We were recently involved in a study of the potential application of nanotechnology in the construction sector - ('A review of nanotechnology and its potential applications for construction' and 'New dimensions for the built environment: the nanotechnology revolution' ). We held a conference to debate the findings and some colleagues in civ eng were circumspect about the value of more in-depth research when most of the opportunities - as they see them - are still defined at the micro level.
I'm, not so sure, and think that both streams need support.
Anyway, you may find some of the bibliometric and patent analysis in the longer report of general use for your study.
Professor David Gann
Director, Innovation Studies Centre
The Business School and Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Imperial College London