Science at the service of Europe

Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies

Making industry more
knowledge-based

The nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies (NMP) theme covers a wide spectrum of technologies and industrial sectors. Its central objective is to help make European industry less resource-intensive and more knowledge-intensive and sustainable.

EU funding in 2010
€ 423.57 million

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particle accelerator

New high-tech industries and knowledge-based traditional sectors could both be made more competitive by developing products with high added-value, and introducing more efficient processes. In 2010, sustainability and societal challenges were given more attention in the research-related public-private partnerships (PPPs), and in drawing up the NMP 2011 work programme.

The 2010 calls for proposals included dedicated calls for three research-related PPPs: 'Factory of the Future', 'Energy-Efficient Buildings' and 'Green Cars'. More than half the funding for the successful proposals went to industry, with about a quarter going to SMEs. The other 2010 NMP calls addressed research and innovation in a number of areas: green nanotechnology, impact on health and the environment, methodologies for risk management of nanoparticles, bioactive materials, materials for energy storage, industrial models for sustainable and efficient production, manufacturing systems based on flexible materials, nanotechnology-based solutions (e.g. for combating cancer), and manufacturing technologies specifically targeting SMEs. Coordinated calls based on mutual interest were implemented with Mexico in the area of mining at nanostructure level and with the US on toxicity of nanoparticles.

DG Research chaired the European Commission's nano inter-service group, which is preparing a European roadmap for innovating with nanotechnologies 2011-2015, following a public consultation completed in 2010. Building on previous achievements in nanotechnology policy stemming from an earlier nanosciences action plan, by establishing a systematic approach to the market uptake of nanotechnologies, the Commission aims to enhance the societal and economical value of nanotechnology products while, at the same time, protecting human health and the environment.