February 14, 2008, 10 a.m.—The Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Technology today released a document describing the National Nanotechnology Initiatives (NNI) strategy for addressing priority research on the environmental, health, and safety (EHS) aspects of nanomaterials.
Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health, and Safety Research was prepared by the subcommittees Nanotechnology Environmental and Health Implications (NEHI) Working Group. The full report is available for download at http://www.nano.gov/NNI_EHS_Research_Strategy.pdf.
EHS research and information needs related to nanotechnology were identified in the NSET Subcommittee documents Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Needs for Engineered Nanoscale Materials, (PDF) published in September 2006 and Prioritization of Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Needs for Engineered Nanoscale Materials: An Interim Document for Public Comment, (PDF) released in August 2007.
Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health, and Safety Research presents a path for coordinated interagency implementation of research to address the needs identified in earlier reports. It is based in part on a detailed analysis of the Federal Government's FY 2006 nanotechnology-related EHS research portfolio, a $68 million investment in 246 projects. Experts from the NEHI Working Group analyzed how these activities addressed the priority research needs and then proposed emphasis and sequencing for future research efforts. Agency-specific research and regulatory needs, public comments on the prior documents, and considerations of the state of EHS research in the national and international nanotechnology communities all played an important role in shaping the strategy.
This EHS research strategy is the result of a terrific team effort led by the NEHI Working Group. It reflects a strong consensus and commitment among the NNI member agencies on the roles they will assume, consistent with their respective missions and responsibilities, to move the Federal efforts in nanotechnology-related EHS research forward.
The quality of the document demonstrates that the NNI is working hard to understand—and to think strategically about—nano EHS issues in a systematic, coordinated fashion, said Dr. Clayton Teague, Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office.