This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Nanotech: Huge Focus on a Small Science

Last year, companies and governments invested $8.6 billion in nanotechnology research and development, up 10% from 2003, according to Lux Research, one of the most respected research firms to rise up around nanotech. Companies such as IBM (IBM - Get Report), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ - Get Report), General Electric (GE - Get Report), NEC (NIPNY) and BASF (BF) are among the cutting-edge researchers in the field, although nanotech involves only a sliver of their operations today.

Some 20,000 people around the world are working in nanotechnology, a figure that the National Science Foundation expects to rise tenfold in 15 years. Forecasts for the nanotech market range all over the spectrum, but the most commonly cited is the NSF's figure of $1 trillion within the next decade.

So the interest in and commitment to nanotechnology are widespread, but beyond that, the uncertainty begins. Experts talk about the potential breakthroughs -- the ability to deliver life-saving drug proteins that the human body has so far resisted, batteries to power laptops and devices with memory chips that are many times tinier and more powerful than anything available today, elevators stretching into outer space. But no one can tell you when, or who will make them.

"There will be new companies formed that will create a phenomenal amount of value because of the revolutions they're creating," says Warren Packard, a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which has been actively investing in nanotechnology startups. "At the same time, there will be many, many companies that won't make it. The fundamentals of investing and of analyzing a company's prospects don't change. Just because someone calls itself nanotechnology, [that] could mean nothing for its prospects."

In the same way that desperate companies such as Zapata, a Texas fish-oil company, or K-Tel, a third-rate record label, tried to reinvent themselves as Internet stars in the mid-'90s, drawing the inevitable flurry of speculative trading, many companies will don a "nanotechnology" sash without necessarily having more to do with nanotechnology beyond the fact that they're housed in buildings composed of atoms.
2 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
GE $27.81 1.30%
HPQ $9.35 3.70%
IBM $120.57 2.30%
AAPL $93.50 -0.21%
FB $101.55 -0.35%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 15,859.98 +199.80 1.28%
S&P 500 1,852.33 +23.25 1.27%
NASDAQ 4,304.4180 +37.5810 0.88%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs