Activities & Projects

Public Engagement & Communication

NIA’s activities and projects aim to engage both nanotechnology stakeholders and the public on the topic of nanosciences and -technologies in order to ultimately foster a constructive dialogue and understanding of the potential widespread impact of these new enabling technologies. Through projects such NanoDIODE (Developing Innovative Outreach and Dialogue on responsible Nanotechnologies in EU Civil Society) and NanoEIS (Nanotechnology Education for Industry and Society), NIA assesses best practices in education,and public engagement and dialogue on nanotechnologies. Through projects such as INGENIOUS (Advanced Workshop Course in Public Communication and Applied Ethics for Nanotechnologists), NIA trains nanotechnology researchers of all disciplines in matters of engagement and communication. Together with NIA's work on innovation, economics and S&T policy, these projects support NIA's participation in, and work with, the OECD Working Party on Nanotechnology.

NIA also initiates in-depth studies and research into areas important to the societal impact of nanotechnologies, such as through its report into the so-called 'NanoGap' (The Role of Nanotechnologies in the Divide between the developing and the developed World).

The Responsible Nano-Code was developed in collaboration with a number of stakeholders, including civil society organisations (CSOs), the insurance and investment industry,and environmental health and safety institutes; the code provides a consensus on seven principles that demonstrate good-practice and responsible development in the R&D, commercialisation and use of nanotechnologies.

Through the projects NanoSilver Network (The responsible Development of Nanosilver throughout the entire Product Life-Cycle)REACH-nano Help Desk and NanoRelease Food Additive (Developing Methods to measure Release of Nanoparticles from Food), NIA informs and updates stakeholders on the developments and implementation of policies and regulations concerning nanomaterials, while NIA's own (i.e. NIA-initiated and -coordinated) Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) PROSPEcT (Ecotoxicology Test Protocols for Representative Nanomaterials in Support of the OECD Sponsorship Programme) and Global-NanoMaPPP (Global PPP for the Integrated Measurement and Testing of Representative NanoMaterials in Support of the OECD Sponsorship Programme) provide fora and platforms for stakeholder collaboration on the topics of policy-information and -making, especially within the framework of the OECD's Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials, where NIA is the leading industry representative through the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC).

On 1 January 2015, the Working Party on Biotechnology (WPB) and the Working Party on Nanotechnology (WPN) merged into the Working Party on Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Converging Technologies (BNCT).

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NanoEIS looks to evaluate how nanotechnology education has been integrated into secondary schools and universities, how cooperation between different partner institutions is implemented, and in which ways industrial and non-industrial (social) employers have been involved. NanoEIS will make, based on a thorough assessment of employer needs, recommendations for curriculum contents as well as for best practice strategies to implement them.

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In November 2006, the Royal Society, Insight Investment and the Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) came together to explore the societal and economic impact of the technical, social and commercial uncertainties related to. *

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The Advanced Workshop Course in Public Communication and Applied Ethics for Nanotechnologists was held from the 22nd until the 27th March 2009 at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, UK.

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The PROSPEcT Project (PROSPEcT: Ecotoxicology Test Protocols for Representative Nanomaterials in Support of the OECD Sponsorship Programme) is a 50:50 Public-Private-Partnership between the Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA), specific NIA Member-Companies, several university laboratories, leading in the research of nanoparticle detection and exoctoxicology, and the UK Government (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Technology Strategy Board, Engineering and Physical Sciences Resear

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