Information Sources

Background on the Development of Location Information

The process of developing the location-specific information on the California in the Nano Economy website was completed in two main phases. The first phase focused on data collection and required developing a database of firms and organizations engaged in activities related to nanotechnology by collecting and integrating data from a variety of secondary sources. The second phase focused on data analysis of the collected information to create a value chain map for each location. This is part of a larger effort to begin the process of mapping the U.S. and global nano economy of which a significant subset of companies are located in California.

The information available on the location pages related to physical location, general business descriptors, and products was compiled from the publicly available sources in the table below in addition to firm and organization websites and other nanotechnology news feeds. The following is a brief overview of the location database development process:

  1. First, secondary datasets providing lists of firms and organizations purportedly involved with nanotechnology were identified and the information on the locations included in each dataset was collected as a separate information source. Each of the datasets varied by focus area, scope and collection strategy and therefore contained a variety of variables for each location (see Table).
  2. Once the information from each individual dataset was retrieved, the next step was to determine which locations were included in multiple datasets. The first step of this was achieved by comparing the common variables among the majority of the datasets: location name and an indicator of physical location (country, city, state, zip code or area code).
  3. Next, issues were resolved on conflicting data from variables appearing in multiple datasets. In the majority of cases, variables related to firm names and physical addresses did not agree and these discrepancies had to be identified and resolved individually by consulting additional data sources such as company websites or non nano-specific company databases. In each instance, information to support the decision is documented. Locations determined to be out of business or obviously lacking a focus on nanotechnology (mostly service-related organizations without a specific focus area on nanotechnology) were removed from the database with the reason why the location was removed. Furthermore, some locations that were listed as unique in the datasets have been combined due to acquisitions or different names. The reasoning for combining locations is also documented.
  4. Finally, the additional information provided from each dataset was broken apart and the similar pieces of information were placed into the same tables with a link to the original information source.

The second phase of this project involved using the collected data to determine where each location falls in the value chain map. The value chain mapping process involved determining the following for each location:

  1. If the location is a firm (directly involved in the supply chain) or a supporting organization
  2. The stage(s), sector(s) and subsector(s) of the value chain a location is involved in
  3. The main industry sector(s) a location's activities fall within
  4. The value-adding activities performed at the specific location
  5. The degree the company appears to be focused on nanotechnology-related activity
Table of Datasets Compiled and Integrated to Create the California in the Nano Economy Website (as of 5/10/2013)
# Publisher Name Scope Focus Year Total Locations California Initial California removed
1 Woodrow Wilson Center Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies Consumer Products International Firms/Products 2011 587 45 7
2 Woodrow Wilson Center Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies Nanosilver International Firms/Products 2007 65 6 2
3 Woodrow Wilson Center Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies Medicine International Firms/Products 2007 19 2 0
4 Plunkett Companies International Firms 2010 300 57 7
5 Plunkett Organizations International Support 2010 209 16 9
6 Lux Nano Handbook 4th Ed International Firms 2006 70 11 1
7 Lux Nano Handbook 5th Ed International Firms 2007 121 14 0
8 NanoVIP Activities International   2009 1,650* 170 31
9 Nanowerk Companies & Labs International Firms/Support 2011 4,200 316 59
10 Nanowerk Nanomaterial International Firms 2010 170 15 3
11 Woodrow Wilson Center Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies NanoMetro USA Firms/Support 2009 1,218 226 45
12 EST Journal Article USA Firms 2010 40 8 0
13 California Department of Toxic Substances (CADTSC) CNT/TiO2 Report California Firms/Support 2010 226 226 45
14 California Department of Toxic Substances (CADTSC) CNT Call-in California Firms/Support 2010 26 22 5
15 California Department of Toxic Substances (CADTSC) Nanomaterial Call-in California Firms/Support 2011 45 43 11
16 Nanoscience & Technology Institute (NSTI) CA Locations Only International Firms/Support 2010 -- 470 248
17 Harris & Harris Group Portfolio Companies HHVC USA Firms 2013 34 16 0
18 NanoDimension Portfolio Companies NanoDimension International Firms 2013 7 2 0
19 Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Hoovers CA Locations Only International Firms/Support 2010 -- 594 124
20 Nano Conference Presenter TechConnect2013; NanoMfgSummit2013 Varied Firms Varied -- 3 0