Public involvement in future research in nanotechnology

August 23, 2017

The DBT is coordinating an international consortium awarded a prestigious European Union Horizon 2020 (H2020) research and innovation grant worth €2 million and focused on nanotechnology development.

The three year project is called GoNano – Governing nanotechnologies through societal engagement. Its core goal is to engage citizens and expert stakeholders in a co-creative innovation process. The 10 member consortium is led by the Danish Board of Technology Foundation (DBT) and includes research centres, industry groups and universities across the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Norway, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland and Spain.

DBT coordinator Lise Bitsch, said that the project is designed build responsiveness to public values, needs and concerns into the process of nanotechnology research and development, to create broad societal debate, and showcase to industry and policy makers the benefits of working co-creatively with a broad range of stakeholder for achievement of responsiveness.

The projects co-creation efforts will be realised through three demonstration pilots in the areas of ‘Health’, ‘Food’ and ‘Energy’. The pilot projects are located in nanotechnology centres in the Czech Republic, Spain, and the Netherlands, allowing for continuous dialogue and engagement between, researchers, industry, interest organisations and the broader public.

“Governance of nanotechnologies requires the involvement of societal engagement to address public concerns about how nano-products may affect them, their environment and workplace, and also how they are controlled, regulated and labelled.

“This project involves citizen and stakeholder workshops, and development of webinars, guidelines and information kits. It is an important step in establishing an ongoing process that fosters responsible research and innovation in nanotechnologies.”