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A website providing information on nanotechnology health and safety is today being launched by SAFENANO.
Managed by the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh, SAFENANO aims to become the UK's premier resource on nanotechnology hazard and risk.
SAFENANO will provide independent and impartial advice to stakeholders including industry, academia and the wider public concerning the potential risks to human health and the environment from nanomaterials.
The SAFENANO project is being funded with £316,000 over three years from the Government's Technology Strategy Board, which is sponsored by the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).
Minister for Science and Innovation, Ian Pearson, said:
"Nanotechnology is an area which has the potential to offer significant health, social and economic benefits for the UK, with predictions of a global market worth over $1 trillion within a decade. Government is providing £90 million on research and infrastructure to promote the commercialisation of micro and nanotechnologies.
"However, it is new technology and it's important that we also examine the health, safety and environmental risks associated with it. That's why we're supporting SAFENANO, which will provide impartial advice on this important area."
SAFENANO has the remit of collecting, interpreting and disseminating the emerging scientific evidence on these issues.
SAFENANO.org features the latest scientific research, information about good practice, standards, news, events, and articles from leading opinion formers in industry, government and academia in the UK and world wide. It includes a regular bulletin service, comprehensive database of relevant publications and a community site where users can share information about common challenges and their solutions on a global basis.
Commentary and editorial for SAFENANO will be provided from experts within the IOM and partners in SnIRC (Safety of Nanoparticles Interdisciplinary Research Centre).
The launch of this site represents the latest stage in IOM and SAFENANO's nanotechnology programme which aims to understand, quantify and control risks posed by nanomaterials to the workforce, consumers, the general population and the environment through research, consultancy and service work for industry and government.
Dr Rob Aitken, Director of the SAFENANO initiative said "We are delighted to be working with the Technology Strategy Board on this important project which represents a real commitment to address nanoparticle risk issues in a coherent way.
"SAFENANO, by providing independent and impartial advice, will underpin the emerging UK nanotechnology industry and will facilitate the development of new processes and materials in a responsible and safe manner."
About the Technology Strategy Boardís Micro and Nanotechnology Network
The UK Micro and Nanotechnology Network, established in 2004, is working to lower the entry barriers and driving the widespread market development and exploitation of micro and nanotechnologies, and ultimately, towards building a prosperous, and world-class MNT sector in the UK. The Network is supported by Technology Strategy Board, the Regional Development Agencies in England and the Devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
About the Institute of Occupational Medicine
The Institute of Occupational Medicine is a major independent centre of scientific excellence in the fields of occupational and environmental health, hygiene and safety.
Our mission is to benefit those at work and in the community by providing quality research, consultancy and training in health, hygiene and safety and by maintaining our independent, impartial position as an international centre of excellence.
The IOM has more than one hundred scientific, technical and support staff based in Edinburgh, Chesterfield, London and Stafford.
About the Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its mission is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).
About the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills
This new Departmentís primary role is to drive forward delivery of the Governmentís long-term vision to make Britain one of the best places in the world for science, research and innovation and to raise the level of education and skills at every level in our economy to give the UK the competitive edge.
For more information, please click here
Dr Rob Aitken
SAFENANO project director
Director of Strategic Consulting at the IOM
(+44 (0)131 449 8003)
editor for the SAFENANO Web Service
(+44 (0)131 449 8070)
DIUS Press Office
020 7215 3131
TSB Contact: Nick Sheppard: 01793 442772 and 07824 599644, E-mail:
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