Nanostrand looks at metrology needs in Europe


Nanostrand – a metrology project supported by the European Commission through the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) – is in business, and looking for input from those with an interest in nanotechnology measurement tools and standards.

Funded to the tune of €500k over 18 months as a so-called Specific Support Action of FP6, Nanostrand brings together the national metrology and standardisation bodies of France, the UK and Germany, the Czech Technical University and Optimat, a UK-based technology strategy consultancy.

“The purpose of the project is to provide a state-of-the-art overview of ongoing activities, and to develop roadmaps for future needs,” says Angela Hullmann, a Commission official responsible for nanoscience and technology. “These and other roadmaps represent a precious input for the European Commission for identifying research priorities in the fields of pre-normative research and metrology in nanotechnology, as foreseen in ‘Nanosciences and nanotechnologies: An action plan for Europe 2005–2009’.”

Nanostrand’s core function is to facilitate industrial development and exploitation of nanotechnology, and it intends to do this by identifying:

  • Barriers to technology development
  • Needs for new measurement tools, technologies and standards
  • Priorities for development of nanotechnology measurement tools
  • Priorities for pre-normative research

Pre-normative research refers to activities which are likely to generate new matters for standardisation, corresponding to future standards needs.

“As part of the Commission’s analysis of potential needs in nanotechnology, it identified that metrology and standardisation were both likely to be very important,” says Iain Weir of Optimat, who coordinates the activities of Nanostrand. “The consortium includes internationally renowned metrology institutes and standardisation bodies, while Optimat has significant experience in identifying needs for measurement technology and standards.”

Nanostrand is currently completing reviews of global nanometrology standards and research. It is also preparing to carry out in June of this year a web-based survey to identify the metrology and standardisation needs of the European nanotechnology community.

Article first published in Nanomaterials News.