Despite their initial focus on national economic competitiveness, the nanotechnology research initiatives now funded by more than 60 countries have become increasingly collaborative, with nearly a quarter of all papers co-authored by researchers across borders.
Researchers from the two leading producers of nanotechnology papers China and the United States have become each nation's most frequent international co-authors. Though Chinese and U.S. researchers now publish roughly the same number of nanotechnology papers, the U.S. retains a lead in the quality of publications as measured by the number of early citations.
"Despite ten years of emphasis by governments on national nanotechnology initiatives, we find that patterns of nanotechnology research collaboration and funding transcend country boundaries," said Phillip Shapira, study co-author and a professor in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "For example, we found that U.S. and Chinese researchers have developed a relatively high level of collaboration in nanotechnology research. Each country is the other's leading collaborator in nanotechnology R&D."
The findings were part of a new study of nanotechnology publishing reported Dec. 2 in the online edition of the journal Nature. The research was sponsored by the National Science Foundation-supported Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU).
Sparked by programs such as the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) in the United States, leading industrial nations have launched nanotechnology research programs that invested more than $8 billion in public funds in 2008 alone. China, Germany, Japan and Korea are among the many countries that have launched major governmental programs to develop their national nanotechnology capabilities as part of efforts to boost future economic growth.
"There is widespread anticipation that nanot
|Contact: John Toon|
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News