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Posted: November 2, 2009
Nano Initiative showcases Austrian nanotechnology
(Nanowerk News) Research into the most minuscule of things can have an enormous impact, as will become evident at "NANO: Science. Industry. Impact. 09". The event is set to take place at Tech Gate Vienna Monday, November 9, 2009, providing a framework for the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) to present the past successes of the NANO Initiative – a program to promote research and development in nanotechnology in Austria. Five years after the initiative's 2004 launch, in excess of 480 scientific publications have been written and more than 30 patents and inventions registered. Moreover, novel products for cleaning surfaces and new, high-end, nano-coated tools, among many other innovations, are already on the market. The BMVIT has invested 50 million euros in top-class research and application-oriented development since 2004. By 2010 the investment will total 68 million euros.
"Research, technology and innovation are the key factors in generating increased economic growth and creating more jobs," emphasizes Doris Bures, the infrastructure minister of Austria. "Promoting applied and application-oriented research is the strongest lever in this respect. The proximity to the market makes it a short leap from promotion to production. The products in the R&D labs of today will be on the market tomorrow." The NANO Initiative provided the scope for investing in projects with considerable market potential, creating a crucial competitive edge for Austrian companies - something that is especially important in economically challenging times.
The NANO Initiative Exhibition
Just what it is that Austrian companies and research facilities have achieved in this field will be demonstrated by the BMVIT at the "Nano: Science. Industry. Impact. 09" exhibition at Tech Gate Vienna on Monday, November 9, 2009. Talks, presentations, podium discussions and networking from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. will provide an opportunity for visitors to discover in detail the initiative's successes up to now.
Among the projects currently enjoying the support of the NANO Initiative are eight collaborations between science and industry: ISOTEC, NANOCOAT, NanoComp, Nano-HEALTH, NILaustria, NSI, PHONAS and PLATON. More than 200 companies and research facilities are working together on new innovations to this effect. The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) handles the strategic coordination of the collaborative projects.
Nanotechnology is a young research discipline concerned with the controlled manipulation of atomic structures. It is a motivating source for ground-breaking innovations – from the fields of optics and plastics through the food industry and medical sphere. Nanotechnology delivers the basis for ever-smaller data-storage devices with ever-greater memory capacity for high-efficiency sensors and filters in environmental technology, as well as for photovoltaic and solar-thermal applications. Examples of the many wide-ranging applications for nanotechnology also include materials used to manufacture ultra-light engines and body components in the automotive and aviation industry, as well as materials with optimized fracture strength and ceramic surface finishes. The ongoing development of nanotechnologies is also important for innovative, gentle diagnostic and therapeutic techniques that are more precisely targeted to the patients' specific needs, making medical services more cost-effective in the long term.
The Austrian NANO Initiative
The NANO Initiative is a multiyear funding program for nanoscientists and nanotechnologies in Austria. It coordinates measures on the national level and is jointly supported by several ministries, federal states and funding institutions, under the overall control of the BMVIT. Its goals include strengthening and networking Austrian NANO players in science and business, creating critical mass and thereby securing international competitiveness.