly $ 20 billion. As research continues and nations invest more and more in R&D, nanotechnology is moving from the laboratory to commercial markets, mass manufacturing, and the global marketplace.
GAO was asked to testify on the challenges the United States would face in nanofabrication. This article reflects discussions carried out in the nanofabrication forum, as well as four profiles of experts in the areas of the nano-industry based on last year's report, which GAO previously posted on the web, before conducting the discussion. in the forum.
U.S. government report on nanomanufacturing and U.S. competitiveness (part only)