GAO: Nanomanufacturing Critical to U.S. Innovation, Competitiveness

Friday, Feb 07, 2014, 2:00pm

by Semiconductor Industry Association

Today’s technology has enabled the creation of electronic devices that are more powerful, less costly, and more compact than ever before.  As these products get smaller and smaller, America increasingly depends on the science behind nanomanufacturing – the construction of devices at the molecular scale – in order to stay at the forefront of innovation.

A new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) examines the future of nanomanufacturing, its impact on the U.S. semiconductor industry and other sectors, and the critical importance of basic research investments in maintaining America’s global competitiveness. The report, entitled Nanomanufacturing: Emergence and Implications for U.S. Competitiveness, the Environment, and Human Health, outlines the following conclusions:

• Nanomanufacturing is a future megatrend that will potentially match or surpass the digital revolution’s effect on society and the economy.

• The U.S. is likely leading in nanotechnology R&D today, but the U.S. faces several competitive challenges in the future.

• These future challenges can be addressed through three approaches: 1) strengthen U.S. innovation by updating current innovation-related policies and programs; 2) promote U.S. innovation in manufacturing through public-private partnerships; and 3) design a strategy for attaining a holistic vision for U.S. manufacturing.

The report also includes an industry profile on the semiconductor industry (see Appendix IV).  SIA staff and member representatives provided input for inclusion in the report.

A GAO podcast on the report is available here. Additionally, GAO’s blog, called WatchBlog, presents an overview of the report here.