Tuesday, January 24, 2006

More signs of American decay...

Japan spends 3x as a percentage of GDP on nanotech than the United States...

Cientifica (London, England) says it interviewed government funding agencies and researchers around the world, and finds that many of them have only just begun working on nanotechnologies while government funding is harder to get than imagined.

The just published report, called “Where Has My Money Gone? Governemnt Nanotechnology Funding and the $18 billion Pair of Pants”, concludes that Japan spends three times as much on the technology as a proportion of its gross domestic product as the U.S...

They say government nanotechnology funding takes an average of two to three years before it even reaches the lab, and consequently the impact of nanotechnology will only start to be felt from 2007 onwards.

It also warns that much of the government spending is concentrated on research areas with little immediate commercial impact.

Commenting on the findings, Cientifica CEO Tim Harper said: "Only by talking to the people at the coal face of nanotechnology, the research labs, can you get a real idea of what nanotechnology is all about. These people speak a very different language from that of Wall Street, and the story that emerges is very different from the hype and over expectation that we have come to associate with nanotechnology."

Venture capital isn't going to any early stage start-ups...

[A]s a percentage of total venture capital investing ... late-stage deals hit a record high in 2005, taking in about 45% of the total VC investments during the year, according to the MoneyTree report released Tuesday.

Late-stage investing accounted for only 37% of the VC total in 2004. During the venture capital sector's record year in 2000 -- when more than $104 billion was invested -- only 15% went to companies in the late-stage phase...

For 2005, total venture capital investments were $21.7 billion, compared with $21.6 billion invested in 2004. Venture investing has picked up slightly from the post-Tech-bubble low of $19.6 billion in 2003.

Deal activity remained flat as well, with 2,939 venture capital deals inked during the year. The previous period saw 2,966 venture cap deals secured.

During the fourth-quarter, total venture capital investments were $5.1 billion, down from the $5.4 billion reported for the third quarter and below the $5.8 billion seen in the same period the previous year.

The sharp growth in late-stage investments came at the expense of companies in the so-called expansion stage. This segment raised only $7.8 billion in venture cap during the year, down 16% from the $9.3 billion raised during the previous year.

But take comfort; though the minimum wage is in no danger of rising anytime soon, McDonald's is raking in the dough.

Let them flip burgers!

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