Austrian NANO Initiative: Impressions and Experiences from Scientists

bridges vol. 14, July 2007 / Nanotechnology Focus
by Peter Ertl

with background information on
The Austrian NANO Initiative - Small Country with Strong Expertise

Nanotechnology and its applications in life sciences, medicine, electronics, and the environment is regarded as one of the key technologies of the 21st century. Nanotechnology promises major breakthroughs in areas such as materials, electronics, medicine, energy, environment, and biotechnology, as well as information technology. The establishment of a number of highly endowed funding programs promoting research and technology development in Europe, the US, and Asia emphasizes the great expectations placed on nanotechnology. In addition, in January 2006 during the UK Presidency of the EU, an Independent Expert Group recommended that 3% of the Gross Domestic Product be invested in research, and also indicated that nanotechnology is one of the most promising research areas for economic development and innovation
(http://ec.europa.eu/invest-in-research/pdf/download_en/aho_report.pdf).

The potential impact of nanotechnology on European society as a whole is well known, and long-term strategies are essential for the promotion of nanotechnological research activities in Austria. Because of my position as a staff scientist at the Nano-System-Technologies division of ARC-Seibersdorf Research in Austria, bridges invited me to comment on the Austrian Nanotechnology landscape. I will summarize my understanding of past, present, and future nano-activities in Austria, as well as my personal impressions as a researcher in this emerging field.

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