Tag Archives: OECD

Mexico, nano, and bombs

Violence in pursuit of a cause is not unusual. With a goal in sight, often it’s freedom of one kind or another, people will revert to violence to achieve their ends, especially when they feel there are no alternatives and/or are under attack. However, violence in pursuit of some vague worldview is more difficult to understand (at least, it is for me).

An anarchist group (ITS, aka, Individuals Tending to Savagery) has again claimed ‘credit’ for violence against scientists in Mexico. From Robert Beckhusen’s Mar. 12, 2013 article about the ITS and the violence for Wired magazine (Note: A link has been removed),

Over the past two years, Mexican scientists involved in bio- and nanotechnology have become targets. They’re not threatened by the nation’s drug cartels. They’re marked for death by a group of bomb-building eco-terrorists with the professed goal of destroying human civilization.

The group, which goes by the name Individualidades Tendiendo a lo Salvaje (ITS), posted its manifesto to anarchist blog Liberacion Total last month. The manifesto takes credit for a failed bombing attempt that month against a researcher at the Biotechnology Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. And the group promises more.

ITS posted on Feb. 18, 2013 on the War On Society blog something called the Seventh communique from Individualists Tending toward the Wild (ITS)  (Gabriella Segata Antolini is named as the poster)

The aim of this text is to make our stance clear, continuing the work of spreading our ideas, clearing up some apparent doubts and misinterpretations, as well as accepting mistakes and/or errors. In no way do we want to start an endless discussion that only takes up time and energy, nor do we want this text to turn into something other than what it is. Anyone who reads it will be able to interpret correctly (or incorrectly) what they are aiming to read; the intelligent reader will know to reflect and consequently do what seems right to them.

ITS is not going to cover every person or group’s forms of thought, but the ones we respect, that we tolerate, is something else; the ideas, doctrines, stances (etc) that deserve critiques (because we are in disagreement with them [being that they cover discourses that are leftist, progressivist, irrational, religious, etc]) will be mentioned in this way; the ones that don’t, we will let pass or agree with.

All the texts that ITS has made public are not for society to “wake up and decide to attack the system,” they are not to forcibly change what the others think, nothing like this is intended; the lines we write are for the intelligent, strong individuals who decide to see reality in all its rawness, for those few who form, think and carry out the sensible critique of the highest expression of domination–the Techno-industrial System (a).

And so that our words, critiques, clarifications and statements are made known as they have been spread up to now, we have decided (until now) to take the next step, which has been to attack and try to kill the key persons who make the system improve itself. [emphasis mine]

This is the only viable way for radical critiques to emerge in the public light, making pressure so this discourse comes to the surface. We are extremists and we act as such, without compassion, without remorse, taking any means to reach our objectives.

It’s a lengthy, rambling communiqué that provides little insight into what would motivate anyone to “attack and kill.”

Beckhusen attempts to make some sense of the situation in Mexico with references to the Unabomber (a US citizen who developed a radical critique of technology and bombed various facilities) and trends within Latin American societies.

In a couple of 2012 articles for Nature (May 28, 2012 and Aug. 29, 2012), Leigh Phillips discussed and tried to make some sense of the ITS attacks in Mexico and the attacks in Europe, which were carried out by different extremist groups who do not appear to be connected, by giving it a global perspective.

Meanwhile, nanotechnology continues to be practiced and discussed in Mexico. A Mar. 13, 2012 news item on Azonano notes a recent meeting,

Nano Labs Corp. is pleased to report on the Fifteenth Meeting of the ISO/TC 229 Nanotechnologies Conference held last week [Mar. 4 - 8, 2013?] in Queretaro City, Mexico.

Nano Labs was proud to sponsor two important events in the field of international regulations of nanotechnology, in the colonial City of Queretaro, in Central Mexico. The first was a joint Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)/ International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Expert Meeting on Physical-Chemical Properties of Manufactured Nanomaterials and Test Guidelines, and the second the 15th Meeting of ISO/TC 229 Nanotechnologies by the ISO Secretariat.

“… One of the major issues of the ISO conference is to establish a global ISO standard and regulate the safety issues related to the production and uses of nano particles in the manufacturing process on a global scale,” stated Dr. Victor Castano, Chief Innovations Officer of Nano Labs, who attended the conference.

Mexico also recently hosted a conference for the European Commission’s NanoForArt project, which I mentioned in a Mar. 1, 2013 posting,

The Feb. 2013 conferences in Mexico as per a Feb. 27, 2013 Agencia EFE news item on the Global Post website featured (Note: Links have been removed),

Baglioni [Piero Baglioni, a researcher and professor at the University of Florence] and Dr. Rodorico Giorgi, also of the University of Florence, traveled to Mexico earlier this month to preside over a conference on Nanotechnology applied to cultural heritage: wall paintings/cellulose, INAH [Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia] said.

I don’t know that there is any sense to be made of the situation in Mexico (certainly I can’t do it). The ITS communiqué doesn’t provide much insight. My guess is that this is a small group of people who will seem rather pathetic once they are caught—any power derived from their clandestine, violent activities disappeared.

For my previous postings about the bombings in Mexico:

Nanotechnology terrorism in Mexico? (Aug. 11, 2011)

In depth and one year later—the nanotechnology bombings in Mexico (Aug. 31, 2012)

ETC group replies to Nature’s “Nanotechnology: Armed resistance” article (Oct. 11, 2012)

While this isn’t strictly speaking on topic, I did cover a fascinating study on right wing violence in this posting,

Higher education and political violence (Sept. 23, 2010)

OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and six years of nanomaterials safety work

Thank to Carla Caprioli (@carlacap)for pointing out this OCED (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development overview document of their health and safety activities regarding nanomaterials, which was announced on Sept. 13, 2012 according SafeNano,

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (OECD WPMN) has released an announcement regarding “Six Years of OECD Work on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials: Achievements and Future Opportunities“.

As nanomaterials started to be used in commercial applications, OECD launched a programme of work in 2006 to ensure that the approaches for hazard, exposure and risk assessment for manufactured nanomaterials are of a high quality, science-based and internationally harmonised.

Based on this, the OECD and its member countries have come to the conclusion that the approaches for the testing and assessment of traditional chemicals are in general appropriate for assessing the safety of nanomaterials, but may have to be adapted to the specificities of nanomaterials. As with other chemicals, it is clear that each nanomaterial may pose specific challenges, but in most instances, they can be addressed with existing test methods and assessment approaches. In some cases, it might be necessary to adapt methods of sample preparation and dosimetry for safety testing. Similarly, adaptations may be needed for certain Test Guidelines but it will not be necessary to develop completely new approaches for nanomaterials. OECD continues to review all existing methodologies to identify and implement the necessary changes needed for their application to nanomaterials.

The four-page document won’t provide any new information or insights for long time observers but for new observers it does offer a listing of the OECD-published documents on safety and engineered nanomaterials. This excerpt from p. 4 of the document describes the OECD’s future plans,

There is still much to learn before our understanding of the safely [sic] use of manufactured nanomaterials is sufficient. However, the work achieved so far allows a better understanding of remaining “unknowns”. Knowing that the general approaches for the testing and assessment of traditional chemicals are in general appropriate for assessing the safety of nanomaterials, OECD will now focus on those specific aspects of manufactured nanomaterials, which require the adaptation and/or development of specific testing methods used for assessing human health and environmental safety as well as on developing guidance documents for assessing manufactured nanomaterials adapted to their specifities. This will  include guidance on estimating exposure (including fate and transport) on how to use results on physicochemicals [sic] endpoints in exposure assessment and mitigation measures to reduce exposure to safe levels (defining appropriate exposure metrics). At the same time, as R&D on manufactured nanomaterials/nanotechnologies is increasing, OECD remains vigilant in order to address emerging issues in a timely and resource efficient way.

It’s a good to find compilations either to point you in the right direction for your document or to confirm that you’ve found everything on the subject and on very rare occasions you may realize you found something everyone else missed.

Industry Canada, Vanessa Clive, nanotechnology, and assessing economic impacts

I have long (one year) wanted to feature an interview with Vanessa Clive, Nanotechnology Policy Advisor; Industry Sector, at Industry Canada but have been distracted from sending interview questions until about several weeks ago.  (Sometimes, I lose track *of time.)

Here then are the interview questions  I asked and the answers Vanessa very kindly provided,

1.      Could you describe your role? 

Industry Canada’s mandate is to help make Canadian industry more productive and competitive in the global economy, thus improving the economic and social well-being of Canadians.  As an emerging/nascent technology, nanotechnology can help contribute towards this objective.  Our role vis a vis nanotechology is to:

  • better understand Canadian capabilities, strengths and expertise
  • contribute to effective policy development
  • contribute to the development of a supportive business environment for innovation and commercialization

2.       Recently, you helped organize an event in Washington, DC (International Symposium on Assessing the Economic Impact of Nanotechnology, March 27-28, 2012). Could you give a brief overview of why this was needed, who attended, & what happened? 

The Symposium was organized jointly by the OECD Working Party on Nanotechnology (WPN) and the National Nanotechnology Coordinating Office for the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), and hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). I was a member of the OECD WPN Steering Committee which worked with the NNI to organize the event.

Some 200 people participated from OECD and non-OECD countries, representing a broad spectrum of sectors, industries, and areas of expertise. In addition to plenary sessions, industry break-out discussions were organized on advanced materials, food packaging, transportation, nanomedicine, energy, and electronics.

The decision to hold the event recognized the important potential contribution of nanotechnology to innovation, as reflected in rising R&D investments over the past decade. OECD member countries wish to explore ways to assess returns to these investments and the broader economic impacts of nanotechnology more generally, as well as the challenges for effective innovation policy development in this area.

The agenda and presentations can be viewed at http://nano.gov/node/729. Four background papers on related topics were also commissioned for the Symposium and can be found at the same site.

3.      What can be said about nanotechnology’s economic impacts and what information (e.g. bibliometric measures, no. of patents, etc.) is being used to arrive at that conclusion? 

Given the still relatively early stage of developments, the range of potential applications, and other factors, there are major challenges to estimating potential impacts. Holding this Symposium was intended to provide a start to develop useful indicators and other assessment tools.

4.      So, how is Canada doing relative to the international scene?

As discussed above, given the lack of measures, it is difficult to assess our relative position. However, Canadian federal and provincial governments have invested increasing amounts in nanotechnology R&D over the past decade or so. These investments have supported an array of government funding programs and contributed to the establishment of a world-class R&D infrastructure and research community and a growing number of companies involved in nanotechnology across industry sectors in Canada.

5.      Is there anything that stands out from the symposium?

It was clear from the level of attendance, presentations, and discussions which took place, that there is widespread interest in the symposium topics. To learn more about the event, I would encourage interested people to visit the website where presentations and background papers are posted – http://nano.gov/node/729.

6.      Are there any Industry Canada plans in the works for developing new assessment tools given that, unlike many countries, Canada does not have a national nanotechnology funding hub? 

We are working with the OECD to develop useful tools that would enable us to estimate or measure the economic impacts of nanotechnology.

7.      Are there any plans for a nanotechnology ‘road map’ similar to the digital media road map? Or perhaps there’s something else in the works?

Industry Canada is focused on assisting Canadian industry to grow, compete in the global economy, and create jobs. In order to do so we are building the department’s knowledge base about Canadian activities and capabilities, contributing to sound policy development in domestic and international for a, and contributing to building a supportive business environment for responsible innovation and commercialization in this field.

Thank you for the insight into the Canadian nanotechnology situation and the issues around economic impacts as per Industry Canada and tor taking the time to do this . Also, I am very happy to see the link to the presentations and background papers for the March 2012 nanotechnology and economic impacts event in Washington, DC (first mentioned in my Jan. 27, 2012 posting).

I did briefly visit the website which is a US National Nanotechnology Initiative website. The event page for which Vanessa provided a link hosts the background papers and links to other pages hosting the presentations and the agenda providing a rich resource for anyone interested in the issue of nanotechnology and its possible economic impacts.

* Changed preposition from ‘to’ to ‘of’ on Sept. 19, 2013.

Toxicology convo heats up: OECD releases report on inhalation toxicity testing and Nature Nanotechnology publishes severe critique of silver toxicity overanalysis

This has to be one of the rawest reports I’ve seen and that’s not a criticism. The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) has released no. 35 in its Series on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials titled, INHALATION TOXICITY TESTING: EXPERT MEETING ON POTENTIAL REVISIONS TO OECD TEST GUIDELINES AND GUIDANCE DOCUMENT.

This report is the outcome of a meeting which took place in fall 2011 according to the July 4, 2012 news item on Nanowerk,

The expert meeting on Inhalation Toxicity Testing for Nanomaterials was held on 19-20 October 2011 in The Hague, hosted by the Netherlands, with the aim of discussing the results of the OECD Sponsorship Programme (under the responsibility of SG3) on this specific topic and addressing issues relevant to inhalation toxicity. Fifty experts from the WPMN as well as the OECD Working Group of the National Coordinators for the Test Guidelines programme (WNT) participated in the meeting.

This is a partial list of recommendations from the report,

Recommendations raised by the speakers for the discussion

7. Various recommendations were raised by the speakers that served as points for discussion. These recommendations do not necessarily reflect a general agreement. …

• “Provide explicit guidance for the generation of aerosols (sample preparation) based on the exposure scenario”. Hans Muijser

• “Generation of a test atmosphere should have workplace characteristics, but should be adapted to adjust for rodent respirability”. Günter Oberdörster

• “A choice for a dry aerosol or a liquid aerosol should depend on the given test substance and planned test approach (hazard- or risk driven)”. Otto Creutzenberg

• “Aerosol characterization should include size distribution, mass, number and morphology of the material”. Günter Oberdörster

• “Mass concentration is not sufficient for comparison of nanomaterials of the same chemical composition”. Flemming Cassee

• “Dry powders will appear as agglomerate upon aerosolization, which needs to be addressed in the sample preparation guidelines”. Flemming Cassee

• “Dissolution behaviour of the test substance should be assessed in physiological fluids mimicking various lung-specific pH ambiences (neutral, acid)”. Otto Creutzenberg

• “Data analysis should include interpretation of aerosol characteristics, NOAEL, risk assessment implications, mode of action and a strategy for dosimetric extrapolation to humans. The inclusion of biokinetic data is important”. Günter Oberdörster

• “Include biokinetics in the guidance, since different distribution patterns in the whole organism are likely dependent on physicochemical characteristics of nanoparticle aerosols and the dose at the target site will therefore be different. This will allow the assessment of accumulation of nanomaterials in the body at low exposure levels and long-term exposure. A way to perform it is by radiolabelled materials, chemical elemental analysis to determine organ concentrations and transmission electron microscopy”. Wolfgang Kreyling. Others who have suggested inclusion of biokinetics or recognized the importance were Otto Creutzenberg, Frieke Kuper, Günter Oberdörster and David Warheit. (p. 13)

You actually see who made the recommendations! Speakers discussed carbon nanotubes, titanium dioxide, cerium oxide, zinc oxide and more, all of which you can read about in summary form in this 38 pp. report.

Meanwhile, Nature Nanotechnology has published an incendiary commentary about nanosilver and the latest request by the European Commission for another study.  Michael Berger has devoted a July 4, 2012 Nanowerk Spotlight article to the commentary,

A commentary by Steffen Foss Hansen and Anders Baun in this week’s Nature Nanotechnology (“When enough is enough”  [behind a paywall]) pointedly asks “when will governments and regulatory agencies stop asking for more reports and reviews, and start taking regulatory action?”

Hansen and Baun, both from the Technical University of Denmark’s Department of Environmental Engineering, take issue with yet another scientific opinion on nanosilver that has been requested by the European Commission in late 2011: “SCENIHR – Request for a scientific opinion on Nanosilver: safety, health and environmental effects and role in antimicrobial resistance” (pdf). Specifically, the EC wants SCENIHR to answer four questions under the general heading of ‘Nanosilver: safety, health and environmental effects, and role in antimicrobial resistance’.

“Most of these questions – and possibly all of them – have already been addressed by no less than 18 review articles in scientific journals, the oldest dating back to 2008, plus at least seven more reviews and reports commissioned and/or funded by governments and other organizations” Hansen tells Nanowerk. “Many of these reviews and reports go through the same literature, cover the same ground and identify many of the same data gaps and research needs.”

Here’s a prediction from Hansen and Baun as to what will be in the next report due in 2013  (from the Nature Nanotechnology commentary When enough is enough in 7, 409–411 (2012) published online  July 1, 2012 [Note: I have removed links and footnotes]),

… we predict that the SCENIHR’s upcoming review will consist of five main sections summarizing: the properties and uses of nanosilver; human and environmental toxicity; microbial resistance; risk assessment; and research needs. We also predict that the SCENIHR’s report will say something along the following lines: “Nanosilver is reportedly one of the most widely used nanomaterials in consumer products today but the scale of production and use is unknown. The antibacterial properties of nanosilver are exploited in a very diverse set of products and applications including dietary supplements, personal care products, powdered colours, textile, paper, kitchenware and food storage.” And like many previous reviews and reports, the new report is likely to cite the Consumer Product Inventory maintained by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.

We acknowledge that answering the question of how to regulate the use of nanosilver is not easy given the different views of the different stakeholders in this debate and the complex regulatory landscape associated with the many applications of nanosilver. …

Arguably, we all want that the pros and cons of regulatory policy options be based on the best available science while taking broader socio-economical and ethical aspects into consideration before deciding on the appropriate regulatory measures concerning human and environmental exposure to nanosilver. Although it is common for independent scientific experts to be commissioned to gather, analyse and review the available scientific information, and to provide recommendations on how to address a given risk, we do not see the need for further reviews. It is time for the European Commission to decide on the regulatory measures that are appropriate for nanosilver. These measures should then be implemented wholeheartedly and their effectiveness monitored.

I predict this commentary will provoke some interesting responses and I will try to add the ones I can find to this posting as they become available.

ETA July 6, 2012: Dexter Johnson weighed in with his July 5, 2012 posting (Note: I have removed a link),

What may make the matter even worse is that we may already have a pretty substantial framework—in the US, at least—on which to base nanosilver regulations, which dates back to the 1950s. It concerned what was called at the time collodial silver, which is essentially what today is called nanosilver.

But getting back to current stagnant state of affairs, it’s hard to know exactly what’s causing the paralysis. It could be concern over implementing regulations in a depressed economy, or just a fear of taking a position. But in both these instances, the lack of action is making the situation worse. …

Latest Canadian nano news courtesy of the OECD

The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) has issued another of its reports (CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS/ACTIVITIES ON THE SAFETY OF
MANUFACTURED NANOMATERIALS) in its Series on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials. Published after the Dec. 7 – 9, 2011 Meeting of the Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials, the report (aka, Tour de Table) is no. 34 in the series. The delegations were:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • European Commission
  • Business and Industry Advisory Committee

As one might expect, I’m focussing on the Canadian response, which starts on p. 24 of the report,

Work completed, underway or planned

1. Any national regulatory developments on human health and environmental safety including recommendations or discussions related to adapting existing regulatory systems or the drafting of laws/ regulations/ guidance materials.

A. In October, 2011, Health Canada published a revised Policy Statement based on stakeholder

feedback, as well as developments in international norms, evolving scientific evidence and regulatory program needs. The Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterial (Working Definition) which is available on Health Canada’s website, will continue to be updated as the body of scientific evidence and international norms progress. Health Canada’s responses to stakeholders’ comments and a set of frequently asked questions are also posted on Health Canada’s website.

B. Discussions at the 4th annual meeting of International Cooperation on Cosmetic Regulation (ICCR-4) in Canada on cosmetics and cosmetic-like drug/quasi-drug products led to the formation of a new Joint Industry/Regulator Working Group. Canada is participating in the Joint WG which is a follow up from the previous ICCR Ad Hoc Nano Working Group that developed criteria for identification of nanomaterials within the context of cosmetic regulation. The criteria statement was as follows:

For purposes of the International Cooperation on Cosmetic Regulation, a substance used in a cosmetic is considered a nanomaterial if it is an insoluble ingredient, intentionally manufactured, with one or more dimensions in the realm of 1 to 100 nanometers in the final formulation and is sufficiently stable and persistent in biological media to allow for the potential of interaction with biological systems.

The purpose of the Joint WG is to examine the existing safety approaches for applicability to nanomaterials in use by (or relevant to) activities within the cosmetic industry. The main task of the Joint WG is to carry out a review of the existing safety approaches, and to identify any specific aspects relevant to consumer safety that should be taken into consideration in relation to the use of nanomaterials in cosmetics.

The Joint WG will aim to produce a document that will be aimed at providing guidance and help to those intending to use or assess nanomaterials in a cosmetic product in the form of an expert view on important safety aspects for consideration in an industry or regulatory setting. It is, however, not the intention of the Joint WG to focus exclusively on regulatory (mandatory) safety testing, or to develop any strict pathway or protocol, although it will take a brief account of the current requirements for safety assessment under the existing regulatory frameworks within the ICCR jurisdictions.

2. Developments related to voluntary or stewardship schemes.

None

3. Information on any Risk Assessment Decisions.

A number of notifications have been received by some regulatory programmes.

• Industrial or commercial chemicals: Since March 2011, an additional five notifications have been received for nano-related assessment under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999). The Significant New Activity (SNAc) provisions of CEPA 1999 have been applied to these notifications, requiring the submission of additional information and assessment prior to use of the substances at the nanoscale or in other nanoscale applications.

• Pharmaceuticals: A number of nanotechnology based products in the areas of medical devices and drugs are currently under review by Canada, under the current regulations and policies.

• Pesticide applications: Some inquiries have been made, but no notifications have been submitted to date.

• Food related application: Six notifications have been received. Two letters of no objection have been issued; the other four are still under review.

• Others: No notifications with respect to fertilizers, veterinary biologics, or animal feed have been received to date.

4. Information on any Developments Related to Good Practice Documents.

A. The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Technical Committee on Nanotechnologies -

Occupational Health and Safety has completed a draft national standard (CSA Z12885) to provide guidance for workers, entitled “Nanotechnologies — Exposure control program for engineered nanomaterials in occupational settings” This document is largely based on the published international ISO Technical Report, ISO/TR 12885:2008 entitled “Health & Safety Practices in Occupational Settings relevant to Nanotechnologies”. The CSA Z12885 standard has completed the public review process and is proceeding to ballot, with completion anticipated in mid-2012.

B. Government, industry, research, user, and consumer interests are participating as designated experts from Canada on international standards development through the Canadian Advisory Committee to International Organization for Standardization/Technical Committee 229 (ISO/TC229) Nanotechnologies, facilitated by CSA Standards. This includes active participation on terminology, nomenclature, measurement, characterization, material specification and health, safety, environmental aspects of nanotechnologies standards under development.

C. Canada is the lead for the ISO TC 229 Working Group 1 Task Group on Nomenclature. This Task Group includes active representation from the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Australia, and includes regulators, industry, and academia, as well as observers from the Chemical Abstracts Service and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The Group is tasked with developing a nomenclature system which meets the needs of regulators, industry, and academia. A liaison between ISO TC 229 and IUPAC has been secured and a subcommittee has been formed to pursue work on developing nomenclature.

5. Research programmes or strategies designed to address human health and/ or environmental safety aspects of nanomaterials.

Scientific research

Health Canada has begun a research project to investigate the toxicity of surface-modified silica nanoparticles. The aim of the project is to investigate the importance of size and surface modification to the toxicity of silica nanoparticles. Silica nanoparticles are being modified to most closely resemble those for which notifications for assessment have been received by the New Substances Program.

Canada has supported multiple research projects under the Strategic Grants Program of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The nanomaterials used in these projects have included OECD priority nanomaterials such as TiO2, ZnO and Ag. The projects examined fate both in the aqueous and the subsurface compartments and include establishing methodologies for suspension and physical-chemical characterization of the nanomaterials prior to any exposure testing.

A larger Canadian initiative is a multidisciplinary, 3-year collaborative project that brings together: 1) industry and academic/government researchers involved in the engineering and production of new and existing commercial nanomaterials, 2) representatives involved in the current regulatory testing industry that require new, cost-effective, time-sensitive, and efficient testing methods, 3) academic/government researchers who can develop and apply new technologies to the area of safe nanomaterials production and effective ecotoxicology testing, and 4) Canadian regulatory community. The goal of the project is to understand the fate and effects of nanomaterials (including OECD priority materials) in the aquatic environment, with specific themes targeting (1) synthesis; (2) characterization in complex media; (3) methods for biological effects testing; and (4) establishing collaborative dialogue between key stakeholders.

Canada is also currently engaged in both in-house and collaborative research projects involving a range of different nanomaterials (e.g., nanoparticulates of zero-valent iron, gold, silver, TiO2, single walled carbon nanotubes, and C60 fullerenes). Testing includes pulmonary and cardiovascular injury; reproductive, developmental and transgenerational effects; exposure and tissue penetration, interactive effects with microorganisms, immune defenses, and genotoxicity. Alternative tests such as molecular (genomic/proteomic) and cellular in vitro techniques play an important part of the repertoire for such investigations. Other on-going projects include developing bioassays and biomarkers for nanomaterials, harmonizing and standardizing chemical and toxicological assays, toxicogenomics, evaluating fate in aquatic environments understanding the interaction of nanoparticles with microbial cells, soil effects research, and bioaccumulation and toxicity in benthic invertebrates, and ecosystem level effects studies of silver nanoparticles. [emphases mine]

Policy research

Canada participates in the project on Regulatory Framework for Nanotechnology in Food and Medical Products. The project is composed of two independent surveys addressing the same set of questions related to: (1) the regulatory frameworks being used to provide oversight for the use of nanotechnology in food and medical products, (2) the legislative frameworks relevant to these regulatory frameworks, and (3) relevant government-supported research programmes and institutions.

The surveys have been circulated to member countries and responses have been collected.

The information generated by the surveys will be used to populate inventories, and draft a report on areas of shared interest and highlight opportunities for enhancing communication related to regulation and applications of nanotechnology in food and medical products. The report is expected to be completed in 2011/2012.

6. Information on any public/ stakeholder consultations.

None.

7. Information on any developments related to Integrated Testing Strategies and/or Alternative test methods.

None.

8. Information on research programmes or strategies which focus on life cycle aspects of nanomaterials, as well as positive and negative impacts on environment and health of certain nano-enabled applications. (You may wish to contact your colleagues participating in SG9.)

Canada is engaged in a project lead by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) to look at releases of nanomaterials from industrial matrices (e.g., coatings). The purposes of this project are to develop information on different test methodologies and nanomaterials used to study releases from matrices, and to develop standard methodologies (validated through round-robin testing) to quantify releases of nanomaterials from a matrix. At present, the Steering Committee for the project has selected the nanomaterial to be studied (MWCNT) and is requesting input from manufacturers and processors to select the polymeric matrix to be used. Government agencies in the United States, Non-Governmental Organizations and Industry are also engaged in the project. Additional information can be found at http://www.ilsi.org/ResearchFoundation/Pages/NanoRelease1.aspx.

9. Information on any development related to exposure measurement and exposure mitigation

None

Additional Information

None

Unless I miss my guess, the three-year multidisciplinary project in Item no. 5, Scientific Research where I’ve highlighted some phrases, is the same or closely related to the project at Trent University which was scheduled to start this year in the Environmental Lakes Area (ELA). The ELA was  mentioned in an earlier post today (June 12, 2012) in the context of Andy Park’s commentary about the Canadian federal budget cuts, the ELA, and ensuing international protest in his June 7, 2012 posting on It’s the Ecology, Stupid! blog.

I don’t see any mention of the project on nanosunscreens described in my June 3, 2011 posting about an international  meeting in Brussels where I highlighted a presentation from a Canadian delegate,

The slides indicate that there will be a case study developed around nanosunscreens. From slides 13 & 14,

Sunscreens are regulated as drugs in Canada, subject to either the Food and Drug Regulations or the Natural Health Product Regulations depending on the active ingredient and claim.

The Sunburn Protectants Monograph outlines active ingredients and their concentrations, as well as appropriate warnings, directions for use, and claims which are generally considered to be safe and effective.

The nanomaterial based sunscreens are excluded from the Sunburn Protectants monograph.

In order to satisfy the Safety & Effectiveness requirements of the Regulations, safety data are being requested.

Also noted in that June 3, 2011 posting about the Canadian presentation,

Awareness Perspective
Develop public engagement and risk communication strategies
Engage industry stakeholders

I gather plans have changed. There won’t be any research into nanosunscreens and there will be no consultations? Or, did the information not make its way across from the team at the spring 2011 international meeting in Brussels to the team at the Dec. 2011 OECD meeting in Paris? In any event, it’s nice to find a little information on what’s happening in the Canadian nanotechnology scene and to see that we are active participants internationally.

4th assessment of the US’s National Nanotechnology Initiative (found some info. about Canada in the rept.!)

It seems there a number of reports concerning the US National Nanotechnology Initiative and their efforts and responses to the PCAST 2010 recommendations (I commented on another of their reports in my Dec. 13, 2011 posting). This fourth report/assessment was submitted by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and focuses on efforts from various government agencies to follow recommendations from that 2010 PCAST assessment and set of recommendations.

According to the April 27, 2012 news item on Nanowerk,

PCAST found that the Federal agencies in the NNI have made substantial progress in addressing many of the 2010 recommendations that were aimed at maintaining U.S. leadership in nanotechnology. One of the primary goals of the NNI is to stay ahead of heavily-investing competitors such as China, South Korea, the European Union, and Russia. Overall, PCAST concluded that the NNI remains a successful cooperative venture that is supporting high-quality research, facilitating the translation of discoveries into new commercial products, and ensuring the Nation’s continued global leadership in this important field.

The PCAST assessment particularly commends the expanded efforts of the NNCO [National Nanotechnology Coordination Office] in the area of commercialization and coordination with industry, and the NNCO’s release of a focused research strategy for addressing environmental, health, and safety (EHS) implications of nanotechnology. In addition, the assessment recognizes NNI’s strong and growing portfolio of research on the societal implications of nanotechnology, nanotechnology education, and public outreach.

Dexter Johnson at his Nanoclast blog on the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) website comments in his May 1, 2012 posting,

Okay, pat on the back, job well done…uh, wait, there are still some new recommendations that PCAST would like to see addressed.  You can find them in the PDF of the full report on page vii. They fall into the areas of strategic planning, program management, metrics for assessing nanotechnology’s commercial and societal impacts, and…wait for it…increased support for EHS research.

Additional support for EHS research might be a required element for every PCAST report in the future. More interesting to me, however, is this continued emphasis on improved “metrics for assessing nanotechnology’s commercial and societal impacts.”

Dexter goes on to observe that many countries and corporations are interested in better metrics regarding  nanotechnology and its impacts and hints that he has a few ideas for better metrics.

I’ve looked at the report and found, to my surprise, mention of Canada. In analyzing the US NNI efforts, they also compare US government funding and corporate to that in other countries. On page 14 (print version; p. 30 PDF) of the PCAST 4th Assessment of the NNI, there’s a table which shows the top 10 countries for spending on nanotechnology,

As you can see, Canadian funding has been relatively flat throughout 2008 – 2010. It appears to have decreased slightly in 2009 and remained the same in 2010.

Aside: I’d dearly love to know how they sourced their data. A couple of years ago, a Canadian Member of Parliament (Peter Julian) asked for similar figures and received some 80 pages of Excel spreadsheets from various department listing any number of research projects that had been funded. (I’d asked Julian’s parliamentary assistant for a copy of the government’s response to his question, which is how I came to see that mess of paper.)

For anyone familiar with the Canadian scene (industrial research in Canada is rare), this next chart won’t be any surprise, from page 14 (print version; p. 30 PDF) of the PCAST 4th Assessment of the NNI,

However, this may be a surprise, from page 15 (print version; p. 31 PDF) of the PCAST 4th Assessment of the NNI,

Good grief! Canada is in the top five countries for venture capital spending on nanotechnology. Of course, we had our banner year in 2008, with quite a dip in 2009 but it looks like we rebounded mildly in 2010.

It’s always interesting for me to analyze the US nanotechnology efforts in relationship to the Canadian efforts (as well as, getting a sense of the international scene). Actually, I can’t analyze our efforts since the Canadian government doesn’t tend to share information (or provides reams of meaningless data) with its citizens so I’m driven to finding it in US government documents and materials provided by international governmental organizations such as the OECD (Organization for Econ0mic Cooperation and Development).

Getting back to the report, which after all is about the US situation, I’m particularly interested in the recommendations for metrics (thank you, Dexter) and EHS. From page 22 (print version; p. 38 PDF) of the PCAST 4th Assessment of the NNI (I have edited out some footnotes),

Agencies should develop a mission-appropriate definition of nanotechnology that enables the tracking of specific nanotechnology investments supported at the program level. The definition and funding details should be published in agency implementation plans to promote clarity.

This recommendation enables each agency to develop a mission-appropriate definition of nanotechnol­ogy to characterize its nanotechnology portfolio. Requiring each agency to publish its definition and the resulting budget allocations will improve clarity across the Federal nanotechnology portfolio and ensure that nanotechnology investments are accurately characterized.

The NNCO should track the development of metrics for quantifying the Federal nanotechnology portfolio and implement them to assess NNI outputs.

Current Federal efforts to measure public and private investment, scientific productivity, and workforce have been inconsistent and decentralized. The publication of agency-specific data will enable the NNCO to consistently track nanotechnology investments across the Federal government and enable it to report NNI impacts with greater confidence and transparency.

There is an extensive and growing body of high-quality academic research that is already working toward the establishment of nanotechnology metrics by drawing upon bibliometrics data from the public domain (e.g., publication and patent data). … Bibliometrics data are used as indicators of productivity beyond academia, often in the absence of other metrics from the private sector. As nanotechnology continues to mature and move closer toward commercialization, efforts to more accurately capture economic returns are picking up pace. Examples include the March 2012 International Symposium on Assessing Economic Impacts of Nanotechnologies sponsored jointly by the NNI and the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development held in Washington, DC, [mentioned in my March 29, 2012 posting] as well as the upcoming 2012 National Research Council review of the NNI.

A final area in need of metrics development is in the quantification of the nanotechnology workforce.  [emphasis mine] Accurately categorizing agency-level nanotechnology investments will facilitate the identification of nanotechnology trainees, including the academic, scientific, and professional nanotechnology workforce for which there is currently a paucity of data…. One area where such tracking would have significant impact is in the identification of nanotechnology-related jobs for which there are no standard occu­pational codes. Good data on the workforce will enable the implementation of additional measures to identify and mitigate future threats to occupational health and safety.

PCAST recommends that NNCO serve as a central repository to collect these metrics and leverage advances in metrics-development to collect, track, and analyze data regarding publications, patents, educational activities, and the workforce to produce and publish its own statistics on behalf of the NSET. This under­taking is an integral component of cross-agency coordination of the Federal nanotechnology portfolio.

That first recommendation seems problematic. The notion of agencies developing mission-specific definitions of nanotechnology, as recommended, sets the stage for multiple and competing definitions in a situation where you want to standardize as much as possible.

Unfortunately, the alternative is not an improvement. An attempt to standardize across all agencies would most probably lead to years of meetings and discussions before anything was ever measured.

I’m not quite as confident about bibliometrics as the authors of this report are but, as they hint, oftentimes it’s the only quantifiable data available. While there is much talk about establishing other metrics, there is no hint as to how this will be done or who will do it or whether money will be allocated for this purpose.

The recommendations for further EHS research, from pp. 22-3 (print version; pp. 38-9 PDF) of the PCAST 4th Assessment of the NNI, include (I have edited out a reference to an appendix),

The NSET should establish high-level, cross-agency authoritative and accountable governance of Federal nanotechnology-related EHS research so that the knowledge created as a result of Federal investments can better inform policy makers.

PCAST acknowledges that the NSET has acted on our recommendation to identify a central coordina­tor for nanotechnology-related EHS research within NNCO. The EHS coordinator has done a laudable job developing and communicating the 2011 NNI EHS research strategy. However, there is still a lack of integration between nanotechnology-related EHS research funded through the NNI and the kind of information policy makers need to effectively manage potential risks from nanomaterials. The estab­lishment of the Emerging Technologies Interagency Policy Coordination Committee (ETIPC) through OSTP has begun to bridge that gap, but without close integration between ETIPC and the NEHI working group, the gap may not be sufficiently narrowed. OSTP and the NSET Subcommittee should expand the charter of the NEHI working group to enable the group to address cross-agency nanotechnology-related policy issues more broadly.

The NSET should increase investment in cross-cutting areas of EHS that promote knowledge transfer such as informatics, partnerships, and instrumentation development.

The 2011 NNI EHS research strategy acknowledges the critical role that informatics, partnerships, and instrumentation development play in a comprehensive approach to addressing nanotechnology risks to human health and the environment. Nascent efforts in informatics should be supported so that advances can be accelerated in this critical cross-cutting area. Rather than continue to support the proliferation of databases that results from many new nano-EHS projects, the effort should be directed at enabling diverse communities to extract meaningful information from each other’s work. New networks that connect researchers together, along with new tools for extracting information from Federally funded research, should be established and supported through the NNI. The findings of the December 2011 workshop to establish a Nanoinformatics 2020 Roadmap19 in conjunction with the 2011 NNI EHS research strategy can serve as a guide for new work in this area.

Significant progress has been made in the area of partnerships with numerous examples of mul­tistakeholder and interagency collaboration underway. One of these is the Nanorelease Project,20 which brings together five NNI agencies, non-governmental organizations, a labor union, and several companies, among others, to develop methods for measuring the release of nanomaterials from com­mercial products. A specific area where better coordination could occur is in the area of occupational safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) should work with companies in a non-enforcement capacity to develop better tools for hazard communication similar to the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety’s (NIOSH) partnership program. This is especially important as the United States seeks to bring its hazard communication standard in alignment with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. Greater engagement by OSHA would also begin to address some of the difficulties companies face in implementing good health and safety programs in their nanomaterial workplaces …

New modes of international cooperation, such as the joint funding of two environmental-impacts consortia by the EPA and the United Kingdom, have also emerged since the 2010 PCAST report. The NNI should increase funding for these cross-cutting activities to leverage the U.S. investment in nanotechnology-related EHS research.

The wealth of abbreviations makes this section a little hard to read. As I understand it, the recommendations are aimed at improving use of their current and future resources by better coordinating the research efforts, sharing data (with a special eye to providing information policymakers can use effectively), and collaborating internationally on EHS research.

Nanotechnology policy primer for US Congress

I was hoping to get more information about that symposium I mentioned in my Jan. 27, 2012 posting (in addition to the news about one of the presentations which I mentioned in my March 29, 2012 posting about assessing lifecycles and economic impacts),

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the US National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) are hosting an  International Symposium on Assessing the Economic Impact of Nanotechnology, March 27 – 28, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

As it turns out, an April 13, 2102 brief (Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer) prepared by John Sargent for the US Congress relies on some data that was provided to the symposium. Unfortunately, there’s not much and it’s about funding, not nanotechnology’s economic impacts. From Sargent’s policy primer, page 12,

The United States has led, and continues to lead, all nations in known public investments in nanotechnology R&D, though the estimated U.S. share of global public investments has fallen as other nations have established similar programs and increased funding. In 2011, Lux Research, an emerging technologies consulting firm, estimated total (public and private) global nanotechnology funding for 2010 to be approximately $17.8 billion with corporate R&D accounting for a majority of funding for the first time.[14] Cientifica, a privately held nanotechnology business analysis and consulting firm, estimated global public investments in nanotechnology in 2010 to be approximately $10 billion per year, with cumulative global public investments through 2011 reaching approximately $67.5 billion. Cientifica also concluded that the United States had fallen behind both Russia and China in nanotechnology R&D funding on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis (which takes into account the price of goods and services in each nation), but still leads the world in real dollar terms (adjusted on a currency exchange rate basis).[15]

Private investments in nanotechnology R&D come from two primary sources, corporations and venture capital investors. Lux Research estimated that total global private sector nanotechnology funding had risen from $9.2 billion in 2009 to $9.6 billion in 2010, while the venture capital component of the investment had fallen from $822 million in 2009 to $646 million in 2010. According to the firm, U.S. private sector funding of approximately $3.5 billion led all other nations, followed by Japan (almost $3 billion), and Germany (about $1 billion). Lux Research also reported that the amount of venture capital funding in Europe was one-fifth that of the North American level.[16]

14 OECD /NNI International Symposium on Assessing the Economic Impact of Nanotechnology, Background Paper 2: Finance and Investor Models in Nanotechnology, Working Party on Nanotechnology, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, March 16, 2012, p. 4.

15 Global Funding of Nanotechnologies and Its Impact, Cientifica, July 2011, available at http://cientifica.eu/blog/wpcontent/ uploads/downloads/2011/07/Global-Nanotechnology-Funding-Report-2011.pdf.

16 OECD /NNI International Symposium on Assessing the Economic Impact of Nanotechnology, Background Paper 2: Finance and Investor Models in Nanotechnology, Working Party on Nanotechnology, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, March 16, 2012, p. 4.

This primer provides a good brief (17 pp.) introduction for anyone who’s not familiar with the field of nanotechnology.

OECD job for senior economist/analyst specializing in nanotech and biotech

The Organization for Econ0mic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is offering a two year contract for a senior economist/analyst. I assume you will be located at the OECD’s  headquarters in Paris, France. From the Econ-Jobs.com website,

We are looking for an experienced professional to lead the work on biotechnology and nanotechnology carried out in the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (STI), and to provide oversight for the activities of the Working Party on Biotechnology (WPB) and its task force, and of the Working Party on Nanotechnology (WPN) in the context of the Work Programme for the Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP). The selected person will work under the general direction of the Head of the Science and Technology Policy Division of the STI.

Main Responsibilities
Management and Analysis
• Lead OECD work on biotechnology, nanotechnology and innovation through biotechnology, nanotechnology and their convergence, as well as their interaction and convergence with other technologies (e.g. information and communication technologies). Carry out strategic planning, orientation and oversight of the OECD programme of work related to biotechnology and nanotechnology.
• Identify priorities for the WPB and WPN work programmes and develop projects in liaison with member and non-member economies, other international organisations and other stakeholders as appropriate, focusing on the range of key scientific, technological, economic and regulatory issues relevant to biotechnology and nanotechnology.
• Oversee and contribute to the implementation of the work programmes of the WPB and WPN by, inter alia, organising and managing meetings, conferences and workshops; drafting economic and scientific and technological policy reports.
• Contribute to horizontal and multidisciplinary initiatives of the Directorate and the Organisation as they relate to biotechnology and nanotechnology, such as the ongoing and forthcoming work on new sources of growth, on green growth, on economic and social impacts of public funding in science, and on new industrial policy.
• Lead projects, manage budgets and raise funds.

Liaison and Communication
• Develop and ensure effective co-ordination with other parts of the OECD involved in relevant work, with other international organisations and other relevant outside bodies. Represent STI and OECD as required in internal and external fora.
• Liaise with the accession candidate country (the Russian Federation), enhanced engagement countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa), and other non-member economies to encourage their participation in efforts relating to emerging issues in biotechnology and nanotechnology.
• Work with the media to promote a better understanding of the OECD’s work in biotechnology and nanotechnology, and maintain relationships with journalists and others who can give a wider audience to that work.
• Create deep and effective links with officials and other actors in countries that are major players in the policy debates around innovation through biotechnology and nanotechnology.

Leadership and Staff Management
• Provide leadership to the team working on biotechnology and nanotechnology, and manage a multidisciplinary team, including policy analysts, statisticians and consultants. Participate in the recruitment process for these positions as well as oversee the day-to-day management of staff in the team (including consultants).

The job was posted today, April 13, 2012 and the deadline for applications is April 27, 2012. You can find more details such as qualifications and application procedures at the Econ-Jobs.com website or go directly to the job notice on the OECD website.

Nanotechnology’s economic impacts and full lifecycle assessments

A paper presented at the International Symposium on Assessing the Economic Impact of Nanotechnology, held March 27 – 28, 2012 in Washington, D.C advises that assessments of the economic impacts of nanotechnology need to be more inclusive. From the March 28, 2012 news item on Nanowerk,

“Nanotechnology promises to foster green and sustainable growth in many product and process areas,” said Shapira [Philip Shapira], a professor with Georgia Tech’s [US]  School of Public Policy and the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research at the Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom. “Although nanotechnology commercialization is still in its early phases, we need now to get a better sense of what markets will grow and how new nanotechnology products will impact sustainability. This includes balancing gains in efficiency and performance against the net energy, environmental, carbon and other costs associated with the production, use and end-of-life disposal or recycling of nanotechnology products.”

But because nanotechnology underlies many different industries, assessing and forecasting its impact won’t be easy. “Compared to information technology and biotechnology, for example, nanotechnology has more of the characteristics of a general technology such as the development of electric power,” said Youtie [Jan Youtie], director of policy research services at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. “That makes it difficult to analyze the value of products and processes that are enabled by the technology. We hope that our paper will provide background information and help frame the discussion about making those assessments.”

From the March 27, 2012 Georgia Institute of Technology news release,

For their paper, co-authors Shapira and Youtie examined a subset of green nanotechnologies that aim to enable sustainable energy, improve environmental quality, and provide healthy drinking water for areas of the world that now lack it. They argue that the lifecycle of nanotechnology products must be included in the assessment.

I was hoping for a bit more detail about how one would go about including nanotechnology-enabled products in this type of economic impact assessment but this is all I could find (from the news release),

In their paper, Youtie and Shapira cite several examples of green nanotechnology, discuss the potential impacts of the technology, and review forecasts that have been made. Examples of green nanotechnology they cite include:

  • Nano-enabled solar cells that use lower-cost organic materials, as opposed to current photovoltaic technologies that require rare materials such as platinum;
  • Nanogenerators that use piezoelectric materials such as zinc oxide nanowires to convert human movement into energy;
  • Energy storage applications in which nanotechnology materials improve existing batteries and nano-enabled fuel cells;
  • Thermal energy applications, such as nano-enabled insulation;
  • Fuel catalysis in which nanoparticles improve the production and refining of fuels and reduce emissions from automobiles;
  • Technologies used to provide safe drinking water through improved water treatment, desalination and reuse.

I checked both Philip Shapira‘s webpage and Jan Youtie‘s at Georgia Tech to find that neither lists this latest work, which hopefully includes additional detail. I’m hopeful there’ll be a document published in the proceedings for this symposium and access will be possible.

On another note, I did mention this symposium in my Jan. 27, 2012 posting where I speculated about the Canadian participation. I did get a response (March 5, 2012)  from Vanessa Clive, Nanotechnology File, Industry Sector, Industry Canada who kindly cleared up my confusion,

A colleague forwarded the extract from your blog below. Thank you for your interest in the OECD Working Party on Nanotechnology (WPN) work, and giving some additional public profile to its work is welcome. However, some correction is needed, please, to keep the record straight.

“It’s a lot to infer from a list of speakers but I’m going to do it anyway. Given that the only Canadian listed as an invited speaker for a prestigious (OECD/AAAS/NNI as hosts) symposium about nanotechnology’s economic impacts, is someone strongly associated with NCC, it would seem to confirm that Canadians do have an important R&D (research and development) lead in an area of international interest.

One thing about this symposium does surprise and that’s the absence of Vanessa Clive from Industry Canada. She co-authored the OECD’s 2010 report, The Impacts of Nanotechnology on Companies: Policy Insights from Case Studies and would seem a natural choice as one of the speakers on the economic impacts that nanotechnology might have in the future.”

I am a member of the organizing committee, on the OECD WPN side, for the Washington Symposium in March which will focus on the need and, in turn, options for development of metrics for evaluation of the economic impacts of nano. As committee member, I was actively involved in identifying potential Canadian speakers for agenda slots. Apart from the co-sponsors whose generosity made the event possible, countries were limited to one or two speakers in order to bring in experts from as many interested countries as possible. The second Canadian expert which we had invited to participate had to pull out, unfortunately.

Also, the OECD project on nano impacts on business was co-designed and co-led by me, another colleague here at the time, and our Swiss colleague, but the report itself was written by OECD staff.

I did send (March 5, 2012)  a followup email with more questions but I gather time was tight as I’ve not heard back.

In any event, I’m looking forward to hearing more about this symposium, however that occurs, in the coming weeks and months.