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Nanoforum report: "European Nanotechnology Infrastructure and Networks"


This report details the numbers of Nanotechnology and Nanoscience (N&N) infrastructure centres and networks within the EU and associated states. Names of centres and networks with website details and brief descriptions are included along with an introduction to N&N research and development (R&D) in each country. For summary charts, the following broad categories have been used: all technologies; nanomaterials; electronics and systems; fundamental research; nanobiotechnology; analytical and diagnostics; engineering and fabrication; energy. Centres and/or networks were found in all EU and associated states apart from Croatia, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Malta, and Slovakia.

Infrastructure for the purpose of this report is defined as centres which allow external users access to fabrication or analytical facilities, and provide technical support if required, for N&N R&D. Also included are well-equipped research centres for basic research, which are open for cooperations. A total of 240 such centres were identified over 28 different states. 16 centres are classified as major EU research infrastructure (with a further centre being built), which have large-scale facilities (clean rooms, comprehensive equipment), generally have support staff (both for R&D, and for technology transfer and training), and have multi-million (plus) annual budgets. Most of the other centres offer facilities for a number of R&D sectors, however nanomaterials, and electronics and systems represent the most common themes (87 and 68 centres respectively).

A total of 143 networks, which offer support for collaboration and information exchange between members, were identified across 23 EU and associated states. 79 of these are national networks with the remaining 64 involved in international cooperation. 37 networks support all N&N activities, and a further 40 specialize in nanomaterials. There is variation in the distribution of disciplines covered by international and national networks, with over a third of national networks supporting all disciplines (while international networks are more specialized). Of the national networks most (22) are coordinated from Germany, with 9 from the UK, and 4 from each of France, the Netherlands, and Poland.

This report is accompanied by an appendix which can be downloaded from the Nanoforum website and which contains further details on each infrastructure and network. For further information on other European organizations, the reader is directed to the “Institutions” or “Organizations” section of the Nanoforum website.

Mark Morrison | alfa
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