UK Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network supports €1 billion EC
investment in technology
17 September 2009
The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the
UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies,
has announced its support for the €1bn that has been made available by
the European Commission for new projects, through its Information
Communications Technology (ICT) and Nanoscience, Nanotechnology,
Materials and New Production Processes (NMP) funds, as part of the EU's
Framework Programme 7.
Over the next nine months, several funding calls have been scheduled
to support and encourage the development of research and production in
the micro and nanotechnology markets. The UK is widely expected to
benefit greatly form this investment.
The European Commission has launched the funding opportunities to
improve the competitiveness of European Industry and to ensure Europe is
able to shape future developments to meet the demands of society and
economy. The European Commission aims to strengthen Europe's Science and
Technology base and guarantee global leadership in the market. The
Framework 7 Programme is the main mechanism to enable this through a
combination of investments which harnesses the collective expertise of
the EU member states and other participating countries.
“European Framework Programme 7 enables organizations, through
collaborative research and development, to access new partners, skills
and knowledge in the development of their future products and services,”
explains the FP7UK National Contact Point for NMP, Dr. Alastair McGibbon.
McGibbon continued, “Each year the European Commission awards more
than €250m to collaborative projects which are underpinned by
nanotechnology. The European Commission has announced their calls for
proposals launched this year, covering many important nanotechnology
end-markets. The UK has a wealth of academic and industrial expertise
and we are confident that the latest funding calls will help to bring
together leading professionals in the micro and nanotechnology markets
and develop European projects with impact on a global scale.”
The ICT initiative aims to help drive and stimulate product service
and process innovation through ICT use and value creation in Europe. By
doing this, the European Commission aims to ensure that a wide ranging
number of applications are delivered to market and to encourage benefits
for European citizens, businesses, industry and governments.
The ICT Theme is now into its fifth call with an estimated allocation
of €730m this year alone. It is divided into a number of different
challenges covering varying areas of interest. Of particular interest to
the micro and nano research communities is Challenge 3, covering
Components, Systems and Engineering, of which €135m is devoted towards
collaborative projects. There is also €70m contributed by the theme to
the new PPP initiative — Public Private Partnerships.
The allocation for ICT challenge 3 is split between 3 contains
topics, nanoelectronics (€35m), photonics (€50m) and microsystems and
smart miniaturised systems (€80m). Proposals are called for Large, small
and SME focused collaborative R&D projects. The deadline for full
proposals in challenge 3 is 26th October 2009.
The PPP initiative is a new initiative which is designed to respond
to the current economic crisis for providing money towards new cross
disciplinary challenges in Factories of the future, Green cars and
energy efficient buildings. Both the ICT and NMP thematic areas along
with other priorities are contributing to these competitions which are
run under broadly the same rules as Framework 7. Deadlines for these
proposals are 3rd November 2009.
The European Commission is also running the 4th FP7 NMP call, with a
delegated budget of €300m, €200m of which is set aside for collaborative
projects, a large proportion of which will cover the development and
application of nanotechnologies for many sectors. The call is divided
into several specific research topics including micro and nanotechnology
manufacturing, risk management, sensors and toxicology modelling. The
first deadline for proposal outlines is 8th December 2009 and the second
deadline for final proposals is 18th May 2010.
“Nanotechnologies and microtechnologies are being recognised as
important means of wealth and job creation for the UK and Europe, and
successful development and uptake of new technology is central to the
UK's wealth creation in the next twenty years,” says Dr Alec Reader,
Director of the NanoKTN.
“Choosing the right call is important for UK organisations to expand
their ambitions without wasting unnecessary effort and expense. Support
for preparing calls is crucial and at the NanoKTN we are committed to
assisting our members in making the best possible decisions to ensure we
continue to see inward investment into the UK nano and microtechnology
Established by the Technology Strategy Board, the NanoKTN is managed
by Centre for Process Innovation Ltd, a leading technology development
and consulting company.
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