A new study shows that North Carolina has broken into the Top 10 states nationwide in terms of its concentration of nanotechnology companies, universities, research laboratories and organizations.

Raleigh also has moved into the Top 5 cities designated as “Nano Metro” clusters, according to the Project on Emerging Technologies, a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

North Carolina ranks eighth on the list, with 48 companies, universities or government laboratories engaged in nanotech research. California topped the list, followed by Massachusetts and New York.

“Nanotechnology is fundamental to North Carolina’s economic development strategy of growing jobs and building a new economy,” Gov. Beverly Perdue said in a statement. “As one of the Top 10 nanotech states, North Carolina will continue to push ahead and lead a technology sector that will change every industry and create products that will change the way we live.”

The state also ranked eighth nationally in terms of nanotech companies, with 37, tied for sixth with eight academic or government research labs and tied for sixth with three support organizations.

The study divided nanotech research into six sectors: electronics, energy, imaging, materials, medicine and instruments.

Raleigh trailed only Boston and San Jose, Calif., as a "Nano Metro," with 34 companies or research efforts. It also tied for fourth in the electronics sector and third in the medicine sector.