Nanotechnology Poised to Affect Manufacturing Worldwide
NEW YORK—Sales of mainstream products incorporating nanotechnology will grow from less than 0.1 percent of global manufacturing output to 15 percent in 2014, totaling $2.6 trillion, according to a report by Lux Research. The study, entitled Sizing Nanotechnology’s Value Chain, notes the value of these products will approach that of the information technology (IT) and telecom industries combined and will be 10 times larger than the biotechnology industry.
This is not to say that nanotechnology alone will account for such robust sales. In fact, Lux projects that sales of basic nanomaterials like carbon nanotubes and quantum dots will total only about $13 billion in 2014. Where nanotechnology will have its greatest impact is in the way it is incorporated into the manufacturing sector as a whole.
“Over the past several years, companies have selectively applied nanoscale innovations to products ranging from the Chevrolet Impala to Merck’s antiemetic drug Emend,” says Matthew Nordan, vice president of research at Lux Research. “These initial deployments have proven the value of nanotechnology, setting the stage for an explosion of applications. In 2014, we project that 4 percent of general manufactured goods, 50 percent of electronics and IT products, and 16 percent of goods in healthcare and life sciences by revenue will incorporate emerging nanotechnology.”
In its report, Lux Research predicts that nanotechnology’s growth will occur in three phases. In the first phase, which ends this December, nanotechnology will be incorporated selectively into high-end products. As evidence of this phenomenon, the reports cites that in 2004 revenues from products incorporating emerging nanotechnology will total $13 billion, $8.5 billion of which comes from automotive and aerospace applications.
In the second phase, which ends in 2009, commercial breakthroughs will open up markets for nanotechnology innovations, with revenues rising to $292 billion. Electronics and IT applications will dominate as microprocessors and memory chips built using new nanoscale processes come to market. From 2010 on, nanotechnology will become common in manufactured goods, with revenues rising to $2.6 trillion by 2014. During this period, healthcare and life sciences applications will become significant as nano-enabled pharmaceuticals and medical devices obtain approval after lengthy human trials.
According to Lux, the widespread use of nanotechnology in mainstream products will have profound ripple effects. Ten million manufacturing jobs worldwide in 2014—11 percent of total manufacturing jobs—will involve the building of products that incorporate emerging nanotechnology. Nanotechnology will shift market shares and introduce unconventional competitors. Supply chains will simplify as highly functional materials eliminate steps in manufacturing processes, negatively impacting subassembly manufacturers and transportation companies.
“Nanotechnology’s increasing relevance creates clear mandates for business and government leaders,” says Nordan. “Corporations need to develop an explicit nanotechnology strategy. Apart from leaders such as DuPont and Praxair, few companies coordinate their nanotechnology activities.”
In creating its study, Lux Research built bottom-up, top-down and evolutionary models of 42 product segments impacted by nanotechnology. The report supplemented its basic models with interviews of more than 100 executives, researchers and academics working to commercialize nanotechnology. For more information on the report call 646-723-0708 or visit www.luxresearchinc.com.