Based on bibliometric methods, this paper describes the global institutionalization of nanotechnology research from the mid-1980s
to 2006. Owing to an extremely strong dynamics, the institutionalization of nanotechnology is likely to surpass those of major
disciplines in only a few years. A breakdown of the relative institutionalizations strengths by the main geographical regions,
countries, research sectors, disciplines, and institutional types provides a very diverse picture over the time period because
of different national science policies. The results allow a critical assessment of the different science policies based on
the relative institutionalizations strengths as well as the conclusion that the institutionalization process has run out of
control of individual governments who once induced the development.