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Posted: Mar 20, 2006

A new report on Nanotechnology and Regulation released

(Nanowerk News) A report by the Innovation Society in Switzerland summarizes the first results of the platform "Nano-Regulation" and provides recommendations for further steps towards a sustainable regulatory framework for nanotechnologies and nanosciences.
Risk is an important factor to be considered in the early stage of an emerging technology. If risks are considered in time, the ex-post costs of identifying important impacts on Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) and potential liability costs in case of damages can be minimised. Late identification and characterisation of HSE risks have hampered earlier emerging technologies substantially. Public debates on GM-food and Nuclear Power have proven that early preoccupation with potential risks is crucial for a sustainable and successful technology development. Transparent communication, open public dialogue, valid risk data and - if necessary - adapted regulations - are vital pre-requisites to build public trust and to create high-producing conditions for a successful development and application of nanotechnology.
This report describes the approach and some of the results of the stakeholder platform "Nano-Regulation" which addresses safety, risk and regulation issues of nanotechnology.
In spring 2005 the platform „Nano-Regulation”, an international multi-stakeholder-dialogue-forum was started in Switzerland. The platform was launched as a network of several industry, insurance, research, retail, government and NGO organisations. The goals of the platform are to
• establish an international multi-stakeholder network on regulatory issues
• characterise stakeholders attitudes and expectations towards safety and risk issues
• address safety, risk and regulation needs of nanotechnology from different perspectives
• facilitate proactive solution oriented dialogue processes on safety and risk issues
• identify and prioritise the fields of action
• propose forthcoming activities
During the first phase there were a series of expert interviews conducted, analyzed and finally reported in a DELPHI-study. Several meetings and a workshop were held and an international conference (Nano- Regulation) was organised. Furthermore an expert steering group was set up in order to prepare further steps.
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