Quote Gandalf from the Two Towers:
And I come back to you now - at the turn of the tide
If other countries respond with similar or more aggressive software control of matter projects, than the very interesting projects from the UK Ideas Factory then this would be the start of a growing race to molecular nanotechnology
I think the UK projects are interesting, aggressive and achievable. Significant success of the three proposed project and other which are likely to follow in the regular funding process would force a response by other countries to take programmable matter with site specific chemistry (molecular nanotechnology) seriously. I think even before such success (which might take until 2009-2011) is achieved, countries and researchers in other countries will react this year.