We here at TNT always have the mixed emotion of glee and horror whenever we see the latest market size predictions for nanotechnology.
We've spent the last few years trying to ween people of the $1 trillion market size by 2015 concept. You see, you never know how these figures are derived. Are we talking about the sale of nanoparticles or shall we include every coating process known to man in those figures. In the past we have even seen reports including the entire value of a Mercedes Benz just because there is a nanoparticle in the paintwork.
The latest we came across comes from the rather shadowy organization FTM Consulting. There wasn't much to be learned from their website about who they are, or precisely what it is that they do. But nonetheless they have pegged the "nanoelectronics" market (in the US mind you) to reach $75 billion by 2014. Perhaps it's all true, but how do people arrive at these figures...it has us scratching our heads.
Another recent example comes from the rather peculiarHelmut Kaiser Consultancy who claim
"The worldwide automotive industries turnover in nanotechnologies is 8.6 billion US $. In 2004 and will be 54.2 billion US$ in 2010 and 137.4 billion US$ in 2015. The “Must” for the automotive industry is nanotechnology and converging markets.
All leading car manufacturers are in research projects involved but the supplyer mostly don’t see the changes and risks. Only through molecular technologies this industry has new and huge growth potential in the next ten years."
The main problem, of course, is that as soon as these numbers are out there, everyone starts quoting them...over and over again. They become justification for everthing from entire business plans to government policy.
We're not against anyone making a buck, but could someone perhaps pose the question, "What was your methodology for arriving at this number?" Simple enough question, we understood this is what journalists do.Posted by Cientifica at May 5, 2004 11:22 PM | TrackBack