It’s disconcerting when you find more information about nanotechnology efforts in Thailand than in your own country (Canada) even more so after checking and finding a similar comment back in a July 12, 2010 posting. Given that I have to wait for English translations of the materials produced in Thailand and assuming that only a portion of those materials are available in English and since the country is not a major trading partner (e.g. US) with Canada, I’m amazed and have to extend kudos to NANOTEC (Thailand’s National Nanotechnology Centre) for its communication efforts.
Here’s the latest from Thailand, according to an April 11, 2012 posting on the NANOTEC website,
Realizing the crucial role of utilizing nanotechnology in everyday life, Thailand is taking necessary steps to building public awareness to direct and indirect effects of nanomaterials and nanaoproducts to health and environment. A special public seminar supported by NANOTEC, NSTDA [National Science and Technology Development Agency], UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research), and Swiss Confederation was recently held in Khon Kaen during NanoThailand 2012 to address the topic of “Society, Nanosafety and Ethics on Nanotechnology Development”. Panel speakers on the topic of “Public knowledge of nanotechnology development” included Dr. Apisak Teeravisit (Development Science, Khon Kaen University), Dr. Suchin Simarak (Ford Rural System Research Project, Khon Kaen University), and Dr. Nalinee Sripaung (Ministry of Public Health).
This panel presentation is part of a larger project (from the April 11, 2012 posting),
Since 2012, Thailand has established a Nanosafety and Ethics Strategic Plan (2012-2016). The aim of the plan is to work in parallel with nanotechnology development thus preventing and minimizing potential risks related to nanomaterials and nanotechnology applications. The plan also aim to establish three strategies: establishment of knowledge management center, develop and reinforce measures, and promote public engagement activities.
NANOTEC and UNITAR have signed a Memorandum of Agreement in September 2011 to implement a Training and Capacity Building for the Development of the Nano-Safety Pilot project in Thailand (phase 1). The Nano Inception/Awareness Raising Workshop is part of the 18 month project.
If I understand this rightly, there is a national plan which incorporates the 18 month project with UNITAR as part of its strategy for raising public awareness.
I checked the UNITAR website and found that this is one of three projects listed on their Nanotechnology and Manufactured Nanomaterials; Pilot Projects page,
Starting in 2011, UNITAR will assist three countries in undertaking pilot projects aimed to develop and/or strengthen capacities to address Nanotechnology and Manufactured Nanomaterials. These projects, which are provided with funding support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), will generate experiences and lessons learned that will be transmitted for deliberation at the third International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM-3), to be held in 2012.
The three countries are Thailand (Asia-Pacific region), Nigeria (Africa region), and Uruguay (Latin America and Caribbean region).
ETA April 13, 2012 : I understand that New Year, Songkran, is being celebrated in Thailand for four days starting from April 12, 2012. Happy New Year!