The European Commission (EC) has made EUR 1 billion available for new projects involving micro and nanotechnology. The amount will come from the EC's Information Communications Technology and Nanoscience, Nanotechnology, Materials and New Production Processes (NMP) funds as part of the Framework Programme 7 (FP7).
"European FP7 enables organizations, through collaborative R&D, to access new partners, skills, and knowledge in the development of their future products and services," Alastair McGibbon, the UK FP7 national contact point for NMP, said in a statement.
The UK's Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN) is very supportive of the funds, which could provide a boost for the pharmaceutical industry. "Nanotechnology is being increasingly used by the pharmaceutical industry in two areas: drug discovery, where smaller assay volumes are used and greater information is obtained; and formulation, where nanocarriers improve bioavailability and efficacy," Mike Fisher, BioNano Theme Manager at NanoKTN, explained to Pharmaceutical Technology Europe. "Adoption has been relatively slow, but this is because companies need to see a clear path to market."
Several calls for funding have now been scheduled during the next 9 months. The first deadline is Dec. 8, 2009. According to NanoKTN, the UK, as well as the rest of Europe, could stand to benefit from this funding. "Nanotechnologies and microtechnologies are being recognized as important means of wealth and job creation for the UK and Europe, and successful development and uptake of new technology is central to the UK's wealth creation in the next 20 years," Alec Reader, Director of NanoKTN, said in the press statement.