The Distinctive Dynamics of Nanotechnology in Developing Nations

  • Susan CozzensEmail author
Part of the Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management book series (ITKM, volume 14)


Nanotechnology is unique among emerging technologies in the level of attention given to social and ethical implications (SEIs) in its early stages of development. Central funders have set aside money for large projects to undertake “anticipatory governance” of nanotechnology, and nanoscientists and engineers themselves have solicited the help of social scientists and philosophers in helping to identify potential issues early. The distasteful and expensive experience with agricultural biotechnology, which raised near-fatal red flags late in the development process, stands clearly as an example not to be followed.


Genetically Modify Middle Income Country Open Source Software Genetically Modify Maize Distributional Boundary 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Cozzens is the coleader of Thematic Research Cluster One, Equity, Equality, and Responsibility, in the Center for Nanotechnology and Society at Arizona State University. The discussion here is based in part on her work there, supported under NSF Cooperative Agreement #0531194, and her previous work in Project Resultar (NSF Grant SES 072-6919) in collaboration with colleagues in Project ResIST (, supported by the European Commission under Framework Program Six. All opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of any of the sponsoring organizations.


  1. Chen HC, Roco MC et al (2008) Trends in nanotechnology patents. Nat Nanotechnol 3(3):123–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Collier P (2007) The bottom billion: why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  3. Cozzens SE (2010) Building equity and equality into nanotechnology. In: Cozzens SE, Wetmore J (eds) Nanotechnology and the challenges of equity, equality, and development. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Cozzens SE (2011) Introduction to the Special Issue on ‘Distributional Consequences of Emerging Technologies’. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, published online, Accessed 16 April 2011
  5. Cozzens SE, Knell M (2009) Distributional consequences of emerging technologies: summary. In: Cozzens SE, Catalan P (eds) Atlanta conference on science and innovation policy. IEEE, Atlanta, Accessed 16 April 2011Google Scholar
  6. Cozzens SE, Lobo RC et al (2011) Nanotechnology and the millennium development goals: energy, water, and agri-food. In: Melkers J, White TM (eds) Atlanta conference on science and innovation policy 2011. IEEE, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
  7. Dagnino R (2010) Tecnologia Social: Ferramenta para construir outra sociedade. Campinas, KomediGoogle Scholar
  8. DST (2003) The national nanotechnology strategy. Department of Science and Technology, Republic of South Africa, PretoriaGoogle Scholar
  9. ETC-Group (2003) Size matters! The case for a global moratorium. ETC Group, Ottawa. Accessed 16 April 2011
  10. ETC-Group (2005) The potential impacts of nano-scale technologies on commodity markets: the implications for commodity dependent developing countries. ETC Group, Ottawa. Accessed 3 April 2011
  11. Fernandez-Ribas A (2010) International patent strategies of small and large firms: an empirical study of nanotechnology. Rev Policy Res 27(4):457–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fiedler M, Welpe IM (2010) Antecedents of cooperative commercialisation strategies of nanotechnology firms. Res Policy 39(3):400–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Foladori G, Lau EZ (2010) Chapter 11: the role of organized workers in the regulation of nanotechnologies. In: Cozzens SE, Wetmore J (eds) Nanotechnology and the challenges of equity, equality and development. Springer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  14. Ghose A (2003) Jobs and incomes in a globalizing world. Brookings Institution Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  15. Guan JC, Ma N (2007) China’s emerging presence in nanoscience and nanotechnology—a comparative bibliometric study of several nanoscience “giants”. Res Policy 36(6):880–886CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Invernizzi N (2010) Science policy and social inclusion: advances and limits of Brazilian nanotechnology policy. In: Cozzens SE, Wetmore J (eds) Nanotechnology and the challenges of equity, equality, and development. Netherlands, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  17. Invernizzi N (2011) Nanotechnology between the lab and the shop floor: what are the effects on labor? J Nanopart Res 1–20Google Scholar
  18. Invernizzi N, Kay L et al (2009) The role of Brazilian firms in nanotechnology development. In: Atlanta conference on science and innovation policy. Accessed 16 April 2011
  19. Kaplinsky R (2011) Schumacher meets Schumpeter: appropriate technology below the radar. Res Policy 40(2):193–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kay L, Shapira P (2009) Developing nanotechnology in Latin America. J Nanopart Res 11(2):259–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kay L, Shapira P (2010) The potential of nanotechnology for equitable economic development: the case of Brazil nanotechnology and the challenges of equity. In: Cozzens SE, Wetmore J (eds) Equality and development. Springer, New York, pp 309–329Google Scholar
  22. Kostoff RN, Barth RB et al (2008) Quality vs. quantity of publications in nanotechnology field from the People’s Republic of China. Chinese Sci Bull 53(8):1272–1280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Li X, Lin YL et al (2007) Worldwide nanotechnology development: a comparative study of USPTO, EPO, and JPO patents (1976–2004). J Nanopart Res 9(6):977–1002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Li X, Chen HC et al (2008) A longitudinal analysis of nanotechnology literature: 1976–2004. J Nanopart Res 10:3–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Liu X, Zhang PZ et al (2009) Trends for nanotechnology development in China, Russia, and India. J Nanopart Res 11(8):1845–1866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Meridian Institute (2006) Nanotechnology, water, and development: workshop summary. Meridian Institute, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  27. Meridian-Institute (2007) Nanotechnology, commodities, development: workshop summary. Meridian Institute. Accessed 16 April 2011
  28. Musee N, Brent AC et al (2010) A South African research agenda to investigate the potential environmental, health and safety risks of nanotechnology. South Afr J Sci 106(3–4):67–72Google Scholar
  29. Rawls J (1971) A theory of justice. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  30. Richmond N, Purra M et al (2010) Mapping emerging nanotechnology policies and regulations: the case of the People’s Republic of China. Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Singapore. Accessed 16 April 2011
  31. Royal-Society (2004) Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties. Royal Society, London. Accessed 16 April 2011
  32. Salamanca-Buentello F, Persad DL et al (2005) Nanotechnology and the developing world. PLoS Med 2(5):0383–0386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sarma SD, Chaudhury S (2009) Socio-economic implications of nanotechnology applications: a case of copper and copper dependent countries. Nanotechnol Law Bus 6(2):278–310Google Scholar
  34. Sastry RK, Rashmi HB et al (2010) Integrating nanotechnology into agri-food systems research in India: a conceptual framework. Technol Forecast Soc Change 77(4):639–648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schiermeier Q (2009) High hopes for Russia’s nanotech firms. Nature 461(7267):1036–1037CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sen P (2008) Nanotechnology: the Indian senario. Nanotechnol Law Bus 5(Summer):225–231Google Scholar
  37. Tang L, Shapira P (2011) Regional development and interregional collaboration in the growth of nanotechnology research in China. Scientometrics 86(2):299–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Youtie J, Shapira P et al (2008) Nanotechnology publications and citations by leading countries and blocs. J Nanopart Res 10(6):981–986CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zhao F, Zhao YL et al (2008) Activities related to health, environmental and societal aspects of nanotechnology in China. J Cleaner Prod 16(8–9):1000–1002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zhou P, Leydesdorff L (2006) The emergence of China as a leading nation in science. Res Policy 35(1):83–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations