1 Nanotech. L. & Bus. 446 (2004)
Challenges and Opportunities for Nanotechnology Policies: An Australian Perspective

handle is hein.journals/nantechlb1 and id is 448 raw text is: Challenges and Opportunities for
Nanotechnology Policies: An Australian
Perspective
DANA NICOLAU*
ABSTRACT
The increasing importance and complexity related to science and technology asks for a concerted,
articulated and comprehensive understanding of the process of science and technology, and from here the
formulation of general guidelines for an effective management of science and technology. In this article,
Dana Nicolau provides a taxonomy of nanotechnology, reviewing and analyzing various policy
approaches used for the development of nanotechnology. The competition in nanotechnology does not
occur only at the scientific and technological level but equally at the level of management policies.
Nicolau argues that nanotechnology will be disruptive for industries such as manufacturing,
microtechnology and medicine; and in terms qf social technologies, it might cause disruptions in the
relationship between academia and companies. In the last part of the article, Nicolau highlights
comparative policies in countries with signfi cant funding in nanotechnology.
LNTRODUCTION
Nanotechnology has become a ubiquitous term in various communities and fields of activity
ranging from market analysis to academia and government policies. Despite this ubiquitous
character, or because of this, many    fundamental differences in  opinion regarding
nanotechnology persist, or-worse-are tacitly ignored. At one end of the spectrum, nanotechnology has
been perceived from the very beginning as the Holy Grail of all ills of present technology. From here it
was expected that nanotechnology would fix most of the technologically driven problems of the modem
society thorough self-repairing, inconspicuous and comprehensive technical solutions. However, the initial
enthusiasm faded away as the problems regarding nanotechnology began to become apparent. An equally
exclusivist view emerged at the other end of the spectrum, fuelled by fears that the developments in
nanotechnology, similarly with those in biotechnology and to a lesser extent in information technology, will
* Dana Nicolau is with the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia and
can be reached at dana.nicolau@vu.edu.au, This article has been funded under an ARC Linkage Grant. The author
wishes to thank her colleagues at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, in particular to Peter Sheehan and
Greg Tegart, and also to the people at Asia Technology Information Program, in particular to Dr. David Kahaner,
for many spirited discussions over the years.

NANOTECHNOLOGY LAW & BUSINESS

446

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