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A network for bringing NANOtechnologies TO LIFE

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Europe plans ahead on nanobiotechnology

A network of leading scientists was formed under the Nano2life project to plan the future of nanobiotechnology in Europe.

Industrial Technologies

Nanobiotechnology is an advancing discipline that refers to the application of tools and processes of nanotechnology to build devices for studying biosystems. Researchers learn from biology to create new nanoscale devices that in turn help them to better understand life processes at the nanoscale. In order to keep Europe as a competitive partner and maintain its leading position in nanobiotechnology research transfer, the EU funded the project ‘A network for bringing nanotechnologies to life’ (Nano2life) under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The project aimed to merge all European expertise in the field of nanobiotechnology under the first Network of Excellence (NoE). To accomplish the goals of the Nano2life project, over 200 scientists worked together in a multi-faceted Joint Programme of Activity (JPA). The objectives were to create a technological roadmap for nanobiotechnology for the years to come and identify any bottlenecks that need to be overcome. Most importantly, the network founded the first European Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects Board (ELSA) in the field to deal with emerging ethical and legal issues. Additionally, it implemented a scientific programme focused on 12 research areas that were considered crucial for the future development of innovative nanobiotechnology-based devices. Project activities supported the sharing of expertise and scientific resources among partners and directed the training of young scientists in the appropriate disciplines required by nanobiotechnology. Finally, cooperation among the network partners was coupled with the involvement of associate collaborators from industry. Promotion of the project activities were intended to inform the general public and the industrial community and raise awareness about the impact of nanobiotechnology on industry and society. The Nano2life project succeeded in establishing a European NoE in the nanobiotech sector. This will bring in collaborations with external partners and consolidate Europe as a key player in the field of nanobiotechnology.

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