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International co-operation

International teamwork is essential in light of the growing importance of the nanotechnology sector to global markets, encompassing areas such as materials science, precision engineering, electronics and biomedicine.
Transatlantic co-operation on nanotechnology comes under the EU-US agreement on Scientific and Technological Co-operation and, in particular, the Implementation Arrangement between the European Commission and the US’ National Science Foundation for co-operative activities in the field of materials science.

Setting out priorities

In 2000, these two bodies together identified priorities for nanoscale research. Four joint workshops were organised for 2002 on:

  • nanomanufacturing and processing;
  • nanotechnology – revolutionary opportunities and societal implications;
  • instrumentation and tools for nanotechnology; and
  • nanostructured materials.

Another co-operation agreement in the materials science field, which includes nanotechnology, was signed in 2001 between the EU and China. This will allow European research organisations and companies to participate in Chinese research projects and vice versa. And, an agreement with Russia is also under discussion.



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Multi-wall nanotube built from boron and nitrogen atoms.
Multi-wall nanotube built from boron and nitrogen atoms.