Joined: 16 Mar 2004
|Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:18 am Post subject: European Union increases research efforts on nanotechnology
|The EU's largest ever funding programme for research and technological development, the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) launched on January 1, 2007, is the central mechanism of research funding at the European Commission level. The EU Member States have earmarked a total of €3.5 billion (approx. $4.5 billion) for funding nanotechnology related research over the duration of FP7 (2007-2013).
In line with EU strategy FP7 includes calls for proposals on a wide range of activities related to the risk assessment of nanomaterials. This involves the generation of quantitative data on (eco)toxicology, as well as development of nano-specific tests, exposure and risk assessment methods, and methodologies for life cycle analysis. Development of suitable devices and instruments for measurement will also be addressed. These activities will help reduce uncertainty surrounding the potential (eco)toxicity of different nanoscale substances, and provide a basis for meeting current and potential future regulatory requirements.
These calls are not only open to European researchers, but to most other countries. Addressing the potential risks of nanomaterials is not a national or European issue. To bring together all available knowledge in order to benefit from common synergies and reinforce progress worldwide has been highlighted as a key goal in this area by the EC.
The five calls are grouped under activity 4.1.3 "Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies – Health, Safety and Environmental Impacts". The main objective is to support the scientific assessment of the potential health, safety and environmental risks associated with nanotechnology-based materials and products at the earliest possible stage. This involves the generation of quantitative data on toxicology and ecotoxicology and methodologies for generating data. Test methods, exposure assessment and risk assessment methods may need to be developed or modified to be applicable to nanomaterials, as well as methodologies for life cycle analysis. In addition, analytical methods might not be fully suitable and therefore also the development of suitable devices and instruments for measurement are addressed. Research activities will thus contribute to close the knowledge gap, providing the basis for meeting regulatory requirements and, if need be, developing new requirements, conducive to a safe, responsible and sustainable development.
Sources & further information: CORDIS & Nanowerk
Story first posted: 14th February 2007.