The European Union (EU) last year set aside €17.5 billion for R&D investment between 2003 and 2006. A sizable proportion of these funds is earmarked for pan-European activities in eight key priority areas, including a €1300 million share for ‘nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based functional materials, and new production processes and devices’. EU officials allocated around €5 billion to an initial selection of projects across its priority areas in 2003, and the second annual funding cycle is now in full swing.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(04)00189-0