Nanoscience is one of the most exciting emerging fields of science. But it is not just about frontier research – there is the socioeconomic aspect, too. Nanotechnologies promise to revolutionise existing industries, create new ones, and address many of the social and economic challenges facing society. However, this requires transforming science into concrete applications. Although Europe is a global powerhouse in creating knowledge in the various nano fields, it tends to stumble when translating science into useful and marketable products. Funded by the EU, PRONANO provides a wide range of support services, free of charge, to research bodies or individuals interested in commercially exploiting their nano-related scientific results. Project practices help them to overcome the market, technological, managerial and financial barriers standing in the way of commercialisation. Run by innovation consultancy firms and venture capitalists from several European countries, PRONANO also brings together national and European nanotechnology platforms. Out of 50 promising research projects, PRONANO managed to steer 10 towards final decisions on commercialisation. Effectively this means the project approach raised 17 times the EU investment in the successful technology opportunities. Another five other projects were still under consideration when the initiative came to an end. The project's approach proves that, managed correctly, Europe's cutting-edge nanotechnology sector can deliver profitability to the EU and enhance its competitiveness. In addition to the direct results it achieved, the experience gained by PRONANO can benefit other similar initiatives.