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The European Nanotechnology Trade Alliance (ENTA) today unveiled a free and confidential service for UK companies involved in creating engineered nanoparticles. Through ENTA, these companies are offered the opportunity to supply data to the UK Government via DEFRA's Voluntary Reporting Scheme for Engineered Nanoscale Materials, in confidence.
Del Stark, Chief Executive of ENTA commented: "ENTA members wish to support DEFRA's actions in gathering data on engineered nanoscale materials as part of the UK Government's approach to assessing the need for appropriate controls. They agree this is essential to ensuring new nanotechnologies are developed in a safe and responsible manner. However, DEFRA's call for Voluntary Reporting has resulted in only 3 responses so far. A possible explanation is that companies, especially those involved in early stage development work, need to be reassured that confidentiality will be preserved. By providing data through ENTA, companies will have the opportunity to engage in this process and thereby shape nanotechnology policy, while retaining their anonymity. This will also enable DEFRA to achieve the results it desires".
Del continued "This new ENTA service will enable DEFRA to acquire knowledge on nanomaterials in industry, as well as a greater understanding of the potential benefits of nanoparticles for new products and processes, across many sectors. This is a first step for the UK Government in addressing concerns regarding any health or environmental risks of nanotechnology-based products at the earliest possible stage. The knowledge derived from this process of voluntary reporting will ensure, as with all technologies, that risks are assessed properly, in the context of potential benefits".
Del added "In the second edition of the UK's MNT Industrial Map, a staggering 643 companies are listed as developing micro and nanotechnologies. We are confident that those involved in creating or using nanoparticles will be encouraged to provide the necessary data through ENTA's novel scheme".
What are Engineered Nanoparticles?
Engineered nanoparticles are tiny particles with dimensions around 50-200 nanometres, which are designed to have attributes for specific applications and usually produced chemically, Applications include early identification of cancer cells, targeted therapies, better quality displays, more efficient renewable energy techniques, sensors for early disease detection, and for coating that are oil, water or dirt repellant, to name a few.
ENTA represents those companies, large and small, for whom nanotechnology impacts on their business. ENTA is a trade body that interfaces with the public, the media, government and bodies actively involved in determining regulatory framework. It actively promotes the benefits of nanotechnology and works to mitigate regulatory and reputational risk for the industry.
ENTA members include multinationals such as ICI, ABB and Solvay, as well as start-up companies such as Nanozar, nextnano3, AQUANOVA and Capsulution NanoScience.
-To promote the use of nanotechnology and represent the interests of member companies using nanotechnology in relevant dealings with society.
-To raise awareness of nanotechnology, in a balanced way, describing its potential and its many applications, to key audiences including the media, Member State Governments, NGOs and other stakeholders. Interaction with appropriate European decision makers and regulators.
-To ensure that society is informed of the benefits and opportunities from nanotechnology offers, as well as the measures being taken to address and mitigate any potential risks to the environment / individual health.
About DEFRA’s Voluntary Reporting Scheme for Engineered Nanoscale Materials
Following a public consultation in early 2006, Defra launched the Voluntary Reporting Scheme for Engineered Nanoscale Materials on 22nd September. It is intended that the scheme will run for 2 years until September 2008.
The purpose of the scheme, alongside a Government programme of Scientific research, is to gather information in order to develop a better understanding of the properties and characteristics of different Engineered nanoscale materials, so enabling potential hazard, exposure and risk to be evaluated. Building an evidence base in this way will allow for a more informed debate about the nature of appropriate controls that may be required to manage risk.
For more information, please click here
Del Stark CEO, European Nanotechnology Trade Alliance, Garscube Technology Complex, Garscube Estate, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, G61 1QH
+44 (0) 141 330 2143,
fax: +44 (0) 141 330 2144
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