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Posted: April 16, 2008

International Council on Nanotechnology launches global research needs assessment

(Nanowerk News) As nanotechnology has moved out of the laboratory and into commercial products, many have begun to question the impact of nanoscale materials on health and the environment. Learning more about such impacts, however, presents a daunting task, given the number of potential products, the pace of innovation, and the need to share information and leverage costs toward a more efficient, timely international research effort. A major challenge has been to produce a global research strategy for predicting the interactions between engineered nanoparticles and biological systems so that biocompatible nanomaterials can be developed and applied safely.
Last year, more than 70 experts from 13 countries - in academia, industry, governments and non-governmental agencies - accepted that challenge. In an unprecedented international collaboration, the International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON) convened two workshops aimed at defining a set of research needs for assessing potential nanotechnology impacts.
The results of this multi-stakeholder effort, funded by ICON and the National Science Foundation, will be unveiled on Thursday, May 1, when ICON, in partnership with the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, releases the "International Assessment of Nanotechnology Environment, Health and Safety Research Needs" - a report on the findings of the two workshops.
Confirmed speakers include Professor Vicki Colvin, Executive Director of ICON; Dr. Sally Tinkle, Science Advisor to the Acting Director, NIEHS/NIH; Dr. Michael Thompson, Business Development Manager-Nanotechnology, FEI Company; Dr. Richard Denison, Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund; and Dr. Andrew Maynard, Chief Science Advisor to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.
This program will take place on Thursday, May 1, 2008, in the 6th Floor Board Room of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.
Webcast LIVE at www.wilsoncenter.org
What: ICON: Release of Nanotechnology Environment, Health and Safety Research Needs Assessment
Who: Confirmed speakers include:

Professor Vicki Colvin, Executive Director, ICON and Professor, Rice University

Dr. Sally Tinkle, Science Advisor to the Acting Director, NIEHS/NIH

Dr. Michael Thompson, Business Development Manager-Nanotechnology, FEI Company

Dr. Richard Denison, Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund

Dr. Andrew Maynard, Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

When: Thursday, May 1, 2008, 2:00pm - 3:00 p.m. (Light refreshments will be available)
Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 6th Floor Board Room. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004.
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies was launched in 2005 by the Wilson Center and The Pew Charitable Trusts. It is a partnership dedicated to helping business, governments, and the public anticipate and manage the possible health and environmental implications of nanotechnology.
The International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON) is an international, multi-stakeholder organization based at Rice University. Our mission is to develop and communicate information regarding potential environmental and health risks of nanotechnology thereby fostering risk reduction while maximizing societal benefit. The council has evolved into a network of scholars, industrialists, government officials and public interest advocates who share information and perspectives on a broad range of issues at the intersection of nanotechnology and environment, health and safety. We maintain a public portal for information on nanomaterial environment, health and safety (EHS) at http://icon.rice.edu .
Source: Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies