Which industries are likely to be affected?
Nanotechnology has the potential to affect multiple industries.
Nanotechnology is enabling technology. This
means that nano-based components or processes are parts of a bigger system.
They may give the final product the crucial functionality, but their role is usually not easily
identifiable or simply not recognized.
Because nanotechnology is done at the molecular
level, whole new products and processes can be developed in multiple industries.
The most significant nanotechnology revenue generating sector in the long
run could be materials, healthcare, followed by telecommunications, chemicals, and
computers and electronics.
A 2006 National Science Foundation industry study expects that
the near-term impact of nanotechnology is likely to be fragmented, product-specific and
evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Probably the most significant lesson is the broad
and varying range of impacts and revenues that could occur at varying rates across multiple
industries. The projection also suggests that there may be significant market development
in as short a time as four years.