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International Council on Nanotechnology launches global research needs assessment

WASHINGTON - As nanotechnology has moved out of the laboratory and into commercial products, many have begun to question the impact of nanoscale materials on health and the environment. Learning more about such impacts, however, presents a daunting task, given the number of potential products, the pace of innovation, and the need to share information and leverage costs toward a more efficient, timely international research effort. A major challenge has been to produce a global research strategy for predicting the interactions between engineered nanoparticles and biological systems so that biocompatible nanomaterials can be developed and applied safely.

Last year, more than 70 experts from 13 countries in academia, industry, governments and non-governmental agencies accepted that challenge. In an unprecedented international collaboration, the International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON) convened two workshops aimed at defining a set of research needs for assessing potential nanotechnology impacts.

The results of this multi-stakeholder effort, funded by ICON and the National Science Foundation, will be unveiled on Thursday, May 1, when ICON, in partnership with the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, releases the International Assessment of Nanotechnology Environment, Health and Safety Research Needs a report on the findings of the two workshops.

Confirmed speakers include Professor Vicki Colvin, Executive Director of ICON; Dr. Sally Tinkle, Science Advisor to the Acting Director, NIEHS/NIH; Dr. Michael Thompson, Business Development Manager-Nanotechnology, FEI Company; Dr. Richard Denison, Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund; and Dr. Andrew Maynard, Chief Science Advisor to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.

This program will take place on Thursday, May 1, 2008, in the 6th Floor Board Room of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

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What: ICON: Release of Nanotechnology Environment, Health and Safety Research Needs Assessment

Who: Confirmed speakers include:
Professor Vicki Colvin, Executive Director, ICON and Professor, Rice University
Dr. Sally Tinkle, Science Advisor to the Acting Director, NIEHS/NIH
Dr. Michael Thompson, Business Development Manager-Nanotechnology, FEI Company
Dr. Richard Denison, Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
Dr. Andrew Maynard, Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

When: Thursday, May 1, 2008, 2:00pm 3:00 p.m. (Light refreshments will be available)

Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 6th Floor Board Room. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004.


Contact: Colin Finan
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

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