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Nano-Safety Research Group

Specialists in the assessment of nanomaterial toxicity to human health and the environment

Future Nano Needs

FutureNanoNeeds: Framework to respond to regulatory needs of future nanomaterials and markets

Staff: Teresa Fernandes

Funding: EC FP7 Large Scale Integrating Collaborative Project

This project will focus on the following objectives.

  • Rapidly engage with new generations of materials, as well as the upstream researchers and innovators from which they are emerging 
  • Identify ways in which safety and innovation can partner for overall success 
  • Identify potential (generic) hazards early, and help provide an early framework for their resolution; and provide a scientific and technical basis to identify ‘safe pathways’ or platforms which might be exploitable faster, and at lower cost 
  • Provide the basis for changing the nanosafety dialogue, reducing ‘generic’ criticisms of ‘uncertainty’ by proactively road-mapping the issues ahead of any realized risk to society (WP 7)
  • Change the way in which nanosafety research is conceived and applied, qualifying the concept of ‘toxicity’ or hazard along specific value chains. 
  • Reframe the role of nanosafety research by studying materials along value chains and reporting the outcomes in a manner immediately relevant to that value chain.
  • Sustain and position Europe as a scientific and technical leader in the underlying issues in nanosafety of next generation materials 
  • Characterise the ‘in situ’ behaviour of nanoparticle interactions throughout their whole life cycle, hence advancing the scientific state of the art 
  • To develop an understanding of the relationships between nanoparticle (pristine) structure, its properties (including in situ), and its biological and environmental activity (that is, structure and ’identity’ broadly defined) thereby giving early support to the science of ‘new nanomaterials, safe by design’ 
  • Support and influence developments within the standards and ontologies communities (including relevant EU programs), thereby supporting their relevance to the safety agenda 
  • To connect nanomaterial properties (in given exposure scenarios) to elementary biological responses (known to be associated with pathological response) and use this relationship to signpost potential for hazard 
  • Inform stakeholders and policy makers so that planning for future research priorities can be partly based on preliminary knowledge