Nanotechnology innovation system: Understanding hidden dynamics of nanoscience fusion trajectories

Nazrul Islam*, Kumiko Miyazaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (SciVal)


Purpose - To examine the innovation trends in fusing traditional disciplines, such as physics and chemistry, with the newer disciplines of nanotechnology and nanoscience.
Design/methodology/approach - A review of the literature of technological innovation, focusing particularly on the emerging field of nanoscience and nanotechnology, is presented. Reports the analysis of all nanoscience articles, retrieved from databases such as SCI-EXPANDED, for three time periods (1990-1994, 1995-1999, 2000-2004), to identify those articles that share nanoscience with the disciplines of chemistry, physics, biology and materials science. Focuses particularly on the specific cases of Europe and Japan to determine the similarities and differences in the nanoscience fusion characteristics.

Findings - The results indicated that the basic research trend of disciplines has been changing over time from a highly separate disciplinary type to a more multi-disciplinary type. Notes how, in the earlier phase, researchers linked with their respective disciplines' research, but now tend to share their expertise or knowledge to bring about a more efficient outcome. Concludes that the discovery of new nanomaterials (carbon nanotubes, fullerenes) and the development of new techniques to control and manipulate the structure of materials using techniques such as self-assembly mechanisms caused the fusion of the disciplines to take place and be rapid.

Practical implications - An integrated framework of nanoscience fusion trajectories is suggested.

Originality/value - Assists researchers with the task of understanding which attributes may be expected to facilitate the fusion of scientific disciplines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-140
Number of pages13
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Issue number1
Early online date16 Jun 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • Nanotechnology innovation system (NanoSI)
  • Hybrid research approach
  • Scientometrics
  • Nanoscience fusion model


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