The Chinese government it attempting to "leapfrog" the United States in nanotechnology by 2020. The Center for Nanotechnology in Society at University of California at Santa Barbara conducted about sixty interviews with Chinese officials determine the current state of Chinese nanotechnology development. China’s research effort focuses on two sectors: technology transfer and increasing domestic research capacity.
However, despite these bold claims, China’s investment in nanotechnology has only been about $400 million from 2002-2007. Expectations are, though, that this number will begin to rise soon.
While there are vague references to four nanotechnology "mega-projects," China has at least two nanotechnology centers located at Tsinghua-Foxconn Nanotechnology Research Center and the Zheijang-California NanoSystems Institute. The latter is a joint project with the University of California.
It is unclear the types of programs these nanotechnology centers are engaged in, however one offhanded remark mentioned that the Olympic village parking lots being constructed in Beijing will have a nanopolymer coating that will absorb exhaust.
As my colleague who first made me aware of these developments said to me, "It was only a matter of time" until China got into the game. While it is difficult to say whether China has the necessary structure to its nanotechnology sector, being pushed largely by the various governmental levels, with little private investment, I would expect to see an increasing amount of nano-news and information coming from the Far East. Stay tuned……..