In progress from 01-09-2007 to 30-04-2013
Project manager: Michael Nentwich
Expert-based, Nanotechnology, Risk, TA-methodology
Integrative analysis of the state of knowledge regarding health and environment
Read more on the project homepage
Nanotechnology is an emerging branch of scientific technology development. Up to now, aspects of security have not yet been thoroughly researched enough in order to allow for conclusive assessments regarding postulated risks. At the same time, concerns about potential risks are being raised and there are first signs of a public debate. Not least against the background of the experiences in the area of biotechnology, a foresighted nanotech policy is necessary, which is based on profound and well presented analyses. As documented in the first half of 2006 by two projects, on the state of risk and accompanying research there is massive need for research and communication. We aim to meet these needs in this project.
The heart of the research project is to continually survey, analyse and summarise the state of knowledge regarding potential health and environmental risks of nanotechnology. For the first time in Austria, these important aspects of technology development will be under systematic scrutiny and beyond single R&D projects, that is investigated on a meta level. At the same time, research lacunae will be identified and diverse assessments made transparent. This is what we call a risk radar and it will be the basis for a clearing house on questions of potential health and environmental risks. NanoTrust (working title) will be an information desk and promoter of discussion: Both for the general public, the administration and the nano research community a sort of service point will be established for questions regarding the assessment of security issues.
The project will be funded for at first three years by the Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT).