Georgios Katalagarianakis, European Commission

Title: EU research policy for the safety of nanotechologies
Session: Tuesday 6 October, 13:45

Abstract

Nanotechnology is referred to as the new "general purpose technology" of the 21st century, a springboard for long-term productivity increases in several sectors, for economic growth and as a means of addressing grand societal challenges. As it is normal with every new technology, concerns about its safety are raised.

It is imperative to ensure safe development and application of nanotechnologies, through a solid understanding of their potential impact on health or on the environment. Benefits from their deployment are possible only if the possibly related risks are under control.

Mindful about these concerns, the European Commission has actively promoted and supported research and development as well as innovation in this area. Through its Framework Programmes 6 and 7, and now Horizon2020, it funds a number of projects in this area as integral part of the much larger investment in nanotechnology and its applications.

Scientific research should provide the generic new knowledge to be used as scientific basis for the next steps. Regulatory research builds upon this basis for consistent development of regulations in a number of application areas and opens the way for the development of the technology and the skills necessary for implementation. The NANOREG project combines EU and national resources to implement a voluminous programme of testing of nanomaterials and of investigating exposure, aiming at providing authorities and industry with the necessary tools for the safe use of the new technologies. The NANOREG II project goes one step further for reducing risk through Safe-By-Design methods.

Research on the safety issues associated with the application of the new technologies will continue in order to achieve thorough understanding of possible risks and the capacity to manage those efficiently.

 

 

 

 

Bio

Georgios Katalagarianakis graduated as mining and metallurgy engineer from the National Technical University of Athens in 1976. He obtained a diploma on mechanical engineering from the University of Thessaloniki in 1989 and a PhD degree from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in 1998.

He has worked for ten years in the underground mining industry and the mineral resources authority of Greece before joining the European Commission in 1989 as administrator. He has been responsible for European research in the fields of mining and metallurgy, recycling, construction and maintenance of buildings and civil infrastructure, tunnelling, industrial safety and ergonomics, etc. He is currently responsible for research in the area of nanotechnology safety and the use of nanotechnology in buildings.

 

 

 

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