The Dossiers summarise in an easily-understandable but scientifically sound manner in approximately three to six pages the current knowledge on the latest topics of the merging nanotechnology debate.

039 Definition of the term "nano material" (May 2013)

In order to regulate nanomaterials and to determine mandatory product labelling a generally accepted agreement what the term “nanomaterial” means has to be reached beforehand. The EU Parliament requires that a definition shall be science-based and comprehensive. Furthermore, for regulatory measures in individual sectors, it shall be unambiguous, flexible, easy and practical to handle. During the past few years various institutions came up with suggestions for a definition, leading to a recommendation of the EU commission, which finally is being accepted into new and existing EU legislation. Some provisions in this proposal are controversial and the implementation into specific sectoral legislation constitutes a major challenge.

Download link to the document No. 39 (PDF, 550 KB)

038 Nano: Governance Through Dialogue (May 2013)

In the last years, dialogues have become increasingly important for politics and science as well as scientific communication. More and more, they serve as an important feature for the responsible handling of nanotechnology at the national and European level. German speaking states have therefore laid emphasis on dialogues as a tool for communication and information in their nanotechnology action plans.
The projects described in the following were largely initiated by the respective authorities as implementation measures of the national nanotechnology action plans. With the exception of the information meetings, these measures in general took place between experts and decision makers in camera. For example, with regard to Austria the experts’ group Nanotechnologie-Informations-Plattform is described.
Very seldom have decision makers initiated any public dialogues. One unique dialogue process with citizens is described, namely publifocus events in Switzerland, where the results had a direct influence on policy development. In addition to those dialogues which contributed to the national political process, occasionally also smaller dialogue events took place in the context of research projects, for example the focus groups in Germany and Austria of the project NanoSafety for the EU Parliament.

Download link to the document No. 38 (PDF, 550 KB)

All other NanoTrustDossiers can be accessed at


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