European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

A big economic impact

Described in some quarters as “driving the next industrial revolution”, nanotechnologies have considerable potential for development and applications, especially in electronics, biotechnology, medicine, materials, communication and information technologies. The governments of industrialized countries have clearly grasped this. Public spending on nanotechnologies in the United States and Europe is rising steadily year over year. The European Union has decided to plough 3.5 billion euros into nanotechnology research between 2007 and 2013. Then, there is private investment. The most frequently-cited estimate puts the world market in nanotechnologies as rising to $1 000 billion by 2015. In terms of new jobs, it is estimated that 2 million workers will be needed between now and 2015, mostly working in start-ups and SMEs.