International co-operation is essential for the development of nanotechnology, where scientific and technical challenges are huge and a wider critical mass is beneficial. International collaboration can lead to better focus nanotechnology research and overcoming knowledge gaps more rapidly. Eventually, synergies can be created that can contribute to improve the quality of life in all parts of the world. International co-operation in nanotechnology is needed both with countries that are economically and industrially advanced (to share knowledge and profit from critical mass) and with those less advanced (to secure their access to knowledge and avoid any ‘nano divide’ or knowledge apartheid). An international dialogue on a responsible development and use of nanotechnology is needed, as well.
Co-operation with the world
In accordance with the strategic objectives of the European Research Area which aims at being open to the world, international co-operation is of major relevance to the EU Framework Programmes for Research. The 6th Framework Programme (FP6) is open to almost all Countries in the world. Particular attention shall be paid to cooperation with countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy and those with existing S&T; cooperation agreements.
Co-operation with specific countries and regions
Eastern Europe (non-EU Member States)