I suggested at the end of May that it appeared as though IBM was starting an entirely new line of business. Small countries were turning to IBM to jump-start their nanotechnology initiatives.
Well we have seen the first of these announced partnerships fall to the wayside due to the inability of Bulgaria to pay for the expense.
It seems that Bulgaria’s state spending has increased by 30% in the first half of 2009. My speculation is that this increase in spending is likely due to paying unemployment compensation for those laid off during the worldwide recession, and trying a bit too hard to spend their way into joining the Eurozone. In any case, the finance minister started looking around for ways to cut the budget and nanotechnology rose to the top of the list.
If there is a lesson to be learned here, IBM has discovered that one of the drawbacks of doing business with small economies is that sometimes they just can’t pay the bill.
Dexter Johnson is a contributing editor at IEEE Spectrum, with a focus on nanotechnology.