Innovation policy and nanotechnologies

The European Union provided EUR 3.5 billion for the promotion of nanotechnologies between 2007 and 2013, including the 7th EU Framework Program (FP7).

More than 800 research facilities are active in the field of nanotechnologies in Germany. Since the early 1990s, the funding of the BMBF has grown tenfold and amounts to some EUR 220 million annually (BMBF 2013). Currently, a yearly total of more than EUR 600 million is invested in nanotechnological research and development (BMBF 2016). The promotion of nanotechnologies in Germany is bearing fruit, as Germany's nanotechnology research institutes are at the top in terms of the quality and development of research together with the USA (BMBF 2011b).

In order to strengthen the key position of Germany in the area of key technologies, the Federal Government is promoting research, development and the transfer of knowledge into economic use. The following innovation alliances between business and science have been launched (BMBF 2011a):

  • Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED)
  • organic photovoltaics
  • Inno.CNT
  • Molecular imaging
  • Lithium-ion batteries

Further projects in Germany

  • Nanora: A joint project between Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands with the aim to strengthen the nanotechnology industry (Hessen-Nanotech).

Private investment

Between 2004 and 2006, EUR 2.3 billion of private investment in nanotechnologies was generated in Europe, representing 33% of total European investment in this sector. In comparison, the share of private investment in nanotechnologies was EUR 4.5 billion (about 54% of total investment in the US), and in Japan the share of private investment accounted for 63% of total Japanese investment (EUR 3.6 billion) (BMBF 2011a).