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Posted: June 22, 2007
German nanotechnology spending outstrips that of other EU member states
(Nanowerk News) New figures from the Technology Transfer Centre (TTC) show that Germany is by far investing more in nanotechnology than other European country. German companies are also more enthusiastic about nanotechnology than their counterparts around Europe. Worldwide, Japan's spending on nano is set to overtake that of the US, and the EU as a bloc comes third after these two countries.
In Europe, German yearly spending on nanotechnology far exceeds that of any other European country, and at €330 million (approx. $430 million) is roughly the same as that of all other European countries combined.
Through the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the EU will contribute around €600 million per year until 2013. According to the TTC, this additional funding will make Europe's yearly spend on nanotechnology higher than that of the US or Japan.
'Overall it would therefore seem that Europe compares favourably to other regions; however, Germany aside, no country has really embraced nanotechnology and its potential in the same manner as the USA and various Asia-Pacific countries,' says the TTC.
And it is not only the German Government that is investing in nano. There are now over 300 nanotechnology companies in Europe, around one-third of which are based in Germany. Germany, along with the UK, also leads the way in terms of SME activity. And established German companies, such as Daimler Chrysler, Schott, Carl Zeiss, Siemens, BASF and Bayer are also demonstrating their willingness to investigate the potential of nanotechnology with substantial investment.
After Germany and the UK, Switzerland, France and Sweden have the highest number of nanotechnology companies, but the figure is still low at under 20.
European companies are primarily interested in healthcare and life science applications. Some 25% of companies have these fields as their focus. This is followed by consumer goods (10%) and the chemicals (9%).
Market application focus in the Asia-Pacific region is, in contrast, more disparate. Attracting the interest of 15% of all nanotechnology companies in the region, chemicals are receiving the most investment. This is followed by automotive and transportation; consumer goods; and healthcare and life sciences, all at 10%.
Asia-Pacific governments are investing heavily in nanoscience and nanotechnology, which leads the TTC to claim that these countries 'have generally embraced the area with greater enthusiasm than their European counterparts'. Nanotechnology has been designated a key technology area by most Asia-Pacific governments, alongside materials, medicine, the environment and information and communication technologies (ICT).
The TTC is a spin-out company from the UK's Institute of Nanotechnology.