Chemical Business NewsBase recently published an article comparing global private funding to government funding for nanotechnology research, development, and commercialization. The article cites Lux Research figures indicating that private funding for nanotechnology reached $9.6 billion in 2008, while government investment was $8.6 billion. According to the article, this was the first year that private spending exceeded public spending. Lux also estimates that nanotechnology-enabled products will constitute a $3.1 trillion market by 2015.

It is interesting to remember that a decade ago, advocates for dramatically increased federal funding of nanotechnology efforts argued that once nanotechnology is firmly established as a field of commerce, federal investment would be dwarfed by private research and development which was estimated would be 10% of ultimate sales revenues. Advocates of the National Nanotechnology Initiative took the position that the federal government should stimulate and support basic nanotechnology research until such time as private commercialization takes root at this level. Annual global government research, development, and commercialization was then estimated at a mere $432 million.