Nanotechnology represents an exciting area of scientific discovery that has generated increasing interest from government officials, scientists, and the general public in recent years. This innovative field has a broad array of scientific and commercial applications – and an equally broad range of societal implications. As an enabling technology rather than a specific industry, developments related to nanotechnology have implications for almost any product in all stages of its life cycle. This requires effective communication among a diverse collection of individuals from multiple fields, each with its own terminology. Adding to the complexity, there are few existing standards within or among disciplines, or even countries and firms. As a result, nanotechnology can be one of the most challenging technologies to effectively communicate and understand.

To tie together these diverse themes, Stacey Frederick developed a global value chain (GVC) approach to analyze the innovation to commercialization life cycle of an enabling technology. The GVC framework is used to identify how the actions and relationships between public and private stakeholders affect the development, location, and competitiveness of an industry. This framework helps overcome communication barriers related to nanotechnology topics by enabling researchers to educate and disseminate results on a variety of topics using a comparable method.

Nanotechnology research was primarily supported by the National Science Foundation through a partnership with the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS). The research project focused on the diffusion of nanotechnology to Asia, as well as involvement in nanotechnology in North Carolina and California. Stacey developed novel approaches to map the dissemination of nanomaterials in a variety of nano-enabled intermediates and final products. Outputs of this collaboration were included conference presentations, educational materials, and websites. One of the key educational resources developed as part of this project is the Traveling Technologies Research Template created for the CNS summer internship program. The California in the Nano Economy website represents an interactive, web-based version of applying the value chain research approach to a specific location (California) and the parts of a variety of industries that are impacted by a particular technology (nanotechnology). A secondary focus of this project is to showcase how visual analytic tools can be combined with the value chain research approach to further understanding of the industry and its economic development impacts and potential.


Nanotechnology in Society: An Overview

This California Research Bureau Short Subject (February 2015 S-15-002) provides an introduction to nanotechnology, its potential risks and applications, and current regulation in the United States and California. “Nano” refers to particles and effects scaled at billionths of a meter. Emerging applications hold great promise in many areas, including new ways to treat cancer.

Twelve Years of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Publications in Mexico

Abstract: Mexico is the second country in Latin America regarding Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Research and Development, according to various indicators. Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies are viewed as strategic areas in government policy since 2001. In the last few decades, important policy changes in Science and Technology (S&T) have been implemented with an aim to integrate the business sector with government scientific research. This article reviews information from the Web of Science relevant to articles on nanoscience and nanotechnology stretching back 12 years and explains the changes in S&T policy. The information uncovered leads to three conclusions: the participation of the business sector is negligible; there is a significant concentration of scientific production among a very few institutions; and the country is essentially divided geographically, with scientific production concentrated in the center and north of the country.

The article appears in a 2014 issue of the Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 16(1), Article 2193.

Who is the Nanotechnology Economy? Obstacles and Methods of Identifying and Estimates of U.S. Nano Firms & Workers

Presentation by Stacey Frederick in November 2013 at the Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization (SNO) conference in Santa Barbara, CA.

Twelve Years of Nanotechnology in Mexico (2000 – 2012)

Stacey Frederick presented this research at S.NET, which covers the following topics on the nanotechnology industry in Mexico: R&D funding, centers & labs, evolution of publications by Mexican authors, and firms.

Quantifying the Nanotechnology Workforce: Methods, Barriers & Estimates

Stacey Frederick gave this presentation at the SASE Annual Meeting in Milan, Italy on June 28, 2013. It was part of an ongoing research project between the Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS) at UC-Santa Barbara and Duke GVCC.

Method and Platform for Identifying Stakeholders in the Nanotechnology Economy

This presentation by Stacey Frederick at the S.Net conference in Boston, MA provides an overview of a method to identify the firms and organizations involved in the nano economy throughout the value chain and introduces a new web-based platform to disseminate the information.

California in the Nano Economy

This National Nanomanufacturing Network Newsletter article 5(8) from August 29, 2012, describes the California in the Nano Economy website developed by Stacey Frederick with support from the National Science Foundation. The website was available at between 2012 and 2017, but no longer has a financial sponsor.

The site uses a value chain approach to present California’s footprint in nanotechnology including its existing and potential capabilities and resources along the entire chain from nanoscale materials through final products. The website is an interactive, web-based version of applying this approach to a specific location (California) and the parts of a variety of industries that are impacted by a particular technology (nanotechnology). The information on the site primarily falls into the following categories that represent the main steps in the research process.

The value chain section presents a visual depiction of the broad structure of the nanotechnology value chain. From the value chain image, users can click on any stage or sector to see basic information that describes the activities within that area and a list of companies in California that fall under the category. Each company name is a hyperlink to a new page that provides details on the activities of that location.

Each location page covers information related to the physical location, business descriptors (i.e., year established and employment), and products or services. This information was from a variety of secondary sources to create a database of firms and organizations engaged in activities related to nanotechnology. This was part of a larger effort to map the U.S. and global nano economy of which a significant subset of companies are located in California. Each page also includes the location’s position in the value chain, including value chain sectors and subsectors, industry-focus areas, value-adding activities, and the degree the company appears to be focused on nanotechnology. Each location was placed into these positions by analyzing the location-specific information.

The maps section includes interactive geographic maps of all locations in California included on the website. Multiple views are available that present different variables related to each location and are set apart by varying the color, size, and shape of the map marker. When the cursor is placed on a location, the information associated with that location appears. Users can select the variables they want to view to analyze different aspects of the firms and organizations in California. Company profiles provided in-depth overviews of the firms most cited by the secondary sources collected as being involved with nanotechnology in California.

The workforce development and education resources and public policies sections focused on important dynamics that impact the development of the nanotechnology activities in California. The competitiveness indicators section evaluated the level of development of countries, states, and regions working in nanotechnology. Existing benchmarking strategies that use these indicators are listed along with California’s rankings in select studies.

California in the Nanotechnology Economy (2012)

Poster presentation describing the California in the Nanotechnology Economy project. Prepared for the Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS) Research Summit and NSF Site Visit on May 7, 2012 in Santa Barbara, CA.

China’s (Not So Hidden) Developmental State: Becoming a Leading Nanotechnology Innovator in the Twenty-First Century

This paper looks at how the debate over innovation is reflected in China’s approach to national development, especially with respect to the use of nanotechnology.