Russia Plans to Track Its Own Nanotechnology

I really love the story of nanotechnology in Russia thus far. You have intrigue. You have fantasy. And now we have internal conflict (or should I say internal contradiction).

The Moscow Times is reporting that Anatoly Chubais, RusNano's chief, has said, "Right now, no one in Russia even knows how much nanotechnology production there is." But then in the same article Chubais explains that last year the country produced 4 billion rubles ($120 million) to 20 billion rubles worth of nanotechnology equipment and materials.

Okay in his defense, he acknowledges that these numbers are probably pretty fuzzy and the idea is to start figuring out what they should be counting as nanotechnology. But couldnâ''t this point be made without trotting out the self-acknowledged â''fuzzyâ'' numbers.

I do enjoy making jokes about some of the funny press releases that come out about Russiaâ''s nanotechnology initiative. But I think their basic premise of dealing with government funding of nanotech in part through funding academic research and the other part through a fund that would lead to commercialized products is looking like it makes a lot more sense. Especially in light of all the government funding that has been poured into academic research and governments now wondering whether there is any economic impact to show for it.

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