Investing is a calculation of the risk of a business’s success or failure versus the rewards to be gained.
What are the chances of a company being successful and how much will that return on an investment? What are the chances of the business failing? What can be lost if that happens?
The same calculation should be made before investing in a new technology.
The rewards for investing in nanotechnology are as far-reaching and impactful as the technology itself.
For many the words “nanoscience” and “nanotechnology” bring associations of technology that is highly futuristic and something for future generations to use. However, there are already thousands of applications for nanomaterials in everyday products, with the potential for hundreds of thousands more.
While nanomaterials are incredibly small (Graphene is as thin as a single atom and carbon nanotubes are 50,000 times thinner than a human hair) their size gives the substances they are made of different properties to the macroworld.
For example, while carbon is strong and heavy at a large scale, at the nanoscale they lose their weight yet gain more strength. As the American Chemical Society notes that, “Carbon nanotubes are one hundred times stronger than steel and yet also much lighter.”
Furthermore, their small size and high surface area means that just a small amount of nanomaterial mixed into another substance can transfer properties of strength, flexibility, electroconductivity, magnetism or more into the new material.
For example, a 2019 King Saud University Journal review of nanoproduct use found that they are having a huge impact on the production of car tyres. The analysis stating that, “[Conventionally] Carbon black, soot, silica and organosilica are added to the rubber mixtures to improve its properties and lifetime. By adding these particles in nanoscale, the tyre properties … show significant improvement.”
Thus, by using nanomaterials in tyre manufacture they can be made more durable (and so last longer), be given electroconductive properties (for safer driving), and can be made lighter (for improved fuel efficiency).
To learn more about this process, read: How Nanotechnology is Revolutionising Tyres or Car Tyre Recycling Increased by Elastomer Nanotechnology Discovery
Investors may find that the risks for investing in a technology as new as nanotechnology are actually surprisingly low. This is because nanoproducts are already all around us and are used in every industry on the planet.
The pharmaceutical industry, the plastics industry, the automobile industry, the electronics industry, the agricultural industry (both arable and livestock farming), the defence industry, the communications industry, the metallurgy industry, the packaging industry, the research industry, the aerospace industry, the coatings industry, and the elastomers industry, to name but a few, all use nanoproducts.
Furthermore, the use of nanoproducts is expected to grow.
“Nanotechnology—whether it’s the actual production of the nanomaterials themselves or their implementation into various applications and markets—is one of the largest growing industries in the world. It is an industry that has been rapidly developing, advancing and growing over the last ten years and is expected to grow to $125 billion by 2024—roughly double what it is now,” explains the industry journal Nano-Magazine. “The markets in which nanomaterials are expanding into are also growing, and new markets/applications are emerging year on year, so there has never been a better time to become a part of a growing scientific movement.”
The most advantageous part of investing in nanotechnology, is that you are buying into a bricks and mortar company, where employees go to work in a factory to make a product that industry needs.
Far too many start-ups exist with just an idea, a business model, or a technology without actually producing anything.
While investors in the latest mobile phone application may strike lucky when a Tik Tok or Face App goes viral, many are left to regret putting their money in an idea that didn’t catch on.
Meanwhile, investors in nanotechnology are putting their money in something that has already proved its worth.
The rewards from nanotechnology may not go through the roof, but with low interest rates, property markets down following the COVID pandemic, and stock markets fluctuating nervously over elections and pending trade deals, slowly but surely, it remains an option worth considering.
As Dr Eijkel Kees, the technical commercial director of Mesa (a nanotech research institute), observes, “It [nanotechnology] will take time and won’t change everything overnight, but like the internet, it will creep into our world.”
To learn more about investing in nanotechnology and how to invest in patented nanoproducts and processes, visit this page’s sponsors; AG CHEMI GROUP.