Products were identified primarily through keyword, sector and sub-sector searches of reports and databases.
This search strategy was based on a triangulation approach making use of complementing perspectives. In all cases, the sector specific lists of key words were used.
The first step was to use peer-reviewed and grey literature on products in the different sectors. These investigations were then complemented by querying web-based databases on nanotechnology products such as AZONANO, Nanowerk, the consumer products inventory of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, the product database of understandingnano.com, the Nanoinformationsportal of the Österreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit GmbH, and the nanowatch.de database. Further sector specific databases, such as the German database for medical practitioners and the database on European public assessment reports of the European Medicines Agency, were used for the identification and classification of nanotechnology related products.
By querying databases on existing innovation policy projects, initiatives and industry platforms such as NANORA, the Nano-Map of the German Federal Ministry of Research, the database on photonic companies compiled by EPIC, the members directory of SEMI, and the Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (USA), additional enterprises active in nanotechnology sectors were identified.
A third perspective on products was developed by gathering additional information about the products from company websites identified in previous work, commercial databases and reports (e.g. from BCC Research, Frost & Sullivan) and open sources of information on the web. The information was verified through additional searches (e.g. of product data sheets and company websites).