The European Commission has recently authorized German state aid for the "Nanoelektronik" research and development programme. The scheme, with a budget of ECU 31 million from 1994 to 2000, will finance basic industrial nanoelectronics research. Extremely small semiconductor structures form the basis of nanoelectronics. Success in the nanoelectronics field depends on understanding and harnessing the technology associated with semiconductor crystals. Vertical structures of a few interatomic distances are already being produced. Horizontal structures have not yet been fully explored. Current research is focusing on structures in which quantum effects and completely new principles can be exploited to build electronic components. Beneficiaries of this aid scheme will be enterprises and scientific institutions. The aid is given in the form of outright grants for basic industrial research. The eligible costs are: - Personnel costs; - Costs of materials and supplies; - Instruments and equipment; - Research contributions and services by third parties; - Additional overhead costs incurred as a result of the R&D project. The maximum aid intensity will be 50% of the total cost of basic industrial research projects. This can be extended where projects are carried out by SMEs, or projects based in the former GDR or by SMEs undertaking projects in the former GDR. According to the German legal requirements, recipients are obliged to submit detailed reports and to publish research and development results in specialized publications.