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How much federal funding has been provided in the period from 2009 to 2012 for safety research in the field of nanotechnology?

The German Federal Ministries of Education and Research (BMBF), Environment – Nature – Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), and Food – Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMEL) have been spending approximately 14.18 million € per year on risk research projects and supporting research.

What´s the opinion of the EU on nanotechnology?

The EU sees nanotechnology as one of the leading technologies. See also the Lund Declaration from July 2009 “The Lund Declaration: EUROPE MUST FOCUS ON THE GRAND CHALLENGES OF OUR TIME (Pdf-Document, 105 KB).

 

How does the chemical industry participate in the social debate on nanotechnology?

The chemical industry is contributing to the social debate on nanotechnology in two ways: by providing information and by engaging in dialogues. Employees present their own research results to the public at conferences and in publications. Some companies inform about topics like work protection or about a nanotechnology code of conduct (EU-Codex) on their websites.

The chemical industry is proactive on possible concerns and worries of people regarding their products. It participated with own works in research projects like NanoCare, INOS and TRACER and is involved in the public dialogue. The industry also takes part in other ongoing research projects like Carbosafe.

Does a moratorium make sense?

Question: “Is it reasonable to call for a regulation that prohibits further research on nanotechnology?”

Not from the point of view of DaNa and the NanoCare Cluster. There are indeed still some knowledge gaps, but that is this way with every new area of research. These gaps will be closed by the new findings from the numerous national, European and international projects. In our opinion there are so many positive aspects to nanotechnology (i.e. in the medical sector or in the protection of the environment.) that a moratorium would be contra productive.

As many processes in nature take place on the nanoscale, research on nanotechnology will lead to a better understanding of these natural processes. Advances in medicine would be very difficult if research on nanotechnology was not allowed any more. Of course the intended goals of every single project have to be validated. Ethically dubious projects are rejected by most scientists and all sponsors.

For the nanotechnologists their science is just like any other: what matters are the people working in this field and what they make of it.

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