ERA-NET, the European scheme that aims to step-up the cooperation and coordination of research activities carried out in member and associated states, has allocated €8 million for joint European research focusing on understanding the potential safety and toxicity issues of commercially relevant nanosciences and nanotechnology.

In its first transnational call for proposals, ERA-NET SIINN (Safe Implementation of Innovative Nanoscience and Nanotechnology) is seeking proposals for innovative multilateral integrated research projects focusing on four different topics related to the safety of manufactured nanomaterials:

•  The establishment and development of models and methods for analytical tools, theoretical prediction and characterisation;
•  Exposure assessment;
•  Studies on the impact of manufactured nanomaterials on the environment;
•  Studies on the properties and effects of manufactured nanomaterials on human health.

The aim of the first call is to close knowledge gaps with respect to EHS (Environment and Human Safety) issues in order to promote the rapid transfer of the results of nanoscience and nanotechnology research into industrial application by helping to create reliable conditions.

The total budget for this call is about €8.35m and ERA-NET SIINN hope to fund about 8-10 collaborative projects, each lasting up to three years. Each consortium submitting a proposal must involve a minimum of three independent partners from at least two countries participating in the call. The Technology Strategy Board has a budget of up to €1.5m allocated for UK businesses looking to collaborate with European partners and will fund indicatively 4-6 applications from UK partners, each receiving a maximum of €300,000.

Applications must be submitted by 5 June 2012. For further information and details of how to apply please visit: http://www.siinn.eu/en/. For guidance about UK eligibility in this programme please visit: SIINN UK eligibility.

Source: Technology Strategy Board