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Nanomaterials play an important role as new materials for our industry, for example in coating technology or as construction materials (insulating materials, flame retardants). The usage of nano-technology contributes greatly to the development of the lithium ion battery, carbon nanotubes, organic photovoltaics and to molecular imaging.
The general strategy of nano-technology within the scope of the high-tech strategy of the federal government intends to use it’s potential more intensely for critical German industry sectors (such as automobile manufacture, engineering, chemistry, construction- and furniture industry, electronics, medical technology and optical industry).
From a supervisory point of view, it will be important to adequately control the risks which might possibly originate from nano-technology without harming economical potentials. Chemistry as a cross-sectional industry plays a big part not only in the practical implementation of innovative products, but also in regulation. The European chemicals law, especially the European regulations REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) and GHS (Global Harmonized System for the classification and labeling of chemicals) currently constitute the most important frame for the legal handling of nano materials. The federal ministry for economy supports the development of the European regulatory framework from an industry-political point of view and tries to ensure that there are no breaches or isolated applications which can permanently obstruct the development of this innovative technology.