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Europe spends nearly twice as much as US on nanotech risk research
Date:4/21/2008

Washington, DC A new analysis by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) indicates that European nations are investing nearly twice as much as the U.S. in research primarily aimed at addressing the potential risks of nanotechnology. The analysis also highlights a substantial over-inflation of the federal governments nanotechnology risk-research investment figures for the U.S.

The new PEN assessment of nanotechnology risk-relevant projects identified by the federal governments National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) for fiscal year 2006 found that only $13 million was invested in projects highly relevant to addressing possible risks.

Over the same time period, the PEN analysis found European countries invested nearly $24 million in projects with the primary aim of addressing nanotechnology risks.

PEN evaluated research projects listed in the NNI research strategyreleased in February 2008 but without specifics regarding the annual project budget or the applicability of each project to assessing potential hazardsby their relevance to addressing current and future nanotechnology risks. Research was classified according to whether it was highly relevant to addressing potential environment, health or safety hazards, substantially relevant, having some relevance, or was only marginally relevant.

By collecting individual project budget data from publicly available sources, an estimate was made of funding levels for 2006. The assessment found 62 federally-funded projects that were highly relevant to understanding nanotechnology risk, with an estimated annual budget of $13 million.

In contrast, the federal government estimates $37.7 million was invested in highly relevant research in fiscal year 2006. According to PEN Chief Science Advisor Andrew Maynard, It appears the U.S. is guilty of wishful thinking in its assessment of research that will lead to the development of safe nanotechnologies. It is trying to sub
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Contact: Julia Moore
julia.moore@wilsoncenter.org
202-691-4025
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Source:Eurekalert

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