I will get to the report in a moment but since it led me on a magical mystery tour through the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and its new website and assorted organizational confusions, I thought I’d share those first.
February 2012 marks the last report from the OECD’s Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials that I can find. As well, the OECD appears to have changed its website recently (since Feb. 2012) and I find searching it less rewarding.
There’s more, it seems that the Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials either no longer exists or has been subsumed as part of the Working Party on Nanotechnology. I mourn the old nanomaterials working party as I found much valuable information there about the Canadian situation that was available nowhere else. Oddly, Industry Canada still has a webpage devoted to the OECD’s Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials but the OECD link on the Industry Canada leads you to a database,
The OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN ) was established in September, 2006 in order to foster international co-operation in health and environmental safety-related aspects of manufactured nanomaterials. Environment Canada represents the Government of Canada at the WPMN, supported by other interested federal departments and agencies, including Industry Canada, and stakeholders. For more information on the work of the WPMN, please visit the WPMN website or contact Environment Canada.
Nostalgia buffs can find all 37 of the Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials reports here on the Nanotechnology Industries Association website (save one) or here on the OECD’s Publications in the Series on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials webpage.
A new ‘green’ nanotechnology and innovation report was announced in a June 18, 2013 news item on Nanowerk (Note: A link has been removed),
A new paper by the OECD Working Party on Nanotechnology (“Nanotechnology for Green Innovation”; pdf) brings together information collected through discussions and projects undertaken relevant to the development and use of nanotechnology for green innovation. It relies in particular on preliminary results from the WPN project on the Responsible Development of Nanotechnology and on conclusions from a symposium, organised by the OECD WPN together with the United States National Nanotechnology Initiative, which took place in March 2012 in Washington DC, United States, on Assessing the Economic Impact of Nanotechnology. [emphases mine] It also draws on material from the four background papers that were developed for the symposium. The background papers were:
“Challenges for Governments in Evaluating the Return on Investment from Nanotechnology and its Broader Economic Impact” by Eleanor O’Rourke and Mark Morrison of the Institute of Nanotechnology, United Kingdom;
“Finance and Investor Models in Nanotechnology” by Tom Crawley, Pekka Koponen, Lauri Tolvas and Terhi Marttila of Spinverse, Finland;
“The Economic Contributions of Nanotechnology to Green and Sustainable Growth” by Philip Shapira and Jan Youtie, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, United States; and
“Models, Tool and Metrics Available to Assess the Economic Impact of Nanotechnology” by Katherine Bojczuk and Ben Walsh of Oakdene Hollins, United Kingdom.
The purpose of the paper is to provide background information for future work by the WPN on the application of nanotechnology to green innovation.
I wrote about the March 2012 symposium in a March 29, 2012 posting,
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.
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.
So, I’m very happy to see this 2013 report and I have three different ways to access it,
- OECD library page for Nanotechnology for Green Innovation
- http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/download/5k450q9j8p8q.pdf?expires=1371578116&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=F308B436A883BF6533E66C19182ECF17 which features a title page identifying this is as an OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers No. 5 (this one lists 35 pp)
- http://search.oecd.org/officialdocuments/displaydocumentpdf/?cote=DSTI/STP/NANO%282013%293/FINAL&docLanguage=En which is identified with this Unclassified DSTI/STP/NANO(2013)3/FINAL and a publication date of June 13, 2013 (this one lists 34 pp)
The following comments are based on a very quick read through the report. Pulling together four papers and trying to create a cohesive and coherent single report after the fact is difficult and this report shows some of the stresses. One of the problems is that 34 or 35 pp., depending on which version you’re reading, isn’t enough to cover the very broad topic indicated by the report’s title. I couldn’t find a clear general statement about government policies. For example, there are various countries with policies and there are trade blocks such as the European Union which also has policies. Additionally, there may be other jurisdictions. All of which contribute an environment which makes ‘green’ innovation nano or otherwise a challenge but no mention is made of this challenge. Further, I don’t recall seeing any mention of patents, which I’d expect would be a major talking point in a paper with innovation in its title. If there was mention of intellectual property, it made no impact on me, odd, especially where nanotechnology is concerned.
The report does have some good specifics and it is worthwhile reading. For example, I found the section on lithium-ion batteries quite informative.
In any event, I’m not really the audience for this document, the “purpose of the paper is to provide background information for future work by the WPN on the application of nanotechnology to green innovation.”
ETA June 18, 2013 6:00 pm PDT: Here’s a link to the new OECD nanotechnology page, STInano