The global nanotechnology market has the potential to be applied to a wide and diverse range of goods, thanks to its ability to enhance many existing products. In the first years of nanotechnology development governments around the world championed this innovative technology by funding research projects that were deemed to be of a high risk to investors.
While governments still play a major part in funding nanotechnology research, this technology now has many commercial uses, which has led to lower risks and much higher rewards for companies. Therefore, the private sector is now becoming more involved in the research and development of nanotechnology, with 3M being at the forefront of the commercial application of this technology.
As there are so many potential uses for nanotechnology in the medical, electrical and chemical markets 3M has spent the last few years perfecting a number of nano-based products. One of the innovations that 3M has pioneered is the new lightweight carbon monoxide filtration system that has the ability to enhance air quality, using the air respiratory system. Thanks to this new automation system around 95% of carbon monoxide is filtered out.
3M has been working on creating a drug delivery system that guarantees a painless experience utilising nanotechnology. They have achieved this by using over 1000 micro-needles to inject the drugs, with 3M hoping that in the future many drugs can be injected at one time, bypassing the need for multiple injections.
Another nanotechnology-based innovation is the Patch Plus Primer, which is currently the only primer product on the market that can dry quickly, firmly and evenly in one simple step. Even though this product may not be as revolutionary as the medical-based nano technology, it does show that many varied markets can benefit from nanotechnology.
3M is the largest nanotechnology company in the world, with over US$30 billion of revenue being recorded in 2013 and having over 85,000 employees that work for the company worldwide.
A key reason for the success that 3M is enjoying in the nanotechnology market is the Time To Think policy they champion. This policy gives employees of the company 15% of their working time to work on their own personal projects that they are passionate about and believe will be of potential value to 3M. It is clear that the global nanotechnology market is providing great benefits to companies, such as 3M, that are willing to invest in this burgeoning technology.