EU approves 119 mln euros French nanotechnology aid

BRUSSELS, Sept 13 Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:45am BST

BRUSSELS, Sept 13 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Thursday it had approved 119 million euros ($165 million) of French government aid to companies for research on nanotechnology and energy efficiency.

The Commission, executive arm of the European Union, signed off on 80 million euros for a programme known as NanoSmart and 39 million euros for an energy programme called Homes.

"The two programmes are in the strategic areas of nanotechnology and energy efficiency. The Commission has verified that the positive effects of the aid for consumers and for European research outweigh any distortion of competition," Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.

NanoSmart aims to improve the performance and electricity consumption of microelectronic and optoelectronic components, the Commission said.

Homes will enable energy savings of around 20 percent in buildings through innovations including electricity distribution systems, the Commission said.

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