Blueprint for a self-sustained European Centre for service provision in safe and sustainable innovation for nanotechnology

Tidsskriftartikel - 2021


The coming years are expected to bring rapid changes in the nanotechnology regulatory landscape, with the establishment of a new framework for nano-risk governance, in silico approaches for characterisation and risk assessment of nanomaterials, and novel procedures for the early identification and management of nanomaterial risks. In this context, Safe(r)-by-Design (SbD) emerges as a powerful preventive approach to support the development of safe and sustainable (SSbD) nanotechnology-based products and processes throughout the life cycle. This paper summarises the work undertaken to develop a blueprint for the deployment and operation of a permanent European Centre of collaborating laboratories and research organisations supporting safe innovation in nanotechnologies. The proposed entity, referred to as “the Centre”, will establish a ‘one-stop shop’ for nanosafety-related services and a central contact point for addressing stakeholder questions about nanosafety. Its operation will rely on significant business, legal and market knowledge, as well as other tools developed and acquired through the EU-funded EC4SafeNano project and subsequent ongoing activities. The proposed blueprint adopts a demand-driven service update scheme to allow the necessary vigilance and flexibility to identify opportunities and adjust its activities and services in the rapidly evolving regulatory and nano risk governance landscape. The proposed Centre will play a major role as a conduit to transfer scientific knowledge between the research and commercial laboratories or consultants able to provide high quality nanosafety services, and the end-users of such services (e.g., industry, SMEs, consultancy firms, and regulatory authorities). The Centre will harmonise service provision, and bring novel risk assessment and management approaches, e.g. in silico methodologies, closer to practice, notably through SbD/SSbD, and decisively support safe and sustainable innovation of industrial production in the nanotechnology industry according to the European Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.


Marcoulaki E, Ipiña JMLd, Vercauteren S, Bouillard J, Himly M, Lynch I, Witters H, Shandilya N, Duuren-Stuurman Bv, Kunz V, Unger WE, Hodoroaba V, Bard D, Evans G, Jensen KA, Pilou M, Viitanen A, Bochon A, Duschl A, Geppert M, Persson K, Cotgreave I, Niga P, Gini M, Eleftheriadis K, Scalbi S, Caillard B, Arevalillo A, Frejafon E, Aguerre-Chariol O, Dulio V. Blueprint for a self-sustained European Centre for service provision in safe and sustainable innovation for nanotechnology. NanoImpact 2021;23:1.

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