The activity of Nanotechnologies, Materials and Production Technologies has a strong socioeconomic relevance. Nanotechnologies enable novel solutions and could result in improved performance in the entire production sector as well as in the health/medicine/agriculture domains.
The design of new production processes could signal a reduction of pollutant emissions and a more rational use of natural resources. At the same time product innovation, with safer and more reliable consumer products, and cleaner vehicles, combined with innovation in the construction industry aim to meet people's needs and improve their quality of life, by lowering risks and bettering health and welfare. Promotion of more sustainable consumption patterns leads to improvements in health, personal awareness and behavioural change of citizens. The introduction of nanotechnology results also present a new spectrum of risks and issues of an ethical nature, which are being tackled. Ethical issues refer to human integrity and dignity (e.g. "chips" to monitor or control behaviour of humans), risks linked to health and environmental hazards.
Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies The objective is to create materials and systems with predefined properties and behaviour, based on increased knowledge and experience at the nano scale. This will lead to a new generation of products and services across a range of applications, while minimising any potential adverse environmental and health impacts.
Materials Research will focus on developing new multifunctional surfaces and materials with tailored properties and predictable performance for new products and processes as well as for their repair.
New production The basis for innovation in this area will be new knowledge and its application towards sustainable production and consumption patterns. This entails the appropriate conditions for continuous innovation (in industrial activities and production systems, including design, construction, devices, and services) and for developing generic production "assets" (technologies, organisation and production facilities as well as human resources) while also meeting safety and environmental requirements.
Integration of technologiesfor industrial applications The integration of knowledge and technologies of the three areas of research above is essential in order to speed up the transformation of the European industry and economy, while adopting a safe, socially responsible and sustainable approach. The research will focus on new applications and novel solutions responding to major challenges as well as to the RTD needs identified by different European Technology Platforms mentioned above.
- International cooperation will be implemented in this specific programme in each thematic area and across themes through:
- An enhanced participation of researchers and research institutions from all International Cooperation Partner countries and industrialised countries in the thematic areas, with appropriate restrictions for the security theme for all third countries other than Associated Countries due to confidentiality aspects.
- Specific cooperation actions in each thematic area dedicated to third countries in the case of mutual interest in cooperating on particular topics to be selected and on the basis of their scientific and technological level and needs. The identification of specific needs and priorities will be closely associated with relevant bilateral cooperation agreements and with ongoing multilateral and bi-regional dialogues between the EU and these countries or groups. Priorities will be identified based on the particular needs, potential and level of economic development in the region or country.
In addition to direct financial support to participants in RTD actions, the Community will improve their access to private sector finance by contributing financially to the 'Risk-Sharing Finance Facility' (RSFF) established by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The Community contribution to RSFF will be used by the Bank, in accordance with eligibility criteria set out in the Work Programme 'Cooperation'.
A network of 'National Contact Points' is instrumental for providing access to FP7 calls, and to lower the entry barrier for newcomers and raise the average quality of submitted proposals