EU set for nanotechnology progress report

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:17 pm    Post subject: EU set for nanotechnology progress report Reply with quote

17 July 2007 Cosmetics
EU set for nanotechnology progress report

Louise Prance

The European Commission is set to present a report on the implementation progress of its Nanotechnology Action Plan - which is set to influence the role nanotechnology plays in the cosmetics and personal care industries in Europe.

Pitted as a potential driving force in boosting the quality of life, growth, jobs and industrial competitiveness in Europe, the commission has highlighted the need for more attention to be drawn to the development of the new areas of science.

A technical briefing will be held in Brussels where experts from the research DGs from the commission will provide information on the steps taken by the EC and the EU, following the publication of the First Implementation Report 2005 - 2007 on 'Nano-sciences and nanotechnologies: An action plan for Europe 2005-2009.'

A public consultation will also be held on the responsible governance of research in nanosciences and nanotechnologies, which will no doubt be beneficial and of interest to personal care and skin care manufacturers.

Nanotechnology has been heralded as a potentially major breakthrough for personal care formulators and is already included in a number of personal care formulations, specifically sun care and anti-ageing treatments.

It has proved to be particularly effective as a delivery vehicle for active ingredients in skin care products, with smaller particles being able to penetrate the skin's dermal layers more effectively.

The implementation report will look further into seven specified subjects, which include: building the momentum in R&D, improving infrastructure, investing in human resources, fostering industrial innovation, integrating society's views, public health, safety, environmental and consumer protection and international co-operation.

The move by the EC to speed up the process and show its awareness of the need for more detailed research into nanotechnology will no doubt help quell worries from UK scientific bodies that Europe is not moving fast enough to get up to speed with the rest of the world.

The US- based Wilson Center has recently applauded the UK government's Council for Science and Technology (CST) over its criticism on the slow progress being made for focused research into the hazards associated with nanotechnology.

The Wilson Center said that comments contained in a review by the CST aimed at highlighting the hazards had done much to draw attention to the problem on an international basis.

"The UK government deserves a lot of credit for commissioning both the ground-breaking 2004 Royal Society report and for submitting itself to a tough review of its performance since then", said Project on Emerging Technologies chief scientist Andrew Maynard.

The project is an initiative formed by the Wilson Center dedicated to anticipating and managing possible health and environmental implications of nanotechnology.

On the back of the UK recommendations, Maynard proposes that the US federal government invest a minimum of $100m over the next two years in targeted science-based research to investigate the safety of nanotechnology in a range of applications.


Story posted: 18th July 2007
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