"Research is high and the market is far away": Commercialization of nanotechnology in China

Cong Cao, Richard P. Appelbaum, Rachel Parker

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


As a country that has chosen nanotechnology as one of its priority investment areas to facilitate leapfrogging in science and technology, China has already seen a return on investment in the exponential rise of scientific papers originating in Chinese nanotechnology labs. There has also been an increasing number of patents filed by Chinese inventors as well as fierce competition among Chinese localities for a prime position in the twenty-first century nanotechnology revolution. Based on fieldwork in China and secondary research, this paper examines the commercialization of nanotechnology in China from the intertwined perspectives of academia-industry relations, government support and policy, role of venture capital, and international connections, while also taking into account the views of Chinese nanoscientists. The results show that despite tangible success in publishing, patenting, and the creation of dedicated nanotechnology science parks, China's effort to commercialize nanotechnology has been much slower than anticipated by nanoscientists and political leadership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalTechnology in Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Commercialization
  • Nanotechnology
  • Policy
  • Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Business and International Management
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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