The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) recently held a Stakeholder Workshop for the purpose of assessing and strategizing in anticipation of the next version of the NNI Strategic Plan, a draft of which is due in late 2013 or early 2014. Stakeholders from industry, government, and academia attended the workshop. Participants considered questions related to technical challenges; commercial nanotechnology; environmental, health, and safety considerations; infrastructure needs; and ethical, legal, and societal implications of nanotechnology.
On the subject of environmental, health, and safety considerations, one report from the workshop indicated that NIOSH officials have recommended folding these matters into the other goals, rather than maintaining a separate approach. The officials noted that of the $1.65 billion in federal funding allocated in FY2013 for nanotechnology research and development, environmental, health, and safety initiatives constituted only 7.6% of those funds.
Some of the other issues addressed, according to the report were:
1. Improving communication among researchers.
2. Balancing availability of research with confidentiality of proprietary information.
3. Developing a common dose metric for research.
This news report may be found by subscription at:
Robert Iafolla, Include Safety, Environmental Concerns in Strategic Plan, Nano Researcher Say, 115 BNA Daily Env’t Rep. A-8 (June 14, 2013), available at
Whatever steps may be necessary to ensure that environmental, health, and safety concerns are at the forefront of the discussion about nanotechnology should be made a priority.
A detailed presentation of the Questions for Stakeholders for discussion at the 2013 NNI Strategic Planning Stakeholder Workshop, with further links, may be found at: