NANOTECHNOLOGY - February 2004

The international economics of nanotechnology and government interventions

Françoise Roure

The nanosciences and nanotechnology are promising in terms of competitive advantages and social utility. They are receiving far-reaching support from public authorities. How is the world map of industries in this field being drawn ? Are we witnessing an emerging submicron fracture ?

The support of public authorities for nanotechnology

Ivan Faucheux, Philippe Parmentier and Gilles Le Marois

The definition of nanotechnology is still fuzzy. Depending on whether it is limited to the use of nano-sized objects or extended to cover techniques based on matter’s typically nanometric behavior, the field for industry varies by a coefficient of a hundred. Why devote an article to such a poorly defined subject ? This article tries not so much to make an analytical definition as to describe the major lines of force and tendencies running through the core of nanotechnology and related areas.

Nanosciences at the juncture of basic science and technology

Jean-Louis Robert

The nanosciences handle various subjects: nano-sized electronic or optoelectronic components; the nanointerface between physics, chemistry and biology; quantum physics; and the invention of nanometrical materials and machines. Experimentation at this scale requires special skills, as does the analysis and understanding of observed phenomena.

Education and training in nanotechnology: A new generation of European scientists

R. Monk, G. Popovic and Renzo Tomellini

Nanotechnology might set off a technological revolution. Cutting across traditional scientific disciplines, it necessitates a new, multidisciplinary approach. Europe needs scientists for this field who have the necessary skills and qualifications and, in particular, experience in both a multidisciplinary approach and cooperation with industry. How to train this new generation of researchers, who will be capable of boosting innovation in view of sustainable development ?

For an assessment of the nanotechnological program’s impact

Jean-Pierre Dupuy

Any moratorium on research or even, in the short run, legislative or regulatory measures can only be worldwide. The best we can hope to do is to keep abreast of advances in nanotechnology or, if possible, think ahead of them by launching environmental impact studies and follow up on them by monitoring, which should be no less multidisciplinary than the nanosciences themselves.

Nanotechnological issues and opportunities for EADS

Didier Lang and Yann Barbaux

Nanotechnology represents a key issue and a source of new opportunities in defense and the aerospace industry. It is now obvious that it is also a key issue in other fields, such as electronics and medicine. The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company has a major interest in developments in both nanotechnology and the nanosciences — in techniques of analysis and in understanding modelizing such phenomena.

A viewpoint from the field on nanotechnology

Bruno Echalier

How is nanotechnology similar to, or different from, 20th-century technology? How is it new? What models of development should we pursue? These questions are tackled at a few years distance from experience in the complex, interactive domains of organic and inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry and their applications. By focusing on a few successful examples of developments, the viewpoint of someone who has designed and manufactured nanotechniques brings into sight key factors for success in other industrial applications.

Nanotechnology for information and communications

J. Gautier

At the crack of day of nanotechnology, the prospects for processing information and for communications are amazing! But the challenges are Herculean! How will microelectronics tackle this field? What changes to expect in industry? How to prepare to play a leading role tomorrow?

The Crolles II investment, the fruit of 15 years of an active industrial policy

Olivier Nora

In 2002, STMicroelectronics, Philips and Motorola announced a joint investment over five years of more than three billion euros in developing the first microelectronic research pole in Europe. This investment in the Grenoble area was exceptional. What made it possible? What economic factors justified it at a time when the workweek was being reduced to 35 hours and brains were draining out of France? What lessons can we draw ?


Jean-Marc Grognet

Nanobiotechnology lies at the interface between the nanosciences and biology. It benefits from the methods of miniaturization and manufacturing developed for micro- and nanotechnology but with the purpose of inventing new tools for studying life and acting on cells and living organisms.

Nanomaterials at the nanogalaxy’s core

Gilles Le Marois and Dominique Carlac’h

The current enthusiasm for nanotechnology is reflected in a significant increase in the investments in research and development being made by public authorities in most industrialized lands. Between 1998 and 2003, these investments rose sixfold in Europe, eightfold in the United States and Japan, and reached three billion euros worldwide. Stimulated by advances in nanotechnology, the development of nanomaterials should make up the biggest part of this market in the short and middle run.

Nanotechnology’s dual aspects: Can we imagine a National Nanotechnological Initiative ?

Jacques Boileau

Like any technological breakthrough, nanotechnology could satisfy both civilian and military needs. For this reason, the United States set up in February 2000 the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). What does this mean for France ?



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