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House Hearing on Nanotechnology: Where Does the U.S. Stand?

Robert Bradbury writes: “Re: House Hearing on: “Nanotechnology: Where Does the U.S. Stand?
June 29, 2005.

Sean Murdock’s testimony (pdf available) has some very illuminating graphs and
some interesting observations such as:

Next, the government must fully and effectively utilize the
SBIR and ATP programs to enhance commercialization activity.
Many member companies speak of the “myth” of the SBIR Phase
III — the phase where innovations proved out in Phase II are
supposed to be brought into use in the sponsoring agency.
While the SBIR grants in and of themselves are quite
valuable to those attempting to commercialize nanotech
innovations, purchases to meet agency needs would generate a
sustainable source of revenues and provide customer


Until the VC cycle changes again and the stock markets allow
companies to adopt longer time horizons, we have a substantial
and growing “valley of death.”

Of interest is looking for “China” in the documents listed below. The Assessment [3]
points out that in China over 39% of undergraduate degrees were in
engineering while in the U.S. it is only 5%

See [1] for Testimony of: Sean Murdock, NBA [2] and the NNTI 5 year
assessment [3] for more information.

3. The National Nanotechnology Initiative at Five Years: Assessment and
Recommendations of the National Nanotechnology Advisory Panel
– Preident’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (May 2005)

UPI had an Interesting report July 6 (no URL I can find) citing the
fact that the U.S. is being outspent by other countries. Cites
Matthew Nordan, VP Research at Lux Research as claiming that
the U.S. is spending $5.42/capita on nanotech while spending for
other countries is higher (S. Korea: $5.62, Japan: $6.30 and
Taiwan: $9.40 on a per capita basis). He also pointed out that
the $130 million estimated being spent by the Chinese government
last year equaled $611 million when adjusted for purchasing power.
That is a signifant fraction (~60%) of what the U.S. is spending.”

2 Responses to “House Hearing on Nanotechnology: Where Does the U.S. Stand?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Link to the UPI story mentioned:

  2. Novak Says:

    What on earth does spending per capita have to do with anything?

    Let’s consider that the real dollar values for the United State, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan are, respectively, 1.605 billion dollars, 0.272 billion dollars, 0.802 billion dollars, and 0.215 billion dollars, according to the population figures presently resident on

    It takes a pretty creative outlook to claim that nations which, all combined, are spending fewer dollars than the United States are in fact each individually outspending the United States.

    And note the palmed card– by that metric, China is spending a mere $0.10 per captia– or $0.47 per capita if you use that naive inflated $611M value as your basis. But wait! They’re outspending us, too! I guess that per capita metric isn’t so important when it’s giving the wrong answer. (And that’s even assuming you believe any Chinese financial or macro-economic statement, which I simply don’t.)

    C’mon, now. Grain of salt, people. Failing that, grain of math.

    Or at least pick a metric and use it consistently!

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