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Germany Launches Nano Strategy for Top Sectors

by Editor1 last modified November 28, 2007 - 20:33

The German Government has launched a new strategy aimed at fortifying the application potential of nanotechnology for Germany's most important industries, including semiconductors, optics and autos.

Germany Launches Nano Strategy for Top Sectors

Germany’s 'Nanotechnology Conquers Markets' initiative aims to pool know-how on nanotechnology in order to leverage growth and employment in four of Germany's leading industries: automobile industry (NanoMobil), optics (NanoLux), electronics (NanoFab) and life sciences (Nano for Life).

'NanoMobil' aims to give Germany the competitive edge by supporting R&D projects for the automobile industry and its suppliers. Specific focus will be placed on nanotechnologies for safety, ecology/sustainability and comfort.

'NanoFab' will give priority to research into highly complex circuit structures and systems for new areas of application in silicon nanoelectronics, and components and system innovations of silicon power electronics.

'NanoLux' will do further work to increase the increased efficiency of light emitting diodes (LEDs) by means of improved epitaxy (the growth of semiconductor layers in chip production), the nanostructuring of chips, and research on efficient fluorescent substances for the generation of white light.

’Nano for Life' will seek to increase the use of technologies and insights from nanomaterials research and nanobiotechnology.

Beyond these 4 areas, the initiative also introduces the funding measure 'NanoChance', which will provide targeted support to research-intensive small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the early stages of consolidation.

Germany's 'Nanotechnology Conquers Markets' initiative is part of the Government's 'Nano-Initiative Action Plan 2010', which was launched in November 2006. A total of seven federal ministries are participating in the action plan. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research alone is providing some €300 million per year to the initiative.

By 2010, the German government plans to invest 323 million euros in nanoelectronics research, government officials said, noting that semiconductor technologies will be the main growth driver for Germany's main industries.

Germany’s Research Ministry Undersecretary Thomas Rachel also said German industry is “well-positioned” in nanochemistry and nano-optics, in an interview with the German edition of Technology Review. Rachel also added that the US was the leader in private sector nanotechnology investments, as well as in bringing nanotech research to the market.