''It is an area of activity in which the state is ready to invest on a grand scale. The only question is that this work should be well organised and effective, yielding practical results,'' President Putin said at a meeting on the development of nanotechnology at the Kurchatov Nuclear Research Institute in Moscow.
Nanotechnology will lay the groundwork for new weapon systems, both offensive and defensive, he said, adding that nanotechnology was already being used in high-tech sectors of industry, medicine, transport, space research, and telecommunications.
Russian Science and Education Minister Andrei Fursenko said his Ministry had drafted a nanotechnology development programme up to 2015 which was currently being studied by the Finance Ministry.
He said 63.8 million dollars had already been earmarked for nanotechnology research in 2007 alone, adding that the Kurchatov Institute had been assigned to spearhead the research effort, in the field.
The Institute is a multi-discipline research centre with an extensive experimental base in nuclear technology and microelectronics.
Over 60 years in existence, it has played a key role in the solution of crucial problems of the country's development and security, including the creation of nuclear weapons, nuclear-powered ships and submarines and nuclear power engineering.