This paper discusses the emergence of nanotechnology as a major new technology thrust which will revolutionize all aspects of the economy and society in the twenty‐first century. This development results from the convergence of the fields of physics, chemistry,biology and engineering at the nanometer level (1 nm=10−9 m). At this level new phenomena operate and new devices and processes can be developed. The boundary between the established field of microtechnology and the new field of nanotechnology is blurred but it is clear that integrated technologies will be developed. In view of the importance of such developments in the Asia‐Pacific region the APEC Center for Technology Foresight carried out a wide‐ranging foresight study of nanotechnology in 2002/2003 and this is reported here. The study provides the strategic policy intelligence to enable economies to improve their strategic planning to deal with future changes stemming from nanotechnology.
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