RESPONSIBLE RESEARCH & INNOVATION

The Frontiers Network of Excellence in collaboration with the Technology Assessment Programme of NanoNed and MESA+ Institute of Nanotechnology are hosting a 1-day workshop exploring the increasing emphasis of Responsible Research and Innovation in nanoscience and nanotechnology.

The situation
There is increasing scrutiny (and pressure) to explore ways of managing the development of new technologies with a view to both environmental and health risks as well as more broad societal effects. Moreover, there is pressure to do so at all stages of the innovation process (pressure of responsible research in laboratories, manufacturing legislature on nanoparticles, corporate social responsibility in industry etc.)

With current explorations of means of achieving a responsible approach to nanotechnology (EU Action Plan & EU Open Consultation), principles for the oversight of nanotechnology 2007 (Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and others) and codes of conduct (European Nanotechnology Trade Alliance, Du Pont, the Nano Industries Association and others) it is time to take stock and look deeper into the notion of responsible research and development along the innovation chain.

The objective of this meeting is to explore and develop possible elements of a "Best Nano Practice" at each stage of the innovation chain (from laboratory to society) in anticipation of the increased emphasis on Responsible Research and Innovation. This increased emphasis can be seen in government funding programmes, the move towards corporate and social responsibility and pressures from other non-governmental actors such as NGOs and re-insurance groups.

The workshop will be divide in two parts, the former focussing on articulating what are key elements in a "Best Nano Practice" exploring issues of technology research, development and embedment into society. The second part will focus on suggestions of implementation and attribution of such nano practices in research, corporate sphere and in more formal regulation processes.

The format will take the form of a 1-day workshop augmented by pre-circulated case studies and scenarios and will draw on representatives from research, industry, regulatory bodies, trade union representatives and NGOs to explore and develop suggestions for, and implementation of, a "Best Nano Practice".
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