The Nano Trust Project: A Contribution to Austria’s Approach to Risk Governance of Nanotechnology
The Austrian government recognizes the inherent tensions involved in fostering the development of nanotechnology-based products—which is good for the market—when little is known about possible toxicological threats and other unwanted side effects of the nano particles used in products—which is potentially bad for consumers. The Nano Trust Project is tailored to address these challenges. The heart of the project is to continually survey, analyze and summarize the state of knowledge regarding potential health and environmental risks of nanotechnology. Another activity of the Nano Trust project is to build up a network of nanotechnology experts working on various issues in the field. The project refers to this as risk radar, which will serve as the basis for a clearing house on questions of potential health and environmental risks. Nano Trust will be an information desk and promoter of discussion between the general public, the administration and the nano research community, from which a sort of service point will be established for questions regarding the assessment of security issues.
Dr. Ulrich Fiedeler
Scientist at the Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAS)