Science, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Dimitris G. Assimakopoulos, Ilan Oshri and Krsto Pandza
Chapter 7: Nanotechnology in Ireland: an analysis of the patent co-classification network
Nanotechnology – named as ‘the key-technology [sic] of the 21st century’ (Bhattacharya and Shilpa, 2011) – is often defined as technology to manipulate and control matter at the scale of 1–100 nanometres. Nanotechnology represents an interesting case for the scholars of emergent technologies, as it is applied across a variety of sectors, from information and communication technology (ICT) to biotechnology, and from the pharmaceutical industry to material science and manufacturing. Although nanotechnology as a scientific field substantially impacts upon the socio-economic development of the European economy, it is particularly important for the Republic of Ireland, as the country holds a revealed technological advantage in nanotechnology compared to other countries of Western Europe (OECD, 2009). At the same time the Republic of Ireland also hosts strong semiconductor, materials and biotechnology sectors (Forfás, 2010) that apply nanotechnology extensively.
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