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The Cientifica Technology Diffusion Model
Our market reports are based on primary research quantifying the impact and diffusion of nanotechnologies by industry sector over time. The model takes into account global R&D spending on nanotechnologies and assumes a median seven year time lag between the start of a funding program and a commercially useful output, industry R&D growth rates, global GDP growth predictions and the rate of penetration of nanotechnologies based on primary research to develop the rate of diffusion by industry sector.
Technology diffusion is not linear and the Cientifica model takes into account varying rates of adoption as nanotechnologies rapidly become mature in some industries, while others are late adopters. The key reasons for this are cost and sector. In non-cost-sensitive areas such as defense, adoption of new technologies tends to be rapid since performance gains outweigh cost factors and restrictions. The opposite is true in industries such as food and clothing where low margins restrict the adoption of new technologies until the costs become low enough. Adoption also varies with sector. The chemical industry has been working with nanomaterials for the past ten years and growth and penetration rates will therefore be slower than in late adopters.
The model assumes an increase in the rate adoption of nanotechnologies in 2012-13 as a result of there being a sufficient number of well-characterised components (materials, dispersions, products) available through mature and reliable supply chains to allow the production of systems based on nanotechnologies. This shift from cottage industry to major industry is analogous to the shift from discrete electronic components to integrated circuits.
The model makes no allowance for sudden scientific breakthroughs. However, whether these are the invention of the transistor or the discovery of DNA the adoption of technologies by the market can take twenty to thirty years. It should be noted that fullerenes were discovered in 1985 and carbon nanotubes in 1991, twenty-six and twenty years ago respectively.
Finally the model assumes that there will be no major adverse public or ethical reaction to the application of nanotechnologies, nor that there will be any significant acceleration of research for political reasons.