Significant new product and market developments in nanotechnologies are starting to be realised after a decade of intensive basic research. Innovations in both industrial manufacturing up-scaling and real applications development have occurred, but human and environmental concerns could potentially pose barriers to sustainable economic growth in the area were they not to be addressed adequately. In the last few years National, European and International standards committees have been publishing a growing body of standards: these documents will be used to facilitate trade, underpin good industrial practice and ensure that the technology is exploited in a safe and responsible manner. The committees also anticipate potential regulatory developments – these are starting to be enacted by the European Union, specific European Member states and other countries such as the USA. The effects of these regulatory developments can last many years.
There are obviously trade opportunities and threats for the UK-based nanotechnology industry which emanate from such publications and their reference to legislation; it has therefore been recognised as an area of vital strategic interest.
A one day open seminar has hence been organised for UK industry and the research community by the NanoKTN, Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). It will focus on the developments and implications of recent standards and regulations, recognising that industry needs transparency as well as an opportunity to influence what standards and legislation will affect future business.
The seminar will address the following issues:
• The dissemination of published BSI, CEN and ISO standards,
including recent PAS documents, which are of potential benefit to the community.
• Education of UK industry in the value of being interested in the early development of standards.
• Listening to feedback on the programme of developing standards and gathering opinions on the future direction of ISO/CEN/BSI committee activities from UK industry.
• Giving a competitive advantage and voice to UK industry in
determining how nanotechnology should be regulated and
• Discussion of the implications of the recent EC recommendation on nanomaterial definition.
• Increased industrial participation in the UK BSI committee.
• Identification of new opportunities to develop new/additional strategic standards in support of UK business development.