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Info meeting 9
Coordination Action FP6
Coordinator: IVAM UvA, dept Chemical Risks
NL-1018 WB Amsterdam
Contact person: Pieter van Broekhuizen (email@example.com)
Tel: +31 20 525 6324
Project period: September 2006 – September 2009
Nanotechnology is a major growth area in research and industry. Applications of nanotechnology include advanced materials, textiles, prosthetic implants, food and drugs. Nanosizing products has many benefits. However, there is also a serious debate about the potential hazards of nano-particles (<100 nm), when introduced into the environment and the workplace.
The NanoCap Coordination Action (CA) is a European project that is set up to deepen the understanding of environmental, occupational health and safety risks and ethical aspects of nanotechnology by organising a structured discussion between NGOs, academic researchers and other stakeholders. This CA will enable environmental NGOs and trade unions to participate in a debate on nanotechnology at European level. It will improve their understanding of this new technological field, and it will give them the opportunity to formulate their positions within their actual policy context supported by scientific input, to inform their members and the general public and to discuss the issues.
In addition to NGOs and trade unions, NanoCap will develop recommendations to enable public authorities to address the health, safety and environmental risk issues related to the rapid introduction of nanotechnology into society. At the same time it is the goal of this CA to give also industry the tools to introduce a “responsible nanotechnology”, i.e. to stimulate industrial and academic R&D performers to focus on source reduction regarding nano-particles and to make risk assessment an important dimension in their work.
NanoCap is a consortium of 5 environmental NGOs, 5 trade unions and 5 universities (see list of participants) that will hold a series of focused working conferences, in which a structured enhancement of stakeholder capacities is planned. The universities take care of scientific input for the conferences. NGOs and trade unions will bring in their preliminary positions after discussions with their members. A portfolio on ethical issues and a position concerning “responsible nanotechnology” will be prepared and actively disseminated.
The three-year project is carried out along a series of four (closed) working conferences, followed by an international conference for the general public. At the working conferences external experts may be invited by the NanoCap organisation.
The following, subsequent theme’s for the conferences will be considered:
· building a level playing field of nanotechnological definitions, techniques, setting borderlines, addressing fields of interests, identifying interesting new developments
· fundamental and applied nanotechnological R&D at universities and in industry
· Environmental implications, external risks
· Occupational safety and health, risk assessment
· Test systems for nano particles, implications for agreed testing systems within REACH and for standard setting (OELs)
· Ethics, nanotechnology and nano-R&D
· Role of NGOs versus role of R&D and role of the industry
· Drawing criteria for the assessment of nanotechnology materials: research, production and use
In this respect contacts will be made with industry, international consortia and boards involved in discussions about nanotechnology. Dissemination of the criteria will be performed by the partners within their own organisations and by using their own existing channels towards the authorities making European policy.
List of Nanocap partners
Amsterdam, August 2006
back to reports of infomeetings
 Nanocap is the acronym for “Nanotechnology Capacity Building NGOs”