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Knowledge and Excellence in European Nanotechnology - Regions (KEEN-REGIONS)
Start date: 01 Jun 2009, End date: 31 May 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

EU Commissioner Janez Potonik stated that “nanotechnology is an area which has highly promising prospects for turning fundamental research into successful innovations.” The potential applications of nanotechnology are wide-ranging and rapidly increasing, demonstrating a field that has the potential to act as a powerful catalyst for economic development. To gain a competitive position in this exciting terrain and to foster industrial innovation, EU research infrastructures require more and more resources: multidisciplinary competencies, investments for up-to-date technical equipments, skilled HR, and strong links to the business community. To this end, many well-established research centres in Europe are working in research-driven clusters, aggregates of key-players who are not just researchers, but networks of competitive companies and public authorities. This is the case of Veneto Nanotech (Veneto), Minatec (Rhone-Alps) and Gaia (Basque Country) , which together control more than 200 M€ public investments, 2000 researchers, and 200 research laboratories. If these 3 clusters are to collaborate, combining and integrating their enormous wealth of resources to increase synergies and to complement one another, it will create a huge potential for research and economic development at the EU level. This is precisely the goal of KEEN (Knowledge and Excellence in European Nanotechnology)-Regions. A three-step approach (mapping and analysis of existing resources, interactive exchanges and mutual learning, and a focused integration process) will lead to a Joint Action Plan, constructed by all interested stakeholders. Following a bottom-up philosophy and utilising the direct involvement of Regional Authorities, the JAP will ensure a quick and comprehensive implementation. KEEN also aims to eventually expand beyond these 3 clusters, exchanging methodologies and strategies with other EU clusters.
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