Information And Communications Technology

ICT - Overview - R&D - Text

Support for public sector research and development (R&D) in the European Union is funded by Member States either directly through national programmes or indirectly via the programmes administered by the European Commission and its agencies. In addition, research and development are funded by companies (intra- and extra-mural R&D) and by philanthropic bodies and individuals.

The Framework Programmes being the largest source of EU funds for R&D, they have the greatest role in EU funding of nanotechnology R&D. Support specifically named as being for nanosciences and nanotechnologies was first provided at a significant level in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6, 2002-2006). This was followed up with targeted funding in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7, 2007-2013), the largest part specific to nanotechnology being the “Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies (NMP)” theme under the Co-operation Programme. EUR 3.5 billion were allocated to NMP over the duration of FP7, with the emphasis not exclusively on nanotechnology but on:

  • Nanosciences and nanotechnologies - studying phenomena and manipulation of matter at the nanoscale and developing nanotechnologies leading to the manufacturing of new products and services
  • Materials - using the knowledge of nanotechnologies and biotechnologies for new products and processes
  • New production - creating conditions for continuous innovation and for developing generic production 'assets' (technologies, organisation and production facilities as well as human resources), while meeting safety and environmental requirements
  • Integration of technologies for industrial applications - focusing on new technologies, materials and applications to address the needs identified by the different European Technology Platforms

Specific funding of nanosciences and nanotechnologies is continuing under Horizon 2020 with the theme of Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and Biotechnology.

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