Brussels, 10 Dec 2004
On the same day that the German government allocated million euro in prize money to young researchers working in nanotechnology, protesters disrupted a nanotechnology business conference in the UK.
The German funding went to 17 young researchers, who will now establish their own research groups. The projects to be pursued by the recipients address many different nanotechnology applications, for example in materials research, chemistry, biology and electronics.
Announcing the awards, German Secretary of State from the Ministry for Education and Research Wolf-Michael Catenhusen claimed that the initiative has helped the country to combat brain drain. Two of the recipients are non-Germans, while a further six cancelled plans to move abroad because of the funding.
While the praises of nanotechnology were being sung in Berlin, campaigners opposed to nanotechnology expressed concerns to delegates at the 'Nanotechnology - delivering business advantage' conference in Buckinghamshire, the UK, over a number of issues related to nanotechnology. The main points raised were the toxicity of nanoparticles; military use of nanotechnologies; increases in control and surveillance using nanosensors; patents on matter; and circumventing disability rights. For information on the EU's nanotechnology research activities, please visit: http:///www.cordis.lu/nanotechnology