Emmanuel Hassan and Jerry Sheehan from the directorate for science, technology and industry of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) provide a useful introduction to nanotechnology and its implications in this article in the OECD Observer. They give examples of how nanotechnology is expected to yield advances in information technology, materials science, medicine and biotechnology.

A brief analysis of market implications of nanotechnology development follows. The authors show the number of nanotechnology publications and patents is rising at great pace and investment in the sector is set to increase. The authors highlight the importance of multidisciplinary research centres and of public and private funding that promotes the exchange of information whilst developing skilled human resources. Citing successful public-private initiatives they highlight the need for creation of a "common data pool" of literature, databases and patents.

Hassan and Sheehan end with a call for more research and a tacit acknowledgement that policymakers need to be well informed as their decisions will guide the future development and implementation of nanotechnology.


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