The field of nanoscience has significantly matured during the last decade. Perspectives for applications based on nanostructures have emerged which rely crucially on a precise control of the interaction between nanosystems or the influence of external fields. Our SFB has contributed significantly to the progress in nanoscience by developing control mechanisms for individual nanosystems. We have shown that achieving control by structural, optical or electric means is a promising route to an advanced understanding of mechanical, electronic, and magnetic properties of nanosystems. Our research program is organized around these topics.