Russian Nanotechnology R&D: Thinking big about small scale science


  • Fredrik Westerlund

Publish date: 2011-06-14

Report number: FOI-R--3197--SE

Pages: 168

Written in: English


  • Russian Federation
  • nanotechnology
  • nanoscience
  • research and development (R&D)
  • patenting
  • innovation
  • commercialisation
  • intelligence services
  • security policy.


In recent years, nanotechnology has risen on the Russian policy agenda and it has often been mentioned as a key factor in the process of modernisation and innovation. Undoubtedly, nanotechnology is promising for science, industry and society, but to what extent will Russia be able to benefit from a national effort in this field? The main purpose of this study is to provide an assessment of Russian achievements in the field of nanotechnology research and development up to 2010 and its plans for the coming decade. The report provides an overview of the expanding field of nanotechnology in general and in Russia in particular. First government initiatives are described. Second an assessment of Russian nanotechnology capability is made, by comparing Russian investment, research publications and patenting activity with a sample of other countries. Third, Russia's potential for innovation and commercialisation of nanotechnology is assessed and the prospects of intelligence service support to the Russian nanotechnology effort are discussed. Finally, the feasibility of the Russian nanotechnology effort is assessed on the basis of its identified strengths and weaknesses, followed by tentative conclusions on the future impact of Russian nanotechnology on security policy.