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European Commission - Research

09/08/2004

  European research | Nanotechnologies

Commission launches open consultation on nanotechnology

The Commission has launched a wide public consultation on the future of nanotechnology in Europe, following its Communication Towards a European strategy for nanotechnology. This action will help shape future initiatives in Europe, taking account of applications and implications at global level.

Nanotechnologies have been high on the political agenda since the publication of the Communication [COM(2004) 338 final] in May 2004. Discussions were already initiated in the European Council under the Irish Presidency in the first half of 2004. They are continuing under the Dutch Presidency and will be concluded later this year. An ‘Action Plan’ will follow.

Responsible approach

Nanotechnology is anticipated as the possible key for a next industrial revolution. Applications are emerging in many different areas – such as health care, information technologies, materials sciences, manufacturing, instrumentation, energy, security and space. Nanotechnology has great potential for improving the quality of life, the competitiveness of European industry and sustainable development.

The Commission Communication proposes an integrated and responsible approach for developing nanosciences and nanotechnologies in the EU.

“Europe must build upon the solid knowledge base that it has developed through research in nanosciences and nanotechnologies and translate this into useful and commercially viable products and services. At the same time we must play a proactive role for ensuring its safe and responsible development and use, also at global level,” insists European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. “It now important to gather the views of all stakeholders in order to help prepare effective and efficient future initiatives at European level.”

Taking part

All interested people are encouraged to take part by writing directly to the Commission at rtd-nano-strategy@ec.europa.eu by 30 September 2004. Alternatively, it is now possible to complete an on-line questionnaire on the Nanoforum website. This survey which will form the basis of a report produced by the EU-sponsored Nanoforum Thematic Network for presentation to the Commission. The report will detail community opinion on EU policies with respect to funding, infrastructure, R&D and societal concerns in nanosciences and nanotechnologies.

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