Nanotechnology - Utilizing Potential for Production
Research and innovation are to help the capital goods industry with its machines, plants and service sectors to retain its number one ranking as a generator of productivity. The funding priority entitled "Production goes Nano" is providing a decisive contribution to unleashing new potential for applications in nanotechnology involving new technology-oriented processes and equipment. This makes it possible to produce new types of highly efficient products in Germany, both reliably and economically.
Funding Priority "Production Goes Nano"
Germany's high-tech production know-how in the mechanical and plant engineering sector can look back on a long tradition. This interplay between tradition, a diversified industrial base, a command of new technologies and their integration in a strong production research sector is one of Germany's specific strengths. We have tremendous opportunities in this area in today's globalized world. We must make use of these opportunities - and this is where the "Production goes Nano" funding priority comes in. As a generic technology, nanotechnology is set to play a significant role in practically every area of technology in future. It is considered a major driver of innovation world-wide. The nanotechnologies are production technologies which involve the atomic and molecular dimension and, in principle, have the potential to penetrate every branch of production.
Germany currently leads the field in nanotechnology research. Research institutions and industrial companies are working together in collaborative projects within the framework of the "Production goes Nano" funding priority in order to ensure the rapid translation of laboratory results into industrial practice via test and pilot plants. Only thus can we succeed in producing new types of efficient products, reliably, economically and in the foreseeable future. The funding priority focuses on the following topics:
- Production of large quantities of highly pure nano-scale particles
- Processing nano-scale particles in matrix materials
- Coating surfaces with nano-scale materials
- Online analysis during production and processing
As far as German companies are concerned, the integration of nanotechnologies in production could provide new impetus for high-tech production processes which would secure the country's competitive lead and thus ensure highly qualified jobs in Germany. Germany is an industrial nation. Only if the use of high-tech production process and services succeeds in enabling Germany to continue to produce economically in future will we be able to safeguard jobs - including jobs in service industries which are reliant on production - and secure our standard of living.
- Production processes must be transferred from laboratory and pilot plant-scale to industrial production in order to make nano-particles accessible to a wide range of uses.
- The effective dispersion of nano-particles is a great problem in a large number of industrial applications. Industrial processes to produce thermodynamically stable dispersions are being developed and integrated in the process chain.
- Surface coatings using nano-scale materials have the most diverse properties, which can also be adapted to various uses. Industrial processes are being developed to this end.
- A reliable online analysis is necessary in order to make the processes and procedures reproducible. Methods are being developed to characterize nano-powders for industrial uses.