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Home > Press > INSCX exchange, Purpose, Participation, Structure, Standards

INSCX exchange, Purpose, Participation, Structure, Standards

UK | Posted on July 19th, 2010

1. Statement of Purpose

The Integrated Nano-Science & Commodity Exchange (INSCX exchange) is a member of the NanoCentral® Alliance of Providers

The deliverable of INSCX exchange is to provide a global, electronic commodity marketplace serving the needs of commercial buyers and suppliers of (SHE) accredited, compliant and validated engineered nanomaterials. The exchange will set global and regional trade specifications in engineered nanomaterials which meet the requirements of industrial-scale downstream interest in materials procurement to standards observed elsewhere in the allocation of resources across the global economy. Operating on a worldwide basis across the financial time zones of Asia, Europe and North America, INSCX exchange provides the world's only source of accredited, compliant and validated engineered nanomaterials available on any exchange. The following statement is issued by the Market Steering Committee outlines in more detail the purpose, rationale, corporate structure and vision of the exchange.

2. Participation

INSCX exchange invites the participation of all producers, downstream users of engineered nanomaterials, and objects, nanoservice providers and other organisations whether commercial, non-commercial, academic, research councils, institutes, professional bodies including legal, financial, insurance, trade associations, nanotechnology project coordinators and industry associations, labour organisations, press and government agencies to use exchange trade and support facilities to foster global compliance across the gambit of tradable nanomaterials and objects using the exchange interface to promote the environmental, societal and commercial integration of nanoscience and nanotechnology as a means to continue world prosperity in the 21st century.

3. Corporate Structure


INSCX exchange will operate adhering to the tradition and heritage of all rule, bound member commodity exchanges as a co-profit organisation where the corporate structure of the exchange reflects the vested interests and conventions of stakeholder integration. The aim of INSCX is to deliver economic sustainability and societal benefit through compliant exploitation. The adoption and acceptance by exchange members, customers, affiliates and associated bodies of the need for standards in trade, risk assessment, risk management, accountability and collaboration in the exchange of the raw materials base of nanoscience and nanotechnology delivers a path toward sustainable commercial progression best serving environmental and societal interest. INSCX exchange will adhere and promote the principals of a public-private partnership fostered between all stakeholders. The overriding spirit of the exchange will remain one wishing to continually engender and support these basic trade standards as the means to encourage wider commercial and community acceptance of nanomaterials. Rising consumer confidence in turn will fuel further commercial opportunity.

Board of Governors

The hierarchical supervisory body of INSCX exchange consists of a voluntary Board of Governors elected from across expertise in nanoscience and nanotechnology and professionals within the global securities and commodity industry. The role of the Board is to act as final arbitrary on matters referred to it by the various Market Steering Committees and to liaise with the wider community of government, science, academia and business where appropriate to promote wider commercialisation in compliant nanotechnologies.

Distribution of Capital Resource:

The exchange is constituted formally as the trade entity of a limited company in the United Kingdom where revenues over and above those required to meet operating cost and obligation to shareholders will be directed to support research and development into capital facilities to further integration of ELSA (Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects) including bio-availability, eco-toxicology standards and protocols. The exchange remains energized to fund wider participation from stakeholders in support of continued Health and Safety research in accordance with the spirit of the exchange to promote inclusiveness, transparency and collaboration.

Research Coordination:

Coordination of research will be conducted through the establishment of a series of exchange-sponsored joint technology initiatives to work in collaboration with business, extended networks and the international global governance community. The exchange invites commercial and non-commercial participation from the international community based on global inclusiveness, notwithstanding exemptions, to collaborate with the exchange Board of Governors and Market Steering Committees to determine the direction of the initiatives.

Financial contributions to enact the objectives of the joint technology initiatives will be made through distribution of exchange funds over and above operational costs. The dispersion of funds is to be supervised by the exchange Board of Governors.

4. Trade Standards

The opening of INSCX exchange is a significant event. It means that for the first time nanomaterials can adopt the mechanism to trade in an open and transparent manner in-line with other basic commodities used across the global economy. The transition empowered by the commodity exchange has driven societal progress from feudal barter to the industrial economy. Formal, rule, bound exchange processes have provided the foundation of global free trade since the 16th century securing the means to allocate scarce resource among competing interests. Competing interests are defined as material suppliers, producers, investors, regulators and national governments.

Development of these pivotal market structures, once the sole preserve of the developed world, is now rapidly extending through use of sophisticated market electronic communication networks as the means to structure efficient trade in resource allocation to include the entire globe. This means small, intermediate and large producers of grains, metals, timber and other resources can find a direct route to the market of purchasers and capital investors who require transparency and ease of access to these resources to further investment for return and to meet the trade requirements of price discovery and quality to deliver applications and end products.

INSCX exchange underwrites the financial and material integrity of all trades executed through the exchange platform in accordance with clearing and settlement conventions long observed by the worlds financial and commodity exchanges.

5. Materials Standards

Materials standards are fundamental to determining economic and societal usefulness or in scientific terms referred to as interpretability. The latter meaning translates to trade commodities which have universal specification acceptance. Producers can manufacture commodities to exact tolerances and weights recognised by the international community. Materials specifications and part numbers all contribute to the concept of materials standards demanded by potential buyers. The exchange process adheres to these characteristics and removes any ambiguity surrounding materials standards by way of a structured approach to determine the exact specifications of materials presented for trade in the first instance.

The early stages toward agreeing a material standard is commonly referred to as the Round Robin approach. Round Robin relates directly to setting of the underlying test methodology. These are called protocols and constitute the first step to establish ground specifications in the development of reference materials. The protocols referred to are the basis to quantify exposure assessment, materials characterisation, human toxicology and risk assessment to meet the Health & Safety interests of the environment, society and the commercial world. In these first steps toward establishing the material standard to associate to a given material, these reference procedures and protocols provide the basis on which industry can innovate and design optimal product quality and performance. This methodical procedure permits producers to reduce costs and maximize competitive advantage and forms the initial point of departure toward indemnification and the formulation of agreed trade standards necessary to move further toward commercialisation. This is the accepted approach endorsed by various international standards organisations.

INSCX exchange will coordinate through its sponsored joint technology initiatives a cohesive collaboration between the exchange, its members and customers and the following organisations; ISO Committee 229, BSINT1, CEN354, ANSI, CEFIC, UNCTAD (Common Fund for Commodities), WHO, World Bank, IMF, IOM, BRIC, SUSChem, NIST, Global Insurance Syndicates, EPA, DEFRA, JRC, and international government accountability offices. (More organisations to be added).

6. Health & Safety

Health and Safety in any commercial activity remains of paramount importance not only to ensuring the safeguarding of the environment and societal interest, but of equal importance to the business world. Clarification of issues pertaining to Health & Safety remains central to enabling the process of indemnification and capital allocation to support any industry. The remit of Health & Safety within the context of nanomaterials refers to occupational hygiene, workplace exposure, possible health effects, screening, remediation and lifecycle assessment. INSCX exchange has endorsed as its standard template in the context of Health & Safety member and customer adherence to the Nanomaterials (SHE) accreditation scheme.

The Market Compliance Committee are currently exploring with AssuredNano™ global coordinator of the scheme, whether other domestic and international certification marks meet the vigorous requirements of (SHE). Invitation to join the exchange for assessment of promoted schemes is extended to all such organisations managing NanoMarks, risk assessment and risk management strategies pertaining to Health & Safety aspects of nanomaterials, objects, applications, products and devices. Exchange rules prohibit sourcing for physical delivery nanomaterials and/or nano-enabled commodities, and member marketing of objects, products and applications which are not registered in accordance with the Nanomaterials (SHE) Accreditation Scheme.

Other Certification Schemes:

Current project deliverables are invited to feed their findings to the exchange Market Compliance Committee for inclusion within the remit of the (SHE) accreditation scheme. Project coordinators and organisations involved in Health & Safety pertaining to nanomaterials are also invited to promote the (SHE) scheme to encourage wider compliance with its assessment parameters. These projects and organisations include; Safenano, FP7, Nanotox, ENPRA, DIPNA, Nanosafe2, Impart-Nanotox, NANOTRANSPORT, Nanommune, Prospect, NanoCap, Naroretox, NanoImpactNet. In addition domestic and international promoters of other certification marks are invited to tie in with this exchange endorsed accreditation standard to support commercial cohesion and recognition by insurance markets worldwide of nanomaterials on a par with traditional materials that are indemnified for reasons of commercial necessity.

Purpose of Collaborations:

The objective of these collaborations is to enable wider uptake by producers and downstream users of engineered nanomaterials in adherence to universal standards in Health & Safety as a means to promote not only the interests of commerce, but to meet environmental and societal necessity. Exchange funds will be channeled to support pro-rata the implementation of existing recommendations, and the provision of financial support to producers and downstream users requiring accreditation and to further research effort to accommodate the commercial, environmental and societal evolution of nanomaterials toward investment-grade status.

Nanomaterials Suppliers:

INSCX exchange is open to all domestic and global suppliers of engineered nanomaterials regardless of fiscal size who agree to abide by exchange rules and legislation governing the manufacture, use, application and exchange of these materials. The exchange has formally issued a Call to global nanomaterials suppliers to register with the exchange to be permitted right to supply for physical delivery (SHE) accredited, compliant and validated nanomaterials to INSCX Grade ECMS (Exchange Contract Materials Specifications). All INSCX Grade (ECMS) specifications will qualify for Indemnification (Insurance), IP Provision (Pricing of IP Value into the listed price), Trade Finance Support to enable supplier upscaling), Syndication of Fill (Single and/or Multiple Supply), Nominee Reporting and Assured Delivery Versus Payment (DVP). Supplier Grades: Suppliers wishing to supply Principal Contract Materials Specifications (PCMS) in addition to INSCX Grade ECMS contracts may apply to the exchange listing committee for consideration. Accepted Supplier Grades will qualify for features as standard associated with INSCX Grade ECMS Contracts. Permitted Trades: Cash (Spot), Forward (Future), Option (Traditional Option).

7. Characterisation

Commodities traded using an exchange process are cleared and settled subject to meeting independent materials measurement and chartacterisation. Clearing and settlement refers to the process whereby transfer of payment from a buyer to a supplier from where the materials or commodities have been sourced is conducted. All transactions (Bargains) pertaining to materials traded for physical delivery on INSCX exchange will be cleared and settled subject to meeting independent materials measurement and characterisation criteria formally upheld by the respective materials contract. IntertekMSG are contracted to INSCX exchange to provide measurement and characterisation services to ensure what a customer purchases through the exchange matches what is delivered. Each transaction is cleared and settled pursuant to issuance of a Certificate of Good Quality (CGQ). This procedure is accepted as compulsory by all major buyers of exchange traded commodities whether commercial or non-commercial, the latter referring to the investment and insurance community, worldwide.

Characterisation Technique:

Certain techniques are relatively commonplace for characterisation of nanomaterials. These range from using (PES) Photon Correlation Spectroscopy, (TEM) Transition Electron Microscope, (SEM) Scanning Electron Microscope, (AFM) Atomic Force Microscope and a mirage of techniques to measure and characterise items such as thin-films, coatings, end products and devices. These technologies are progressing with a rapid pace which will ensure that as the industry evolves it is inevitable other techniques will emerge.

INSCX exchange invite global measurement and characterisation agencies to work alongside the exchange to ensure characterisation capabilities remain at the forefront of technology. Existing organisations involved particularly within the micro-electronics sector are increasingly becoming more prone to exposure from nanomaterials through device manufacture and thin-film production. Micro engineering facilities are encouraged to adopt Nanomaterials (SHE) good practice and invited to work with the exchange to become accredited in the interests of Health & Safety.


Materials traded through INSCX exchange will be listed in their respective contract specifications according to where appropriate:

* Particle Size
* Size Distribution
* Agglomeration, State and Aggregation
* Shape and Aspect Ratio
* Composition including Chemical Composition; Crystal Structure; Purity/Impurity
* Surface Area
* Surface Chemistry
* Surface Charge
* Solubility
* Dispersibility

8. Audit, Reporting and Accountability

The exchange process provided by INSCX exchange will provide a full transaction audit compliant with domestic and international regulations pertaining to MLR (Anti-Money-Laundering) and KYC (Know-Your-Customer) conventions and where appropriate the provisions of the US Patriot Act.


INSCX exchange will report transactions in nominee to safeguard customer confidentiality requirements in the trade process. Transactions will be reported listing particulars of price, material, volume, time-of-trade, country of origin and destination with provision for full counterparty disclosure enabled through recourse in law where proven necessary to meet the interests of financial compliance, environmental or societal interest.


INSCX exchange will adhere to all rights to intellectual property priced where appropriate into the official quoted material price of all listed instruments.

9. Indemnification

Indemnification or insurance remains a cornerstone of global trade enabling wider usage of raw materials used to further applications to deliver end products, devices and consumer durables. The provision of insurance cover in addition to the trade mechanism used to deliver price discovery, transparency and assurance to material quality directly influences the commercial usefulness of any raw material. Accordingly, all materials listed for trade on INSCX will be indemnified. Indemnification is not to be assumed that generally applied to agricultural commodities insured under the 2003 Insurance Programme as recorded by the Risk Management Agency which is a method use to insure economies against severe commodity price shocks likely to become manifest as a consequence of seasonal factors. Indemnification of materials on INSCX will relate to coverage underwriting the material quality, quantity, storage, delivery and permitted use in secondary application of any and all materials listed for trade on the exchange platform whether INSCX ECMS or PCMS Grade.

These indemnifications are central to ensuring the benefits promised by nanomaterials can be realised underwriting trade standards in the supply of raw materials expected by global business in addition to helping influence the ability of global insurance syndicates to determine the scope and remit of policy cover to be extended where appropriate to applications and products where raw materials are used in the composition. Commodities contracts involving, for example, quality disputes, rejection and damages claims are typically resolved through recourse to law. Covering of exposure to unforseen liability requires indemnification. Insurance cover is extended to factors such as Cargo, Transit and Stock Risks, condition of Metals, Ores and Concentrates, Financial and Political Risks. Given the emergence of risk assessment within nanomaterials, indemnification may likely be extended to include permissible and exception policy coverage governing secondary applications. An typical example of the application of indemnification in a commodity context is provided using a dispute arising over late delivery; The Azur Gaz [2006] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 163 - CIF contract, force majeure, estimated time of arrival of ship, bad weather, delay in loading, cancellation/termination; whether buyers entitled to cancel/terminate the contract. Outcome: Buyers permitted to terminate and cancel the contract in the Commercial Court.

10. Associations

INSCX exchange and the wider NanoCentral® Alliance of providers actively support and encourage the development of industry, consumer, health, regulatory oversight and NGO associations within nanoscience and nanotechnology. The exchange and NanoCentral® remain positively disposed toward encouraging and promoting the continued efforts of associations such as the Nanotechnologies Industries Association (NIA) in Europe and the US based NanoBusiness Alliance, Cientificia, Institute of Nanotechnology (ION) (UK), Nanowerk (Germany/US), Foresight Institute (US), Responsible Nano Forum (UK) in addition to the many information databases and state supported Networks of Excellence. The exchange follows closely the workings of MINAM, NanoFutures (EU), NNCO (US) in addition to several others.

We extend an invitation to global associations to work directly with the exchange itself or through the extended NanoCentral® network to explore areas of common interest. As our prime purpose relates to the exchange of raw materials we are positively disposed toward involvement from domestic and international Chemical and Materials associations, existing traditional commodity exchanges, the latter where we have further discussions to increase commercial awareness and exchange trade offerings in (SHE) accredited, compliant and validated nanomaterials. The exchange is also active in seeking to open up networks of professional investment capital disposed to support SME growth holding regular consultations in the City of London to be extended to include investment institutions and equity marketplaces in Asia and the Americas in due course. To date coordinators within the fields of law and accountancy have been appointed in the UK to help lend the support of the professions to existing and emerging nanobusiness. These efforts at coordination are to be extended also to include regular consultation with consumer and environmental groups in addition to our continued attendance at Stakeholder Forums based on a policy of inclusiveness designed to promote wider commercial acceptance of trade standards within nanomaterials.

11. Material Specific Trade Associations

INSCX exchange calls on established nanobusiness industry associations to work alongside the exchange to coordinate the establishment of Material Specific Trade Associations, which are a feature common to suppliers and purchasers of more traditional raw materials. The exchange wishes to encourage the establishment of these independent, material specific trade associations based on Thematic Material Class (TMC) categories as defined by the exchange under the umbrella guidance of associations such as the NIA, ION and NBA. The core function of material specific associations in traditional industry has been to enable commercial interest in a given class of materials to congregate to determine supply and purchase requirements in addition to providing points of contact for capital support, commodity exchanges and national government. We encourage and will commit financial support for a similar development within the industry of nanomaterials.

12. Summary

INSCX exchange is an effort to unite the nomenclature of nanoscience and nanotechnology with the language and convention of trade practices adhered to across the global economy. INSCX exchange is not a monopoly, no more than any of the existing 49 Global commodity exchanges which are pivotal to efficient trade in the allocation of traditional raw materials are to be regarded as monopolies. All commodity exchanges are governed by their memberships and exist to support their members and their customers to deliver efficiencies in the allocation of commodities. They are also by definition positively disposed to adherence to legislation governing the exchange of materials for commercial purpose. Membership of INSCX exchange is extended to any organisation; Supplier, Purchaser, Commercial Intermediary and Affiliate seeking to promote the commercial sustainability of (SHE) accredited, compliant and validated engineered nanomaterials.

Organisations wishing to register with the exchange are invited to file the exchange's Preliminary Registration Questionnaire (PRQ) form which can be accessed from the exchange website or requested from the exchange registrar via e-mail request to:

As a Commercial user commodity exchange there are financial and procedural rules which govern trade activity on the exchange which may appear unfamiliar to some. These rules and procedures are put in place to safeguard the integrity of the market, rules which have over centuries of commercial experience been proven necessary to unite competing interest to recognise and enable the commercial usefulness of raw materials on an industrial scale.

As a commercial entity INSCX exchange is disposed to redistribute its entire revenue stream over and above that required to sustain the exchange, its obligation to stockholders and allowance for financial provision in the interests of commercial prudence to the wider effort to promote and sustain the compliant exploitation of nanomaterials. These twelve points encapsulate the overriding principles of INSCX exchange, its members and their customers.


About Integrated Nano-Science & Commodity Exchange (INSCX exchange)
Integrated Nano-Science & Commodity Exchange (INSCX exchange) provides an open, transparent and compliant route to market for nanomaterials and nano enabled commodities. INSCX exchange is a member, rule-bound, electronic (ECN) commodity exchange. Commodity exchanges have been used since the 16th century to structure efficiencies in the allocation of raw materials. From enabling trade in grains, metals, polymers, oils, materials, agricultural and other products, the world's exchanges have interacted to deliver the essential variables of price discovery, material standards, global reporting and trade integrity.

Building on centuries of exchange heritage, INSCX serves the risk management and commercial trading needs of global customers particular to the manufacture, use, application and exchange of engineered nanomaterials. We are the world's only source of benchmark nanomaterials futures and options products available on any exchange, covering all eleven Thematic classes.

Our vision provides the marketplace to empower nanomaterials to realise their potential as the alternative, precision-engineered materials of the future.

For more information, please click here


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