Analysis of Early Stage Agrifood Nanotechnology Research and Development

Analysis of Early Stage Agrifood Nanotechnology Research and Development

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.

Washington, D.C. - 03/24/2006 - Nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize agriculture and food.  According to Small Times magazine, nanotechnology promises food that can adjust its color, flavor, or nutrient content to accommodate each person's taste or health needs.  It offers packaging that can sense when food contents are spoiling and alert consumers.  In agriculture, it portends various applications aimed at reducing pesticide and water use, improving plant and animal breeding, and creating nano-bioindustrial products.

A report last year by the Helmut Kaiser Consultancy estimated that the worldwide nanotech food market may total $20.4 billion by 2010. 

Jennifer Kuzma and Peter VerHage, from the University of Minnesota's Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy (CSTPP), have analyzed publicly available data on current U.S. government-funded research projects in agrifood nanotechnology.  They also have examined open information from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 

Their work has produced one of the first analyses of the current level and nature of the federal agrifood nanotechnology research portfolio, estimates on possible areas and timeframes for commercialization, and an early look at potential benefits and risks.  It also has resulted in creation of a database with over one hundred and sixty research projects (publicly available and searchable with Microsoft Access). 

Kuzma and VerHage will present their analysis and data at a program hosted by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.

When: Thursday, March 30th at 2:00 p.m.

Where: 5th Floor Conference Room of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Speakers include:

  • David Rejeski, Director, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies  
  • Jennifer Kuzma, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota, and Associate Director, Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy (CSTPP)  
  • Peter VerHage, Research Assistant, CSTPP

Attendance is limited - to attend please RSVP (acceptances only) to 
Webcast Live at