Portrait Materials Science
7th Framework Programme : SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL OBJECTIVES
Improve the competitiveness of European industry and generate knowledge to ensure its transformation from a resource-intensive to a knowledge-intensive industry, by generating step changes in knowledge and implementing decisive knowledge for new applications at the crossroads between different technologies and disciplines. This will benefit both new, high-tech industries and higher-value, knowledge-based traditional industries, with a special focus to the appropriate dissemination of RTD results to SMEs. These activities are primarily concerned with enabling technologies which impact all industrial sectors and many other Themes under this Framework Programme.
The increasing difficulties affecting many industrial activities appears no longer to be limited to traditional sectors with a high labour intensity, but is beginning to be observed in intermediate sectors – which constitute the established strengths of European industry – and even in some high-technology sectors. A strong industrial base must be maintained by strengthening the knowledge content in existing industry as well building, in Europe, a strong knowledge-based, knowledge intensive industry, stressing the exploitation of basic research for industrial applications. This will include the modernisation of the existing SME base and the creation of new knowledge driven SMEs, from the dissemination of knowledge and expertise through collaborative programmes.
The competitiveness of the industry of the future will largely depend on nanotechnologies and their applications. RTD in nanosciences and nanotechnologies taken up by several areas can accelerate European industry’s transformation. The EU has recognised leadership in fields such as in nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and production technologies which must be strengthened in order to secure and increase the EU position in a highly competitive global context.
Industry relevant priorities and their integration for sectoral applications can be established through activities like the European Technology Platforms in fields such as nanoelectronics, manufacturing, steel, chemistry, the transport industry, construction, industrial safety, textiles, pulp and paper forest-based industry and nano-medicine. This will help establish common research priorities and targets. In addition by responding flexibly to new policy needs that arise during the lifetime of the 7th Framework Programme, the relevant policy, regulatory and standardisation, and impact issues will be addressed.
Generating new knowledge on high-performance surfaces and materials for new products and processes; knowledge-based materials with tailored properties and predictable performance; more reliable design and simulation; computational modelling; higher complexity; environmental compatibility; integration of nano-micro-macro functionality in the chemical technology and materials processing industries; new nano-materials including nano-composites, bio-materials, artificial materials with electromagnetic properties not found in nature, and hybrid materials, including design and control of their processing, properties and performance. Materials with new properties are key to the future competitiveness of European industry and the basis for technical progress in many areas such as health, electronics, energy, transportation and security.