Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Nanosciences and nanotechnologies are new approaches to research and development (R&D) that aim to control the fundamental structure and behaviour of matter at the level of atoms and molecules. These fields open up the possibility of understanding new phenomena and producing new properties that can be utilised at the micro- and macro-scale. Applications of nanotechnology are emerging and will impact on the life of every citizen.
This Communication proposes actions as part of an integrated approach to maintain and strengthen European R&D in nanosciences and nanotechnologies. It considers the issues that are important to ensure the creation and exploitation of the knowledge generated via R&D for the benefit of society. In this context, the time is right for launching a debate at an institutional-level in view of coherent action to:
- increase investment and coordination of R&D to reinforce the industrial exploitation of nanotechnologies whilst maintaining scientific excellence and competition;
- develop world-class competitive R&D infrastructure ("poles of excellence") that take into account the needs of both industry and research organisations;
- promote the interdisciplinary education and training of research personnel together with a stronger entrepreneurial mindset;
- ensure favourable conditions for technology transfer and innovation to ensure that European R&D excellence is translated into wealth-generating products and processes;
- integrate societal considerations into the R&D process at an early stage;
- address any potential public health, safety, environmental and consumer risks
upfront by generating the data needed for risk assessment, integrating risk assessment into every step of the life cycle of nanotechnology-based products, and adapting existing methodologies and, as necessary, developing novel ones;
- complement the above actions with appropriate cooperation and initiatives at international level.

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