World demand to reach $5.5 billion in 2016
World demand for nanomaterials will rise more than two-and-a-half times to $5.5 billion in 2016, driven by a combination of increased market penetration of existing materials, and ongoing development of new materials and applications. Nanotubes, along with other materials such as nanoclays and quantum dots, will grow at the fastest pace, with the energy storage and generation and construction markets undergoing the most rapid expansions. Regionally, the Americas and the Asia/Pacific region will continue to dominate demand, though the fastest growth will occur in Eastern Europe and the Africa/Mideast region.
China, India to be fastest growing national markets
The world market for nanomaterials continues to be quite dynamic, undergoing rapid expansion even during the recent global recession in 2009. Significant investments into the research and development of nanomaterials continue to highlight their unique properties and their high-value nature when compared to conventional materials. This high-value nature has concentrated nanomaterial demand in wealthier countries where the majority of research and development continues to occur, and where many companies continue to manufacture their most technologically advanced products due to concerns about intellectual property rights in developing countries. Through 2016, however, the fastest growth in nanomaterial demand will be in China and India as these countries gain a greater share of global research and development spending, and as large multinational corporations become increasingly comfortable allowing their most advanced products to be produced in these manufacturing powerhouses.
Energy storage and generation, construction markets to lead gains
The energy storage and generation and construction markets will expand at the fastest pace through 2016. However, this primarily reflects the limited historical penetration of nanomaterials in these markets. As prices continue to fall and material properties continue to improve, both markets will offer significant opportunities for expansion. Growth in the electronics market, in contrast, while still robust, will trail all other markets. The electronics sector was one of the first to experience significant penetration of nanomaterials, and consequently demand in this market is already quite high.
Key health care market has significant opportunities
The largest market in 2011 was the health care market, due primarily to the use of nanocrystalline active pharmaceutical intermediates to improve bioavailability and system uptake. However, significant opportunities remain as many pharmaceuticals still are not converted into a nanocrystalline form, and the use of nanocomposites to produce advanced medical devices remains in its infancy. Significant opportunities for market expansion will also exist in many smaller markets such as aerospace and defense, packaging, personal care products, and sports equipment. However, a potential restraining factor in many of these markets will be growing public and regulatory concern about the environmental impact and toxicity of nanomaterials. Increased regulatory scrutiny may erode public confidence in nanomaterials and slow their adoption in consumeroriented products.