NNI Publishes Report on RSL Initiatives in Nanotechnology

On May 17, 2013, the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) published a report on regional, state, and local (RSL) initiatives in nanotechnology. The report is the result of a workshop, convened May 1-2, 2012, and sponsored by the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council and the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute. The goal of the workshop was to improve the outcomes of nanotechnology research, education, and business activities undertaken to advance nanotechnology. The report states that the strategy for achieving this goal is “to exploit synergies between the various initiatives, promote sharing of information and resources, and develop ongoing mechanisms for relevant interactions.” The report is not intended to be a consensus document. It states that one theme rose to the top, however: “The continuing global economic downturn after 2008 and the demise of many previously sold RSL initiatives since the third NNI RSL workshop in 2009 gave a strong sense of urgency to the participants’ requests for more Federal attention to and matching financial support of the various regional, state, and local initiatives in nanotechnology.” The report includes recommendations in the following categories: commercialization; collaboration; policy; workforce; support for RSL initiatives; and RSL roadmapping. It also includes a “’Next Steps’ category to capture activities that can be begun immediately to keep interested parties in touch with one another.”

NNI Announces Release of Regional, State, and Local Initiatives Workshop Report

The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) has announced the release of the report for its April 2009 regional, state, and local (RSL) initiatives. According to NNI, the goals of the workshop and the report are “to advance development of nanotechnology research, education, infrastructure, commercialization, and positive societal outcomes by exploiting synergies between the various regional, state, and local initiatives; by promoting the sharing of information and resources; and by developing mechanisms for cross-sector interactions.” With stakeholder input from government, academia, industry, and RSL initiatives across the country, the workshop report outlines mechanisms for information exchange and improved collaboration among all sectors engaged in nanotechnology.

City of Cambridge Adopts Recommendations for a Municipal Health and Safety Policy on Nanomaterials

On July 28, 2008, the City Council of Cambridge, Massachusetts voted to accept a set of recommendations for a municipal health and safety policy on nanomaterials. The recommendations were set forth in a report prepared by the Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD) and the Cambridge Nanomaterials Advisory Committee (CNAC). Cambridge now becomes the second city in the United States -- Berkeley, California is the other -- to have taken municipal action on nanomaterials. Continue Reading...

PEN Report Finds States Could Prompt Federal Action Regarding Nanotechnology

On April 9, 2008, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) released a report entitled Room at the Bottom? Potential State and Local Strategies for Managing the Risks and Benefits of Nanotechnology. According to the report, because of the slow pace of federal action to regulate development of nanotechnology, “there is ‘room at the bottom’ for state and local governments to move forward in pursuing regulatory and other oversight options.” Research for the report identified a number of states with laws promoting the nanotechnology industry or other initiatives encouraging research and development on nanotechnology applications. The report states that each of the 50 states is “home to at least one company, university, government laboratory, or other type of organization working with nanomaterials.” Continue Reading...

SVTC Calls for Increased Regulation of Nanomaterials

On April 2, 2008, the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) released a report entitled Regulating Emerging Technologies in Silicon Valley and Beyond: Lessons Learned from 1981 Chemical Spills in the Electronics Industry and Implications for Regulating Nanotechnology.  According to SVTC, the emergence of nanotechnology is similar to the electronics industry in the early 1980s, when new manufacturing processes ultimately resulted in groundwater pollution throughout Santa Clara County. The report provides a case study of the regulatory landscape in Santa Clara County and traces the “clear and alarming parallels” to current regulations for nanotechnology. SVTC outlines recommendations for policy reform, based on closing existing gaps in data, technology, and safety. The report includes a set of sample questions that SVTC intends for communities to use to gather information about the use and safety of nanomaterials and processes in nearby facilities. Continue Reading...

NSF-Funded Television Series to Air in April 2008

Nanotechnology: The Power of Small,” the first major television series to examine the implications of advances in nanotechnology, will begin airing on local public broadcasting stations in April 2008. The series is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the presenting station and grantee for the series is Oregon Public Broadcasting. In the episodes, award-winning National Public Radio correspondent John Hockenberry asks policymakers, scientists, journalists, and community leaders questions concerning nanotechnology’s potential to impact people’s privacy and security, health, and environment. Featured experts include Harvard University researcher George M. Whitesides, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) chief scientist Andrew Maynard, and author Joel Garreau, among others. Continue Reading...

City of Berkeley Issues Manufactured Nanoscale Material Reporting Guidance

The Toxics Management Division (TMD) in the City of Berkeley’s Planning and Development Department has issued guidance on the nanoparticle municipal ordinance that the Berkeley City Council adopted on December 12, 2006. Under the ordinance, facilities that manufacture or use “manufactured nanoparticles” must submit to the TMD “a separate written disclosure of the current toxicology of the materials reported, to the extent known, and how the facility will safely handle, monitor, contain, dispose, track inventory, prevent releases and mitigate such materials.” The term “manufactured nanoparticles” is defined to mean particles “with one axis less than 100 nanometers in length.” The TMD guidance makes clear that facility reports covering the period June 1, 2007 -- June 2, 2008, are due by June 1, 2007, and must include, among other things, toxicological and ecological information about the nanoscale material and information about the potential exposure pathways and likelihood of exposure via those pathways.

Lynn L. Bergeson Presents What's New in Nanotechnology

At the 2007 GlobalChem Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Lynn L. Bergeson presented slides on “Nanotechnology:  What’s New.”  Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. co-sponsored this important conference.