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Posted: October 4, 2007

Nanotechnology part of the EU's proposed Joint Technology Initiatives

(Nanowerk News) Europe's research ministers hope to adopt a final decision on Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) in November, enabling the four JTIs proposed so far to get underway in 2008.
At their Competitiveness Council meeting in Brussels on 28 September (download press release here; pdf 216 KB), the ministers held an exchange of views on four proposals aimed at establishing joint technology initiatives (JTIs) in the following fields:
– Innovative medicines ("IMI") (9686/07)
– Embedded computing systems ("ARTEMIS") (9685/07)
– Nano-electronics technologies ("ENIAC") (10149/07)
– Aeronautics and air transport ("CLEAN SKY") (10148/07)
The ministerial debate concentrated in horizontal issues with a view to adopting final decisions at the November Competitiveness Council meeting in order to enable a swift start to the four JTIs in 2008.
The Council underlined a number of important political elements which resulted from the discussion:
– The JTIs should be set up under Community law as Community bodies. They should receive Community funding in order to implement the research programmes, notably by awarding funding to selected projects, following publication of calls for proposals.
– They will take the form of real public / private partnerships with a shared responsibility of industry in the management of the joint undertakings. EU member states and the Commission will exercise appropriate supervision over the use of public funds.
– They will have a limited duration of 10 years.
– JTIs will not have the status of international organisations.
– JTIs will have legal personality and will be established on the basis of articles 171 and 172 of the EC treaty.
– They will implement the research programmes by combining public and private funding.
The Community will contribute to both the research activities and the running costs. The Council also tasked preparatory bodies to continue further technical work based in the political orientations agreed by the Council.
JTIs are a major new element of the EU's 7th research framework programme (FP7) for 2007-2013. They were foreseen in the specific programme “Cooperation”1, which implements the FP7, by stimulating cooperation and reinforcing links between industry and research within a transnational framework.
JTIs provide a way of creating new partnerships between publicly and privately funded organisations involved in research, focussing on areas where research and technological development can contribute to European competitiveness and quality of life. The approach proposed by the JTIs signals a change in how Europe promotes industry-driven research, designed to establish European leadership in certain technologies that are strategic to Europe's future.
Nano-electronics technologies (ENIAC)
Nano-electronics is of paramount importance for European competitiveness because its products are key enablers for innovation in other sectors (multimedia, telecommunications, transport, health, environment, industrial processing, etc.).
This initiative will address the needs for silicon-based technologies throughout four technology domains: the shrinking of logic and memory devices to increase performance and reduce costs; the development of value-added functions, include sensing, actuating and packaging functions and their embedding with logic and memory to form complex system-on-chip or system-in-package solutions; equipment and materials and design automation.
The maximum of the Community contribution is estimated at EUR 450 million (up to 2017).
Source: Council of the European Union
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