Ceramic Industry

Lux Projects Slowed Growth for Nanomaterials (posted 7/1/09)

July 1, 2009

As the economic downturn drains demand in several nano-enabled product market segments, it is eroding growth along the entire value chain from nanointermediates to nanomaterials, according to “The Recession’s Ripple Effect on Nanotech,” Lux Research’s latest report. Total revenues from products incorporating nanotechnology should still reach $2.5 trillion in 2015, the report states, but that signals a 21% drop from earlier projections.

The report cites two separate trends sapping demand in nano-enabled end-markets: reduced production volumes and a slower rate of new technology adoption. “The recession has hit automotive, construction- and, to a smaller degree, electronics-the hardest,” said Jurron Bradley, a senior analyst at Lux Research and the lead author of the report. “But we expect opportunities in healthcare and life sciences to remain largely unscathed and recover from the recession more quickly.”

Some nanomaterials and intermediates will struggle more than others. Among nanomaterials, carbon nanotubes and ceramic nanoparticles will suffer the most due to their broad exposure to automotive and construction. Nanocomposites and coatings will see the biggest declines among nanointermediates.

Geographic influences could shift market share. While the U.S. and Europe will still account for more than two-thirds of emerging nanotech revenue through 2015, shares are expected to drop 2-3% each, relative to Lux’s previous forecast. The Asia/Pacific region’s revenues should rise by 5% due to its relatively more competitive automotive industry.

The economy offers an edge to large corporations and challenges to start-ups. The down economy invites well-resourced incumbents to renew and reposition their technology portfolios by snapping up struggling small companies on the cheap. Cash-strapped start-ups, meanwhile, will need to make cash conservation a priority until markets revive.

“Government nanotech initiatives will also need to change tack in order to sustain anticipated payback in jobs and GDP growth,” said Bradley. “Rather than tax credits, they’ll need to offer more creative incentives like R&D grants to help struggling start-ups survive the recession.”

Visit www.luxresearchinc.com for additional information.