Nanotechnology is regarded as the technology of the future par excellence. It is even the topic of one of John Grisham's novels. Nanotechnology is a generic term that refers to various kinds of analyses and processing techniques of materials, which have one thing in common: their size ranges between one and one hundred nanometres. Nanotechnology can be put to almost unlimited uses. Future advances in nanotechnology will be instrumental in the rapid development of other promising industries.

Nanotechnology has long been a part of everyday life in such areas as chip production and the development of hard disks for computers. However, the future competitiveness of products in the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, automotive, information technology and optical industries will also depend on the expansion of nanotechnology. Advances in nanotechnology will therefore be of crucial importance for the progress of these sectors of industry, too.

Nanotechnology lays the foundations for increasingly smaller data memories with an ever larger storage capacity. They can be used for highly efficient filters in sewage treatment, for materials in the construction of ultra-light engines as well as for body parts or artificial joints with so-called nano-surfaces, which can be better tolerated by the human body.

In medicine and biotechnology, nano-particles offer new solutions enabling diseases to be diagnosed earlier and drugs to be transported to where they are intended to take effect. They also allow the controlled production of very small parts on a "nano-scale" using technical materials.

Nanotechnology is concentrated in such areas as power engineering, fuel technology, solar technology, environmental engineering, information technology and the health sector.