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Nanotechnology is widely seen as the source of the next industrial revolution. As a result, national governments have made short-term stimulus investments in nanoscience in the hopes of achieving long-lasting economic and societal benefits. Despite the stimulus funding, the scale and timing of new nanotechnology innovations are far from clear. Part of the problem stems from the fact that nanoscience is often far upstream of potential societal application. But the issue is more complex given the evidently complex coupling of science, technology and commercialization. Nanotechnology itself is often presented as an exemplar of a new class of strategic research initiatives. In this paper we characterize nanotechnology commercialization in a well-recognized database of nanotechnology research. Contributions are made to the ongoing effort to define, and refine, the relevant knowledge base for nano-science and technology. The effort further requires novel techniques for isolating commercially-relevant research in large databases of science.