Brussels, 14 June 2002
Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin chaired an information day on new frontiers in nanotechnology in Grenoble, France, on 14 June.
Nanotechnology, which will be allocated 700 million euro under the European Commission's Sixth Framework programme for research, deals with the manipulation of tiny objects such as atoms and molecules and the creation of materials on a miniature scale.
This makes it possible to build machines on the size of human cells and develop ultra-miniature manufacturing techniques. The science is already fostering the development of new applications in information technology, medicine and other sectors.
Nanotechnology is also becoming a prime focus for venture capital firms in Europe and the USA. In Europe, a recent survey identified 86 cross-border networks in nanotechnology involving around 2,000 organisations.
But the scientific and technical challenges of working at nano scale are significant, says the Commission, and future success depends on the sharing of knowledge and techniques among scientists.
'Enterprises cannot do everything on their own,' says Commissioner Busquin. 'The challenge is so big that it has to be faced by solid public-private partnerships.'
For further information, please consult the following web address: