Industrially produced nanoparticles offer potential for a wide range of products. Further research regarding the impacts of nanoparticles on people and the environment is needed. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funds projects together with industry to fill knowledge gaps and to initiate measures to identify and minimise risk.
The Federal Government's Action Plan Nanotechnology 2015 now provides an integrated concept for using nanotechnology without endangering people or the environment.
Due to the research policy of the EU and the BMBF, not only research in the nanosciences has reached a top position internationally. Companies oriented to nanotechnology products also have clearly increased in number and improved their reputation. The USA and Europe have roughly the same number of nanotechnology-related companies. About half of the nanotech firms in Europe are German firms. Germany is therefore the number one in Europe in the field of nanotechnology.
A consistent funding policy has made an important contribution to this. With about 440 million euro in public funds, Germany is the number one in Europe. The BMBF has funded nanotechnology projects since the beginning of the 1990s. Since 1998, funds made available for nanotechnology within the framework of BMBF project funding have increased by a factor of four. Competence centres were established simultaneously as supporting infrastructure.
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