The Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) is one amongst 15 industry associations endorsing a leaflet, entitled Europe needs safe and innovative nanotechnologies and nanomaterials, that has recently been published. The leaflet describes why the industry associations view nanotechnology as vital to Europe, and highlight seven key points for consideration.
The associations see it as ‘part of the enabling technologies and processes that span most industry sectors and scientific disciplines’, and ‘call for a balanced policy […] ensuring the protection of human health and the environment, while providing the necessary framework for enhancing innovation, growth and jobs in Europe’. As far as regulations are concerned, the industry associations ‘support the European Commission conclusions that the current European regulatory framework adequately covers nanomaterials, is science-based and proportionate’.
Seven points in particular are highlighted by the group. These are:
‘Nanotechnologies provide solutions
- They provide sanitation, hygiene, health, water and climate protection for a growing global population in a world where the optimal use of natural resources is a must.
Europe needs nanotechnologies to achieve the goals of the EU 2020 strategy
- Key enabling technologies, such as nanotechnologies, are likely to affect innovation in most industrial sectors and are likely to contribute considerably to future smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Safety is paramount
- European industries initiate and sponsor research into the safety of nanomaterials and nano-enabled products.
Openness and transparency are vital
- Industry supports the European Commission impact assessment on possible measures to increase transparency on nanomaterials on the market […] the impact assessment is the correct vehicle to evaluate the relevance of on-going initiatives to identify if there are further informational needs and to analyse the cost and benefits of establishing any new information tools to supplement existing means.
The comprehensive European regulatory framework in place has the capacity to govern the production and use of nanomaterials
- This framework sets the highest safety standards and covers all industry sectors. We therefore support working with the existing legislation and adjust it where required, thereby avoiding double regulation and conflicting requirements.
A common workable definition system for defining nanomaterials is welcome
- The current European Commission recommendation is a basis for assessing nanomaterials within the regulatory framework. However, its effective implementation still represents a challenge for industry. More work will be needed to ensure consistency, harmonisation and validation of measurement methods both within and outside the EU.
Europe cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities provided by nanotechnologies and the benefits they bring
- Without a positive investment climate for the deployment of nanotechnology in Europe, EU industries will become less competitive.’
Follow this link to read the full leaflet.