Tag Archives: Christos Tokamanis

Nanosafety in Europe: a proposed research strategy for 2015 – 2025

It looks like one of those ‘nanosafety’ days since earlier today I posted US NISOH (National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety) invites you to a meeting about nanomaterials and risk and now I have this June 25, 2013 news item on Nanowerk describing a European initiative,

The Finnish Insitute of Occupational Health, together with the members of the European Nanosafety Cluster, that is, over a hundred European nanosafety research experts, have produced a research strategy for the European Commission. [emphasis mine] The strategy outlines the focal points of nanomaterial safety research for the Commission’s 8th framework programme (Horizon 2020).

The document, Nanosafety in Europe 2015-2025: Towards Safe and Sustainable Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology Innovations, available for free, is over 200 pp. and it was presented, according to the June 20, 2013 Finnish Institute of Occupational Health press release, at the EuroNanoForum being held in Dublin, Ireland from June 18 – 20, 2013.  (The forum was last mentioned in my June 12, 2013 post about Ireland’s Nanoweek which is taking place concurrently [more or less]). From the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (FIOH) June 20, 2013 press release,

The document outlines the requirements of strategic research. The focus should be on research that also aims to determine the characteristics of nanomaterials that may be biologically harmful to both people and the environment.

”The ultimate issue of the whole nano field is the safety of the materials and technologies used. One of the goals of the research is that in the future we will be able to group industrially produced nanomaterials easily and economically according to their characteristics, and that we will be able to anticipate the possible health risks of the materials to consumers and the workers who handle them,” stresses specialist research scientist Lea Pylkkänen from FIOH, who co-ordinated the work on the research strategy.

Nanotechnology is defined as a key enabling technology (KET) in the Horizon 2020 programme. It is also considered a significant field from the perspective of European competitiveness, for example.
Research strategy the product of over one hundred European researchers

FIOH produced the research strategy together with the members of the European Nanosafety Cluster, that is, over a hundred european nanosafety research experts. These represented, for example, exposure and risk assessment, molecular biology, toxicology, and material research. Finnish experts involved were from FIOH, the Universtiy of Eastern Finland, the Tampere University of Technology, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency, and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. If needed, the strategy can be later updated.

EU funding is crucial for Finnish nanotechnology and nanosafety research and for the existence of the Nanosafety Centre, for example.

”Domestic funding in this field is scarce: Finland does not have a single funding programme that focuses on nanoresearch. Only individual research projects occasionally receive funding from, for example, the Academy of Finland and the Finnish Work Environment Fund,” Savolainen says.

FIOH’s Nanosafety Research Centre is the leading European research centre for the safety of industrial nanoparticle safety, especially in the field of occupational safety.
Ceremonial presentation of the research programme

Research Professor Kai Savolainen will present the 220-page Nanosafety in Europe 2015-2025: Towards Safe and Sustainable Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology Innovations research strategy to the European Commission and the representatives of the Irish government on Thursday 20 June in Dublin, Ireland at the NanoSafety Cluster meeting, during the EuroNanoForum 2013 congress. Representing the Commission will be Herbert von Bose, European Commission Research DG Director, Industrial Technologies and Christos Tokamanis, Head of Unit, New Generation Products,  Directorate G – Industrial Technologies. Sharon McGuinness, Assistant Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority will represent the Irish government.

I’m trying to imagine the logistics involved in having more than 100 researchers collaborate (as per the excerpt from the news item).

Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to look at the report yet but if you manage to take a look at it, please do let me know what you think about it.