Policy brief: Responsible Development of Safe & Sustainable Nanomaterials: The Needs, Obstacles & Opportunities for Different Stakeholders


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The novel properties that materials demonstrate at the nanoscale create exciting opportunities for research and innovation in nanotechnology to develop new commercial products. However, these novel properties also raise significant concerns regarding the potential for new risks to human health and the environment. Through the research performed in recent years, it has become clear that the standard methods for safety testing of chemicals are not always appropriate or functional for testing the safety of manufactured nanomaterials.

This brief has outlined the needs and obstacles identified by different stakeholder groups, as well as what they can do to contribute to the collaborative effort required. It is hoped that the collection and presentation of information in this way can serve as a useful tool for different actors to identify exactly what needs to be done to overcome existing obstacles and how they can contribute to the responsible development of nanomaterials that are both safe and sustainable.

The information presented in this policy brief was primarily collected during a Networking Event to Advance Nanosafety in Norway, which was organized as part of the NorNanoReg project and received additional arrangement funding from the Norwegian Research Council’s NANO2021 programme.

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The NorNanoReg project was funded by the Norwegian Research Council’s NANO2021 programme (grant number 239199/070). It was a collaboration between the 7 members of the Norwegian consortium participating in the EU’s FP7 project NANoREG to develop a common European approach to the regulatory testing of nanomaterials (http://www.nanoreg.eu). The partners included the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI), SINTEF, the University of Bergen, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Comet Biotech, and GenØk Centre for Biosafety.