(Nanowerk News) The FramingNano project partners and Advisory Board members gathered in Brussels on Monday, 14 December 2009, ahead of the FramingNano International Conference “A New Governance Framework for Nanotechnologies” on 15 December.
The programme for the one-day Conference included presentations by Peteris Zilgalvis, Head of Unit and Renè Von Schömberg of the European Commission's Governance and Ethics Unit, as well as contributions from industry, NGOs, governments and academia. The meeting was also attended by Dr. Philippe Martin, Principal Administrator with responsibilities for nanotechnology policy at Directorate-General Health and Consumer Protection (DG Sanco) of the European Commission.
The draft FramingNano Governance Platform, which was described for the first time at the Conference, will set out a proposal for the framing of policy on nanotechnology in Europe . It is the result of wide consultation process and dialogue with key stakeholders and subsequent deliberation process. It highlight s the major challenges to be overcome in order to successfully craft governance policies for nanotechnologies, and the communication issues that need to be addressed if Europe is to harness the full potential of this rapidly growing area of technology.
Risks and concerns arising from nanotechnologies will be addressed, with particular attention paid to those key environmental health and safety (EHS), and ethical, legal and societal issues (ELSI), that have to be understood and ‘framed'. However, the inclusion of benefits and opportunities is also considered as a necessary element in this debate. The ultimate aim is to design a balanced governance framework that takes into account the tradeoff between these two opposing factors.
The draft Governance Platform may be downloaded by registered users of the FramingNano website, www.framingnano.eu , and comments on it are welcomed by the FramingNano project team up to 8 January 2010.
Following the Brussels meeting and the preparation of the definitive version of the FramingNano Governance Platform , the project now moves to the next phase which focuses on dissemination of the Platform at national level. National conferences will take place in London , UK on 11 February; Prague , Czech Republic on 2 March; Amersfoort , Netherlands on 9 March; Bern , Switzerland on 18 March; Frankfurt , Germany on 24 March; and in Italy on a date in May to be announced shortly.