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Posted: January 9, 2008
Safenano launches scientific services
(Nanowerk News) The Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) based in Edinburgh has launched a
range of new services to help companies minimise the environmental and health
risks of working with nanomaterials.
Complementing the IOM’s SAFENANO Information Service and Community Portal,
SAFENANO Scientific Services will provide companies operating in the
nanotechnology industry with a multidisciplinary range of solutions to ensure they can
offer employees a safe and healthy working environment and end products that are
safe for customers.
The development of nanotechnology is expected to drive major advances in
medicine, drug discovery, security and defence. At a scale 10,000 times smaller than
the thickness of a human hair, nanoparticles have unique properties that hold
promise for the fabrication and assembly of ground-breaking new products in many
industry sectors. However, there is currently little known about the long term
consequences of working with nanomaterials.
SAFENANO Scientific Services, which is part-funded by Scottish Enterprise
Edinburgh and Lothian and the Technology Strategy Board, aims to provide
greater insight into potential hazards of working with nanotechnology by offering
companies expert advice and support to help ensure they meet regulatory duties,
achieve effective product stewardship and manage potential liabilities towards users,
customers and the environment.
SAFENANO Scientific Services offers laboratory services and testing, workplace
occupational hygiene, toxicology reports and reviews, as well as related training for
staff and management to aid companies in the development of effective
nanotechnology risk management programmes.
“SAFENANO Scientific Services builds on the IOM’s international reputation as a
leading provider of nanotechnology risk research and consultancy. Through provision
of proactive risk assessment, these services will enable UK companies to access the
best available support to ensure safe and responsible development of
nanotechnology.” said Dr Rob Aitken, Director of the SAFENANO initiative.
SAFENANO Scientific Services is managed by the Institute of Occupational
Medicine, in partnership with Napier University, who are recognised as a leading
institution in nanoparticle toxicity assessment.
Professor Vicki Stone, Nanoparticle Toxicologist and Director of the Biomedicine and
Sport Science Research Group at Napier University, said: “I am delighted to be part
of this latest innovative project from SAFENANO – it is a great opportunity to start to
address the real needs of industry in terms of assessing the safety of nanomaterials
now and in future development, and is reflective of Napier’s commitment to working
with industry and business.”
Neil Francis, Director of Growing Business at Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and
Lothian, added: “Nanotechnology is widely believed to offer great potential for the
development of new materials, products, processes and economic growth over the
“It is, however, recognised that there are still some uncertainties concerning the risks
that some of these new materials may pose to the health of those working with them,
the wider public and to the general environment. Having an organisation like IOM
and the services of SAFENANO in Scotland gives us a significant advantage and
reinforces our expertise in this area, which companies working with this technology
will be able to benefit from.”
The SAFENANO initiative is one of the Technology Strategy Board’s Micro and
Nanotechnology Network’s UK Nanotechnology Centres of Excellence. Phase 1 of this
initiative was officially launched in August 2007.
The launch of SAFENANO Scientific Services represents the latest stage in IOM and
SAFENANO’s nanotechnology programme which aims to understand, quantify and control
risks posed by nanomaterials to the workforce, consumers, the general population and the
environment through research, consultancy and service work for industry and government.
Access SAFENANO at www.safenano.org
About the Institute of Occupational Medicine
The Institute of Occupational Medicine is a major independent centre of scientific excellence
in the fields of occupational and environmental health, hygiene and safety. Our mission is to
benefit those at work and in the community by providing quality research, consultancy and
training in health, hygiene and safety and by maintaining our independent, impartial position
as an international centre of excellence. The IOM has more than one hundred scientific,
technical and support staff based in Edinburgh, Chesterfield, London and Stafford.
About Napier University
Napier University is a modern and dynamic institution dedicated to providing graduates with
the relevant skills and qualifications required to succeed in today’s competitive market. With
over 14,000 students across three facilities, Napier is committed to fostering confidence,
creativity and innovation in the students and communities it serves - both here in the UK and
overseas. Napier’s ambitious goal is to become regarded as the best modern university in
Scotland and one of the finest in the UK.
About Scottish Enterprise
Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s main enterprise, innovation and investment agency.
Working in partnership with industry, academia and the public sector, SE aims to help make
Scotland a place where business can thrive and key industries can be competitive. Its focus
is to help businesses grow, encourage greater innovation and create the right conditions for
companies to access property, markets and finance to increase productivity and increase
Scotland’s ability to compete internationally.
About the Technology Strategy Board’s Micro and Nanotechnology Network
The UK Micro and Nanotechnology Network, established in 2004, is working to lower the
entry barriers and driving the widespread market development and exploitation of micro and
nanotechnologies, and ultimately, towards building a prosperous and world-class MNT sector
in the UK. The Network is supported by the Technology Strategy Board, the Regional
Development Agencies in England and the Devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales and