Japan is the Biggest Nanotechnology R&D Spender Worldwide after the US and Nanotechnology is Now the Key Priority under Japan's Science & Technology S&T Second Basic Plan.
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Japan has been investing in nanoscience since the 1980s and after the USA is the biggest nanotechnology R&D spender worldwide. The Japanese Government views the successful development of nanotechnology as one of the keys to the reinvigoration and sustainable success of the Japanese economy. Government agencies and large corporations are the main sources of funding for nanotechnology in Japan; small and medium-sized companies play only a minor role. Research activities are generally grouped in relatively large industrial, government, and academic laboratories.
Japan was spurred into action by the National Nanotechnology Initiative in the United States. In response, the Japanese Government set up the Expert Group on Nanotechnology under the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren) Committee on Industrial Technology and Japan targeted nanotechnology as one of four priorities in its fiscal 2001 science and technology budget. The Council for Science and Technology Policy decided that life science, information and telecommunications, the environment, and nanotechnology would together reinvigorate the Japanese economy.
Nanotechnology is now the key priority under Japan's Science & Technology S&T second basic plan, and received a substantial increase in expenditure from the central government for the fiscal year 2002. This has increased for FY2003 and FY2004 with nearly all funding committed from two ministries, MEXT (Ministry for Education, Science & Technology) and METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry). This report gives a comprehensive overview of nanotechnology activity in Japan. The report includes all major initiatives, government bodies, programmes, research institutes, universities, networks and companies.