Applied nanotechnology : the conversion of research results by Jeremy J Ramsden

By Jeremy J Ramsden

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It would be more logical to begin with the “noise”, which at the level of the firm is represented by the continuous appearance of new companies—after all, nothing can be destroyed before it exists. Noise can, however, be both positive and negative. If the commercial raison d’être of the company disappears, then the company will presumably also disappear, along with others that depended on it. 4 Sketch of speciation according to the punctuated equilibrium concept. Thick vertical lines correspond to incremental innovations, and thin diagonal lines to disruptive innovations resulting in a change of technological “morphology”.

Furthermore, after years of consolidation (cf. 5), global supply is dominated by two very large companies, both headquartered in the USA. Another way of looking at this is to consider the market as a complex dynamical system with multiple basins of attraction. As proved by Ashby,23 such a system will inevitably end up stuck in one of its basins and exploration will cease. This is the phenomenon of habituation. The system can only be reset if it receives a severe external shock. M. Allen and M. Strathern, Complexity, stability and crises.

3 T h e C u r r e n t S i t u a t i o n attempt it by itself—the results are likely to be more reliable than those taken from elsewhere, and the assumptions used in compiling the data can be clearly stated and hence will be transparent and accessible. 3 THE CURRENT SITUATION To recapitulate, total global demand for nanoscale materials, tools and devices was estimated at $5–8 milliard in 2003 and forecast to grow at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of around 30%, implying that it would have reached almost $30 milliard in 2008.

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