NNI’s Website, www.nano.gov, is showing some additional activity that may indicate the site is finally awake and active for good. NNI posted four reports today that are the products of a series of workshops the government hosted in 2009 and 2010.
According to NNI, the workshops that were the basis for these reports, in conjunction with advice from National Academies and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), were used to develop an updated EHS Research Strategy for the NNI, which is intended to guide the responsible development of nanotechnology.
This activity also comes on the heals of the flurry of activity that took place last month when multiple federal agencies issued policy guidance documents on research and regulation of nanomaterials. The guidance documents were issued by several different agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget, the FDA, and the EPA, and all conveyed the need to strike a careful balance between protecting human health, welfare, and the environment while fostering regulatory certainty for businesses on the forefront of innovation of nanomaterials and nanotechnology.
Maybe all this activity is evidence of the Obama Administration taking action on its commitment to support significant research into the potential EHS impacts of nanotechnology. We’ll stay tuned to nano.gov in hopes there is more to come.
In addition to activity from the Executive branch, a Senate subcommittee on July 14 held a hearing about reauthorizing the NNI which include some discussion on EHS and the safety of nanomaterials as they are commercialized.