EU to spend E3bn on nanotech research

EU to spend E3bn on nanotech research

And a separate, €2.5bn scheme will help develop embedded computer systems

The European Commission is to spend €3bn (£2.3bn) on nanoelectronics research and €2.5bn (£1.9bn) on embedded computer systems over the next 10 years.

The ENIAC and ARTEMIS Joint Technology Initiatives will unite public and private stakeholders to discuss the development of advanced technologies. And the Commission predicts the two programmes will affect a range of consumer and industrial products.

Embedded, special-purpose computers already play a role in a range of devices from mobile phones to credit cards. The global market for such systems is currently worth €60bn (£45.2bn), with an annual growth rate of 14 per cent.

And the rise of ultra-miniaturisation could lead to advances in green technology, such as computer-controlled engines to reduce vehicles' carbon emissions.

"Today, it is the smallest technologies that are taking the largest leaps forward, and our industries must do the same", said Viviane Reding, EU commissioner for information society and media.

"The possibilities offered by nanoelectronics are only limited by our imagination.

"They underpin all aspects of everyday devices and so concern everyone in Europe."
Last week, IBM announced the discovery of the precise amount of force required to move an individual atom - an advance that could allow for the creation of atomic-scale computer chips.