Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) recently announced that it will extend its nanotechnology action plan until 2020.
Since 2006, eight ministries have been responsible for producing a joint plan on nanotechnology every five years. The ministries develop a common approach that pools strategies for action and fields of application for nanotechnology.
The new five-year Action Plan Nanotechnology 2020 is based on the German government’s High Tech Strategy, which aims to solve challenges to society through research.
A report released by the ministry said: the action plan will
“play its part in the fulfilment of the federal government’s strategic objectives with a view to the use of key technologies to increase the international competitiveness of the German economy and for the benefit of society.”
The German public sector currently spends more than €600 million a year on nanotechnology and related developments, while 2,200 organisations from industry, services, research and associations are registered in the Ministry’s nanotechnology competence map.
“There are currently also some 1,100 companies in Germany engaged in the use of nanotechnology in the fields of research and development as well as the marketing of commercial products and services,” the report said.
Nanotechnology-based product innovations play “an increasingly important role in many areas of life, such as health and nutrition, the workplace, mobility and energy production”, and the plan “thus pursues the objective of continuing to exploit the opportunities and potential of nanotechnology in Germany, without disregarding any potential risks to humans and the environment,” the Ministry said.
Technology law expert Florian von Baum of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said: “The action plan aims to achieve and secure Germany’s critical lead in the still new nanotechnology field and to recognise and use the full potential of nanotechnology while taking into account possible risks and dangers of this new technology.”
The action plan is intended to provide a guideline for the social and technological aspects of the development of nanotechnology, but there are other areas to consider such as ecological and legal aspects.
A full copy of the Action Plan can be found, HERE.
Photo credit: http://www.colourbox.com. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).