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Posted: August 14, 2009

No data - no market? Challenges of nanotechnology information

(Nanowerk News) Moving nanotechnology to market also involves addressing challenges regarding information and communication management. This year’s 5th NanoRegulation Conference will bring together executive representatives from industry companies and associations, authorities, NGOs and politics to discuss how to add transparency to the black box of nanotechnologies. The attending speakers represent all relevant stakeholders and participants will get the opportunity to contribute to concrete solutions during expert moderated workshop sessions.
The internationally renowned NanoRegulation Conference will again take place in the context of the NanoEurope Symposium, but this year in Rapperswil at the lake of Zurich from 25th to 26th of November 2009.
To guarantee a sustainable development of nanotechnologies, consumers need to know what they buy, retailers need to know what they sell, and processors and recyclers need to know what they handle. However, the relevant nanospecific information often does not reach these recipients because there is no obligation for transfer of nanospecific information. Nanomaterials are likely to become “black boxes” in terms of information; as a consequence, consumer confidence decreases and politicians, NGO and consumer advocates are calling for transparency, declaration and labelling. This leads to a big challenge for nano-regulators and the industry. The conference will bring together all relevant stakeholders to tackle the respective challenges.
The European Parliament unmistakably stated in its 2009 report on regulatory aspects of nanomaterials: “No data, no market”. The members of the European Parliament wanted manufactured nanomaterials to be treated as new substances, requiring extensive safety testing and mandatory labelling.
The first day of the 5th NanoRegulation Conference will provide a comprehensive overview on the political and regulatory background of nanotechnology governance on the national, European and global level. In the light of the European Parliament calling for adaptations of the regulatory framework regarding manufactured nanomaterials, what will be the strategy of the European Commission? Which nano-specific information is indispensable for authorities and consumers? Which instruments for communication and transfer of nano-specific information along the value chain are available??
Disclosure of nanospecific information along the value chain: Must have or nice to have? REACH and other European Chemicals Acts clearly shift the responsibility to ensure safe products to manufacturers and those who put them on the market. However, it remains unclear what kind of nanospecific information is needed at the different stages in the product life cycle, and how it should be delivered.
The second day of the 5th NanoRegulation Conference will bring together the different members of the nanotechnology value chain to discuss who needs what kind of information. Three workshops will offer the participants the opportunity to point out their opinions, discuss them and suggest strategic guidelines for a feasible and effective information policy along the value chain and towards external stakeholders.
Who should attend
The NanoRegulation conference is addressed to executive representatives from international regulatory bodies, industry and insurance companies, scientists, NGO, associations, politicians, the media and the interested public.
Source: Innovation Society

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