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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Materials & technologies projects > Nanotechnology: a small science with a huge potential
Graphic element Nanotechnology: a small science with a huge potential

Nanotechnology is applying the science of the small. Inherently multi-disciplinary, it brings together physicists, chemists and biologists who are studying, researching and engineering ever smaller and smaller structures. Although still in its infancy, a variety of applications already exist. Nanotechnology is destined to grow rapidly into a global, multi-billion-euro market. It encompasses precision engineering as well as electronics - materials as well as biomedical applications. Science at the nanoscale - measured in billionths of a meter - is technology on the atomic scale.

Nanotechnology research is unified by the need to share knowledge of tools and techniques, as well as expertise on the atomic and molecular interactions along this new scientific frontier. Materials scientists, mechanical and electrical engineers, and medical researchers are now collaborating with their counterparts in the physical, chemical and biological sciences. The resulting synergism may lead to novel materials and medical devices which, until now, have been the stuff of science fiction. The potential for this emerging research field is immense - nanotechnology is likely to be the next 'industrial revolution', proving as effective as biotechnology and electronics were in changing the face of technology in the 20th century. It will play a crucial role in the creation of wealth and employment throughout the European Union.

Current applications
Potential for the future
Nanotechnology in Europe
European Research Area
Trans-Atlantic co-operation on nanotechnology
Major EU-funded nanotechnology projects:
  • Diagnostic tools for improving disease detection
  • Non-stick or sticky medical devices
  • Taking the first step to a biomolecule chip
  • Counting on a molecule

Key EU-funded research

Key EU-funded research
EU-funding for nanotechnology research falls under the New materials and production technologies generic activity.

For more information on nanotechnology, see the article (page 4) in the November, 2000 issue of Cordis Focus


Successful projects include:

Nanobiotechnology and medicine.
BIOAND Biomolecule driven assembly of nanoparticle based electronic devices
Development of high-throughput PNA-based molecular diagnostic systems.
CARBEN. Carbon nanostructures and nanotubes for energy storage, electrochemistry and field emission applications.
NANOPTT: Conductive nanowires for applications in microwave, magnetic and chemical sensing devices based on polymer tracked-etched templates.

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