Projects using cutting-edge technology in the north-east of England and Cumbria have been given a share of multi-million pound funding.
Machines in the blood: Still science fiction
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) says 25 nanotechnology projects are to receive £15m.
They include just under £3m for a project in Consett, County Durham, and more than £1.7m for another project in Ulverston, Cumbria.
Another £3m will be given to INEX, a facility based at Newcastle University.
It is hoped the UK can be a leading country in the nanotechnology field, which involves the manipulation of materials one-millionth the size of a pinhead.
DTI minister Nigel Griffiths said: "Nanotechnology is an important and exciting emerging technology, one that will help to improve daily life for us all.
"It is about designing new products and improving existing ones by making things much smaller, faster, stronger or more energy efficient."
INEX director Prof Ken Snowdon said: "The North East is already known for creating some of the UK's largest structures. Now the region is building a global reputation for making some of the smallest.
"This £3m investment will be used by INEX to drive market development and exploitation of microsystems and nanotechnology to the benefit of UK industry and society."
A Nanotube Fibres project at Thomas Swan and Co Ltd, Crookhall, Consett, County Durham, will receive £2,963,501.
A project called Nanophosphors for Displays and Lighting at Forge Europa, in Ulverston, Cumbria, will receive £1,270,275.