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European Commission gives grant to investigate transatlantic oversight of nanotech
Date:2/6/2008

Researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Chatham House, Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN), an initiative of Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts, have been awarded a $587,000 European Commission grant to conduct an international research project on regulating nanotechnologies in the European Union and United States (www.lse.ac.uk/nanoregulation).

In recent years, several transatlantic conflicts have erupted over how to regulate chemicals, beef hormones and genetically modified food. These disputes have shown the need for better international coordination of risk assessment and management. But how can nanotechnologies be effectively regulated to ensure both innovation and safety? And how can emerging European and U.S. regulations be made compatible so as to avoid future conflicts in this major growth area?

The project will be coordinated by Dr. Robert Falkner at LSE. Dr. Falkner, a deputy director of LSE's Centre for Environmental Policy and Governance and international relations expert, says:

High profile controversies such as those concerning genetically engineered crops have highlighted how important it is for policymakers to identify potential risks associated with new technologies and to promote international cooperation in the early stages of the policy process. There are known gaps and inadequacies in existing regulatory approaches to nanotechnology that must be addressed if we are to effectively promote innovation while ensuring safety and enhancing public acceptability. This project aims to examine current practice and provide recommendations to policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic on how to promote best practices and avoid future trade conflicts.

This research effort also will try to look beyond the current and near-term state of nano
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Contact: Colin Finan
colin.finan@wilsoncenter.org
202-691-4321
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Source:Eurekalert

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