The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest
Posted: June 28, 2007
Germany seeks to conquer markets with new nanotechnology initiative
(Nanowerk News) The German Government has launched a new strategy aimed at fortifying the application potential of nanotechnology for Germany's most important industries.
The 'Nanotechnology Conquers Markets' initiative will aim to pool know-how on nanotechnology in order to leverage growth and employment in four of Germany's leading industries: automobile industry (NanoMobil), optics (NanoLux), electronics (NanoFab) and life sciences (Nano for Life).
Nanotechnology solutions are fast becoming the part and parcel of automobile construction, and they are vital for maintaining competitiveness. 'NanoMobil' therefore aims to give Germany the competitive edge by supporting research and development (R&D) projects for the automobile industry and its suppliers. Specific focus will be placed nanotechnologies applications that enhance safety, ecology/sustainability and comfort.
Germany is also a leader in the electronics industry. In order to further enhance the country's position in this sector, 'NanoFab' will give priority to research into highly complex circuit structures and systems for new areas of application in silicon nanoelectronics, and components and system innovations of silicon power electronics.
Lighting alone accounts for about 8% of total energy consumption in Germany. The demand for artificial light is still growing. The development of energy-saving lighting is therefore particularly important. 'NanoLux' will do further work to increase the increased efficiency of light emitting diodes (LEDs) by means of improved epitaxy (the growth of semiconductor layers in chip production), the nanostructuring of chips, and research on efficient fluorescent substances for the generation of white light.
Finally, in order to develop leading-edge innovations in the field of life sciences, 'Nano for Life' will seek to increase the use of technologies and insights from nanomaterials research and nanobiotechnology.
In addition to these four thematic areas, the initiative will also introduce the funding measure 'NanoChance', which will provide targeted support to research-intensive small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the early stages of consolidation.
The 'Nanotechnology Conquers Markets' initiative is part of the Government's 'Nano-Initiative Action Plan 2010', which was launched in November 2006. A total of seven federal ministries are participating in the action plan. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research alone is providing some €300 million per year to the initiative.