The European Commission adopted on 12 May an EU strategy to help Europe to become world leader in the rapidly developing field of nanotechnology the science of the infinitely small. Nanotech applications include atom-scale "nano-robots" that can be injected in the human body to cure diseases, electronic "nano-chips" that can store and process much more information than today's microchips, "nano-fibres" for better and always-clean clothes, and "nano-materials" for high-performance coatings, for instance in aircraft and spaceships. The Communication, "Towards a European strategy for nanotechnology", provides a series of recommendations and initiatives on how to strengthen European Research and Development (R&D) in the field. It proposes an integrated approach to strengthen Europe's R&D in nanosciences and help turn nanotechnologies into commercially viable products for the benefit of society. Key actions required to achieve these aims include boosting R&D investment and infrastructure, improving training for research personnel, enhancing technology transfer in Europe and its financing, taking into account the impact of nanotechnology on society and increasing international co-operation towards a responsible approach to nanotechnology R&D globally.