|NATAL aims to develop a new core technology of powerful and compact laser sources for the visible and ultraviolet spectral ranges. Such devices are needed for a variety of applications including nano-materials processing, medicine, RGB displays, life sciences, as well as UV lithography and surface chemistry. The lasers envisaged by NATAL represent a radical departure from the existing technologies. Nanophotonic materials and science are the key themes running throughout the proposed programme. The main areas addressed by NATAL include i) development of innovative nano-structured gain devices ii) development of advanced micro-optical elements to enable the functionality and control of lasers.Central focus of this programme is the concept of the Optically-Pumped Vertical External Cavity Surface-Emitting Semiconductor Laser (OP-VECSEL). These sources retain the power-scaling, beam quality and intracavity control capability of solid-state lasers, while offer the wavelength versatility, broadband pump absorption and compact gain region supplied by semiconductor technology. NATAL will use the innovative thermally-conductive optical windows bonded directly to the surface of the OP-VECSEL chip. This approach allows the facilitation of wavelength extension and power scaling, microchip operation and novel schemes for optical mode control, in addition to integrated device formats with a wide range of functionality. Specific wavelength targets include direct operation in the red (630-670 nm) and frequency-doubled OP-VECSELs operating at 315-335 nm (UV), 470 nm (blue), 520 nm (green), and 610 nm (red). These wavelengths cover important absorption bands in a host of materials significant to nanotechnology (quantum dot and conventional fluorphores, light-emitting polymers, photoresists, biomaterials) and large-scale consumer applications.