European Commission proposes 2012 research priorities for nanotechnologies

(Nanowerk News) The European Commission has published an orientation paper with proposed NMP (Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials) research priorities for 2012. The priorities will increase the attention on sustainability and societal challenges.
The EC published an orientation paper (pdf) with proposed NMP research priorities for 2012.
The approach for 2012 is described by the EC to be "Broadly speaking, calls of the NMP Theme in 2012 and 2013 will continue to span the spectrum from enabling research, to applications and demonstration activities. The NMP Theme covers the entire range of industrial research activities. Sustainability and societal challenges have always been implicit in NMP strategies, but are receiving increased attention. In a few words, the NMP Theme focuses on smart and sustainable growth, for a greener industry, its three constituent activities being the tools rather than ends in themselves.
"Although there is an increasing emphasis on applications, longer-term, research in key enabling technologies is seen as a crucial driver of innovation in the areas of nanotechnology, materials and advanced manufacturing, and is also supported, mainly through small and medium collaborative projects. The guiding policy in this area is the Strategy for Key Enabling Technologies, which includes nanotechnology, materials and manufacturing, and sets the basis of the future of European industry.
"With regard to specific challenges, the following issues are addressed:
Energy and Energy efficiency: These activities are in tune with the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan. They include topics in support of the 'European energy-efficient buildings' PPP initiative.
Environmental issues and sustainable development: These topics complement activities of the Environment and the Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology (FAFB) Themes.
Raw Materials: In support of the Commission's Raw Materials Initiative, research is supported on the extraction and processing of raw materials; reduction of waste and recycling. Health and safety: This covers research based on nanomedicine and materials for health, complementing the Health Theme. It also includes research necessary to ensure the safe use of nanotechnologies, building on an extensive body of previous work under the NMP Theme.
Factories of the Future: The objective of this PPP initiative is to help EU manufacturers across sectors, in particular SMEs, to adapt to global competitive pressures by increasing the technological base of EU manufacturing through the development and integration the enabling technologies of the future, such as engineering technologies for adaptable machines and industrial processes, ICT, and advanced materials. Demonstration-targeted activities include high-performance manufacturing technologies (covering efficiency, robustness and accuracy); and technologies for casting, material removing and forming processes.
European energy-efficient buildings: This PPP initiative promotes green technologies and aims at the development of energy-efficient systems and materials in new and renovated buildings with a view to reducing radically their energy consumption and CO2 emissions. These activities are in tune with the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan.
Green Cars: This PPP supports research on a broad range of technologies and smart energy infrastructures, essential to achieve a breakthrough in the use of renewable and non-polluting energy sources, safety and traffic fluidity.
Source: European Commission