Position Paper | Year 2008
Nanotechnology: hype or opportunity?
Class of Technical Sciences
One of them leapt up and asked: but professor, those are the same questions as last year! That’s right he answered, but the answers have changed. This expresses the transformation nanotechnology generates through science, technology and industry. It’s the generation of new answers to familiar questions; of new solutions for new challenges. Having access to elementary components of materials, scientists have the possibility to pave the way towards completely new paths in as well innovative as familiar industrial segments and give birth to totally new industrial areas. This Report summarises the origin and basics of nanotechnology and the impact it has on many industrial activities such as electronics, material, manufacturing, energy, food … and the inherent huge opportunities for science and technology. It also addresses the problem of health and environment, and gives an overview of the nanotechnology efforts in Belgium. It is foreseen that the market for nano-products will rise exponentially in the next decade and grow to a trillion euro by 2015. Nanotechnology will create jobs, but has also a social and ethical impact which is at the basis of future strategies for technological risk assessments.