BNCT Project on Statistics & Indicators
OECD BNCT

Project on Statistics & Indicators of Bio- and Nanotechnology (OECD BNCT)

Biotechnology and nanotechnology are both disciplines of science and technology in their own right and providers of increasingly widely adopted tools to other fields of science and technology and to each other. This complex pattern of deployment signifys a growing convergence of traditional disciplines of science and engineering, and poses a formidable challenge to the creation and measurement of reliable indicators of the technologies’ development and impact.

The OECD Working Parties on Biotechnology (OECD WPB) and Nanotechnology (OECD WPN) have for several years set, measured and published indicators and statistics for biotechnology and nanotechnology (see below: 'Background Information on Statistics & Indicators'). With the creation of the new OECD Working Party on Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Converging Technologies (BNCT) in January 2015, the OECD now aims to re-confirm indicators and measurement methodology for these multidisciplinary and partially over-lapping technologies with a view to establishing exclusively accurate and relevant datasets.

The Convergence of Biotechnology and Nanotechnology

 

The aminated GIF-image below shows a time-series of most used words (keywords) found in the titles of articles in scientific journals of biotechnology and nanotechnology.[1] 

The time-series illustrates how the fields of biotechnology and nanotechnology started off in 1996 as separate concepts, which were eventually linked through the introduction of the concept of the biological ‘cell’ in 2001. The continuing shift of focus within the field of nanotechnology away from the scientific studies of ‘alloy(s)’ and towards the technically-routed ‘synthesis’ and ‘application’ of nanomaterials further merged the two fields: by 2014, the combined field of biotechnology and nanotechnology was dominated by the concepts of ‘synthesis’ of ‘nanoparticle(s)’ and their ‘application’ in ‘biosensor(s)’ for the ‘detection’ within the biological ‘cell’.

Follow this link to a more detailed description of the separate time-series maps in the fields of both biotechnology and nanotechnology.

 


[1] Keyword occurence maps were generated using the VOSviewer programme (http://www.vosviewer.com/).

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Visualisation of the Convergence of Biotechnology and Nanotechnology

Posted by Steffi Friedrichs on April 6, 2016

We have mapped the scientific developments in the fields of biotechnology and nanotechnology and visualised their convergence; observe the development yourself on the animated time-series maps below.

Biotechnology: In 1996, the field of biotechnology is focused mainly on ‘biosensors’ (and their technical elements and functionality), but broadened to include (and focus on) concepts, such as ‘gene’, ‘expression’, and ‘disease’ from 2000 onwards. The overall map of biotechnology keywords retained a constant shape since 2003, but specific details on the map fluctuated in occurrence between the years.

Nanotechnology: The field of nanotechnology underwent a continuous shift in foci and a change in the shape of the entire map: while during the years 1996 to 2004 the scientific study of inorganic materials (such as ‘alloy’ and ‘steel’) dominated the field of nanotechnology, these concepts had been all but abandoned by 2009 and focus had instead shifted to the ‘synthesis’ of ‘nanoparticles’, and their application in specific devices, such as ‘diode(s)’, and  ‘solar cell(s)’, as well as in the ‘electrode’ of a ‘biosensor’, used for the purpose of in ‘vitro’ ‘detection’ within a biological ‘cell’.

The fields of biotechnology and nanotechnology started off in 1996 as separate concepts, which were eventually linked through the introduction of the concept of the biological ‘cell’ in 2001. The continuing shift of focus within the field of nanotechnology away from the scientific studies of ‘alloy(s)’ and towards the technically-routed ‘synthesis’ and ‘application’ of nanomaterials further merged the two fields: by 2014, the combined field of biotechnology and nanotechnology was dominated by the concepts of ‘synthesis’ of ‘nanoparticle(s)’ and their ‘application’ in ‘biosensor(s)’ for the ‘detection’ within the biological ‘cell’.