SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The U.S. dominated the rest of the world in nanotech funding and new patents last year, but the U.S. is also falling behind in the arena, warned a research group.
U.S. government funding, corporate spending, and VC investment in nanotech collectively reached $6.4 billion in 2009, according to Lux Research. But Japan, Germany and South Korea surpassed the United States in terms of commercializing nanotechnology and products, according to the Boston-based firm.
China, Russia and other nations pose as threats to the U.S. in nanotech. Overall, the report found global investment in nanotech held steady through the recent financial crisis, drawing $17.6 billion from governments, corporations and investors in 2009, a 1 percent increase over 2008, according to the firm. Only venture capitalists dialed back their support, cutting investments by 43 percent relative to 2008.
''Last year saw the U.S. lead all other countries in terms of government funding, corporate spending, VC investment, and patent issuances. But its capacity to commercialize those technologies and leverage them to grow the economy is comparatively mediocre. U.S. competitiveness in long-term innovation is also at risk, as the relative number of science and engineering graduates in its population is significantly lower than it is in other countries,'' according to the report.