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Development of Advanced Technology Roadmaps in Nanomaterial Sciences and Industrial Adaptation to Small and Medium sized Enterprises

Final Report Summary - NANO ROAD SME (Development of Advanced Technology Roadmaps in Nanomaterial Sciences and Industrial Adaptation to Small and Medium sized Enterprises)

In the next ten years, scientific developments in the field of nanomaterials will influence many different industrial branches, e.g. automotive, aeronautics, mechanical engineering, construction, textile, medical systems or health. In these industrial sectors many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are involved as traditional suppliers, start-ups or producers of high tech products. In order to remain competitive on these markets, the companies have to integrate these new results in their commercial vision for future products.

The NANOROAD SME project has developed technology roadmaps concerning the use of nanomaterials in four main industrial sectors: automotive, aeronautics, medical and health as well as energy. It was a pilot initiative to facilitate the integration of new research results concerning nanomaterials in SMEs using technology roadmaps. This approach including SMEs is new.

These technology roadmaps have the main purpose to help SMEs which are in the process of looking for new materials with improved properties to be integrated in their new products and to give them a first list of relevant nanomaterials they should consider depending on the industrial applications foreseen, the time to market and the research and development (R&D) capacity of the company. The target group of users are SMEs, which are starting a strategic decision-making phase for new product development.

The results are based on a database with information about more than 100 nanomaterials, which was developed in the frame of this European Commission (EC)-funded project NANOROADSME. The database and the linked roadmapping tool were structured taking into account the results of a European survey on more than 300 European SMEs, the results of several R&D surveys and industrial SWOT analysis as well as workshops and experts' interviews.

Technology and market driven approaches were used to gather useful data into the database. It therefore contains relevant technical and economical information on nanomaterials which have future potential use in the automotive industry. This database is a new kind of instrument for dynamic technology roadmapping.