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December 4, 2013

NIA Report Examines Impact of Nanotechnologies on the Global Divide

Lynn L. Bergeson

The Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) recently published a report entitled Closing the Gap: The Impact of Nanotechnologies on the Global Divide, which looks at how nanotechnology-based inventions and their potential applications could be implemented in developing countries, and whether they could benefit the most underprivileged populations. The report examines obstacles and problematic issues that could arise, and addresses the following concerns:

  • Will nanotechnologies reach the populations they wish to assist?
  • What impact could they have on world trade and already weak economies?
  • What of the unprecedented nature and uncertainties surrounding the risks of nanotechnology?
  • Will inventors from the developing world have to circumvent challenging intellectual property rules in order to make full use of the technology?

The report discusses possible ways forward for the fair development of nanotechnologies, as well as the possibilities for scientists and entrepreneurs from low- and middle-income countries to scale-up the benefits for their countries with the help of international cooperation and global dialogue.