Nanotechnology represents an exciting new area of scientific discovery, and 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.

Our nanotechnology research agenda seeks to understand how social and environmental implications affect the development and diffusion of nanotechnology. Equally as important, we are developing methods and tools to disseminate and educate others on research results related to nanotechnology topics.

Developing a Value Chain Approach

To tie together these diverse themes, researchers at CGGC are developing 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 a value chain. This framework will help overcome communication barriers related to nanotechnology topics by enabling researchers to educate and disseminate results on a variety of topics using a comparable method.

An additional focus area for nanotechnology involves developing educational resources. The Traveling Technologies Research Template is a key resource developed by CGGC Research Scientist Stacey Frederick for the CNS summer internship program.


CNS LogoThe research agenda with CNS-UCSB focuses on the global diffusion of nanotechnology and the role of industrial policies, particularly in Asia with a focus on China. As part of this project, CGGC has also looked at the implications for nanotechnology-related industry development in North Carolina.

Presentations and publications include:

China's (not so hidden) developmental state pdf
Nanotechnology, Commercialization, & Innovation: North Carolina pdf
Nanotechnology in a Global Context: North Carolina pdf

California in the Nano Economy

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.
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