Maturing Nanotechnology Market Research Report


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The global nanotechnology market should reach $90.5 billion by 2021 from $39.2 billion in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.2%, from 2016 to 2021.

The previous (2014) edition of this report began by noting that the hype, both positive and negative, that has surrounded nanotechnology has been growing progressively less extreme. Today, rosy projections of a “trillion-dollar” nanotechnology market in 10 years, or apocalyptic predictions about a “Faustian bargain” or a “Pandora’s box” are heard less often than they used to be.

Indeed, there has been something of a backlash to the earlier nanotechnology hype.According to Google Trends, searches on the term “nanotechnology” have steadily trended downward to between 15% and 20% of the levels of a decade ago. Many of the companies that used to showcase their nanotechnology credentials or put “nano” in their names, if they have not gone out of business, now describe themselves as materials, companies or biopharma companies.

There is a growing awareness that nanotechnology will not change the world overnight through a technological revolution. Instead, it is changing the way people live and work gradually, through a process of mostly incremental changes in older technologies. Many of these changes will take years, if not decades, to make themselves felt.

While it appears inevitable that nanotechnology will have a broad and fundamental impact on many sectors of the global economy, various technical, marketing and other hurdles need to be overcome before nanotechnology fulfills this promise. These challenges and differences of opinion regarding commercial applications are reflected in the widely diverging estimates for the U.S. and global nanotechnology markets.

These differences reflect not only different analytical methods and assumptions, but also different definitions of the nanotechnology market (e.g., whether to include decades-old technologies such as carbon black rubber reinforcers and photographic silver, or whether to base the market value on nanotechnology inputs alone, as opposed to the total value of products that nanotechnology incorporates).

The global market for nanotechnology applications will be addressed. Nanotechnology applications are defined comprehensively as the creation and use of materials, devices and systems through the manipulation of matter at scales of less than 100 nanometers. The study covers nanomaterials (nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanostructured materials and nanocomposites), nanotools (nanolithography tools and scanning probe microscopes) and nanodevices (nanosensors and nanoelectronics).

A pragmatic decision was made to exclude certain types of materials and devices from the report that technically fit the definition of nanotechnology. These exceptions include carbon black nanoparticles used to reinforce tires and other rubber products; photographic silver and dye nanoparticles; and activated carbon used for water filtration. These materials were excluded because they have been used for decades, long before the concept of nanotechnology was born, and their huge volumes (especially carbon black and activated carbon) would tend to swamp the newer nanomaterials in the analysis.

In the case of pharmaceutical applications, this report measures the value of the particles that the particle manufacturer receives. Research dollars invested into designing better particles, or better delivery approaches, are not included. The value created through clinical trial success and eventual Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and entrance as a prescription drug are not included.

Nanoscale semiconductors are also excluded from the study, although the tools used to create them are included. Unlike carbon black and activated carbon, nanoscale semiconductors are a relatively new development. However, they have been analyzed comprehensively elsewhere and, like carbon black and activated carbon, would tend to overwhelm other nanotechnologies by their sheer volume in the out-years toward 2021.

The study format includes the following major elements:
-Executive summary.
-Milestones in the development of nanotechnology.
-Current and potential nanotechnology applications.
-Applications and end users with the greatest commercial potential through 2021.
-Global nanotechnology market trends, 2015 through 2021.
-Factors that will influence the long-term development of nanotechnology.
-Market shares and industry structure.

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