metal oxide particles | © Pressefoto BASF SE


Germany has a rich and diverse nanotech landscape, with industry players of all sizes catering to the strong demand for nanotechnology both in our domestic markets - especially the automotive, optical, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries - and abroad. We continue to enhance our already strong international reputation for scientific expertise. Moreover, our government puts more funding behind this industry than any other country in Europe and has generous new initiatives aimed at expanding and solidifying our lead. Take a look at our numbers and see what we have to offer. We'll find a place for you - and your parts - too!

Associations, Networks, & Strategic Alliances

1. Associations

The Deutsche Verband Nanotechnologie (German Nanotechnology Association, DV Nano) is the professional association for employees of the nanotechnology industry in academia, business, the media, education, politics, and management. The association views nanotechnology as an interdisciplinary field that combines experiences from technical and academic fields such as chemistry, physics, biology, and materials sciences.

The “Nano in Germany” initiative provides key players in the nanotechnology market with the opportunity to work together to improve their visibility and to increase the acceptance of nanotechnology in society based on its added value and the benefits it offers mankind. Domestic and international companies, organizations, associations, and research institutions use the “Nano in Germany” initiative as a common base for tapping the market.

2. Strategic Alliances

In cooperation with the BMBF, organizations in the business and science fields established five “Innovation Alliances” in the nanotechnology sector. These alliances set priorities in fields of technology that are important for the future. The Innovation Alliances also offer a special kind of leverage: The OLED and OPV initiatives alone have already generated EUR 1 billion worth of business with EURO 140 million in BMBF funding.

  • Innovation Alliance Carbon Nanotubes (Inno-CNT)
    In recent years, carbon nanotubes (CNT) have experienced rapid development thanks to their unique material properties. CNT can be used to create entirely new materials with spectacular properties. The Innovation Alliance Carbon Nanotubes (Inno.CNT) was founded with the support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for the purpose of making targeted use of this potential. The initiative’s overarching goal is to establish materials technology in Germany as a key market for the future; materials technology will then serve as an international lead market for innovative carbon nanomaterials. For this purpose, an exceptionally large group composed of approximately 90 expert partners from industry and science have come together to form the highly effective, interdisciplinary Innovation Alliance Inno.CNT.
  • Innovation Alliance Organic LEDs (OLED)
    With the Innovation Alliance OLED 2015, the BMBF has been successfully promoting the development of OLED technology and linking R&D subsidies with concrete agreements on industrial investments since 2006. Particularly noteworthy here is the participating companies’ commitment to make significant investments in Germany in addition to the EUR 100 million in R&D subsidies provided by the BMBF. The most recent indicator of the Alliance’s success was the opening of the OSRAM OLED pilot production facility on August 30, 2011 in Regensburg. Merck’s new materials research center in Darmstadt, the construction of Aixtron’s new research center (including a pilot production line) in Herzogenrath, and Philips’ OLED pilot production line in Aachen are a few more examples. In this way, the German federal government and businesses have invested more than EUR 800 million in the research and development of OLEDs in Germany.
  • Innovation Alliance Organic Photovoltaics (OPV)
    With the Innovation Alliance Organic Photovoltaics, the BMBF hopes to accelerate the development process for OPV technologies to the point where they can be broadly implemented in industrial applications. In order to achieve this goal, the Alliance uses a combination of fundamental research, practical materials R&D and process technology, and component-specific developments. The industry has invested an extraordinarily large share of its own finances into the Alliance.
  • Innovation Alliance Molecular Imaging
    The Innovation Alliance Molecular Imaging combines academic/clinical activities with technological/industrial ones. The Innovation Alliance’s partners, the BMBF and industry, will make a joint investment of EUR 900 million in molecular imaging as part of a technology initiative. Over the next ten years, the companies will commit EUR 750 million to the project; the BMBF is planning to support joint projects between business and academia – research institutions and universities – with up to EUR 150 million.
    One of the goals of the initiative is to produce new imaging probes – such as contrast agents or nuclear medicine tracers – new medical imaging devices, and new high-performance data processing and image analysis systems for clinical diagnostics and pharmaceutical development.
  • Innovation Alliance Lithium-Ion Batteries
    As part of the Innovation Alliance Lithium-Ion Batteries (LIB 2015), a consortium of companies including BASF, BOSCH, EVONIK, LiTec, and VW committed to investing EUR 360 million in the research and development of lithium-ion batteries in the coming years. At the same time, the BMBF will provide EUR 60 million in subsidies for this area.


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