Micro-Nano-Technology (MNT) is a key enabling technology covering the fields of micro-technologies, nanotechnology and microsystems. MNT is expected to impact significantly on future economic and social development. It will stimulate new products and services, create and secure employment in Europe and improve living conditions, including of people who presently lack autonomy as a result of age, illness or accidents. MNT will also contribute greatly to meeting ecological challenges and achieving sustainable development, innovatively and economically. The main objectives of MNT ERA-NET during the four years are: * to exchange among the participating programmes strategic information about programme design and management; * to learn from each other through the exchange of good practice; * to implement joint and coordinated activities among participating programmes so as to add value for programme users, programme managers and programme owners; * to secure mid-term cooperation between the participating programmes through a detailed action plan; * to expand the project to further countries and regions in Europe so as to broaden its impact, and * to establish long-term cooperation by exploring options and selecting and implementing a preferred institutional framework for sustained co-operation between the participating programmes, other European intiatives and other relevant stake-holders. Europe currently holds a good scientific and technological position in MNT, but in comparison with North Amerika, Asia and Australia our research and application efforts are dispersed and fragmented. In order to exploit Europe's good position, this dispersion and fragmentation have to be addressed through, inter alia, better co-operation between national MNT programmes on a transnational level in Europe. The participating partners at the launch of MNT ERA-NET are key MNT programmes, and leading programme management agencies from 16 countries managed by Austria.
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