Along with the USA and Japan, Germany is one of the world's leading countries in the field of nanotechnology. This applies to both research and industry: Germany ranks third when it comes to patent applications in the field of nanotechnology and fourth when it comes to publications in the nanosciences. Approximately half of all European companies operating in the field of nanotechnology are based in Germany. In total, there are about 600 companies in Germany that work on the development, application and marketing of nanoproducts.
The use of nanoparticles makes it possible to develop materials with completely new properties and effects, for example in automotive engineering, the textile industry and medicine. Nanotechnology is unlocking a whole new world of product innovations. Nanostructured paints and lacquers that are particularly dirt- and water-repellent are already being used today. Thanks to nanotechnology, the performance of data storage units can also be further improved. In future, nanotechnology is expected to play an important role in securing the energy supply and in developing more effective drugs.
Nanotechnology was chosen as a promising subject for the promotion of Germany as a key location of innovation. Between October 2007 and September 2009, the BMBF will present Germany as an important setting of nanotechnological innovation to selected target countries in an international marketing campaign. This will enable German research institutions, competence networks and companies with strong research departments to present their activities and expertise at an international level.