The development of global markets is fuelling demand for energy, raw materials, food, medical supplies and transport. Yet climate change, limits to the regenerative capacity of ecosystems, and scarcity of raw materials necessitate smart and responsible use of natural resources.
Chemical innovations will continue to play a pivotal role in future, since they are indispensable to meeting people's basic needs (such as food, health, clothing, housing, energy, communication and nature). Nanotechnology is a key enabling technology for developing new products. Examples of this include energy-saving lighting technology, new pharmaceutical products (for example, tumour therapies), using surface coatings to conserve resources, and the development of new battery and solar cells.
According to estimates by the European Commission, the global annual market value of nanotechnology products already amounts to approximately EUR 2 trillion, while the number of directly related jobs is estimated at roughly 300 000 to 400 000.
The opinion will address the possibilities, opportunities and risks of this technology for one of Europe's key sectors, the chemical industry, and illustrate the innovative potential for consumers, SMEs and large businesses. It will also discuss nanotechnology's contribution to a sustainable industrial policy, including its economic, social and environmental aspects.
The development of nanotechnologies will trigger important changes in the European chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. The opinion will analyse these changes and indicate potential prospects in connection with the work of the CCMI.