GRENOBLE, France, Sept. 28 -- The European Commission (EC) has launched a new project, Merging Optics and Nanotechnologies (MONA), to coordinate research in those fields. The project, which is part of the Sixth EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP-6), will "leverage synergies in photonics and nanotechnologies, seeking to increase the impact and efficiency of investment on European research," the commission said in a statement.
Six European countries and regions are involved in launching MONA, under the leadership of CEA-LETI -- the Laboratory of Electronics and Information Technologies, based in Grenoble, France, and run by the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). Also participating are industry and research organizations including Acreo, a Swedish research and development optics and microelectronics company; Aixtron, a German manufacturer of MOVPE (metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy and CVD (chemical vapor deposition) equipment; Alcatel-Thales; ASM International, a Netherlands supplier of semiconductor process equipment; the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC); INTEC (Department of Information Technology), Ghent University, Belgium; Opticsvalley, a joint public-private association of Paris-based and international optics companies, research laboratories and educational institutions; Schott; VDI Technologiezentrum (VDI TZ) GmbH, a provider of laser and optical technology consulting services; and Yole Developpement, a French marketing and technology consulting company.
The MONA project will coordinate FP-6 R&D programs among relevant industries and with regional and national research programs in and outside Europe and will create a common site for the exchange of information on research and integrated projects in photonics and nanotechnologies. It will also promote the exchange of scientific results, market development and technology needs through MONA-developed workshops, and will develop a European roadmap for photonics and nanotechnologies.
Also on MONA's agenda are an economic intelligence and market survey, joint workshops, recommendations for research, dissemination of information, tutorials and training for industry by nanotechnology experts, and annual conferences.
"The MONA project will bridge the gap between photonics and nanotechnologies," the commission said. "The challenge of mastering nanoelectronics and nanophotonics science and technologies at an industrial scale (i.e., aiming at low-cost mass production capability) is of utmost strategic importance for the competitiveness of the European industry in a global context. Through the cooperative work between equipment manufacturers, nanotechnologies and photonics experts, MONA will help to identify and address the most critical manufacturing issues."
For more information, visit: www.cea.fr