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2011 Nanoregulation Symposium

The 2011 Nanoregulation Symposium, co-hosted by the APVMA and the National Industrial Chemical Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), was held in Sydney on 9th November 2011. The chair person for the event was Dr Phil Reeves, Principal Scientist for Veterinary Medicines and Nanotechnology at the APVMA. The theme of the symposium was "Fostering collaborative dialogue between nanomaterial regulators and stakeholders". The symposium aimed to increase understanding and communication between regulators and stakeholders as well as to consolidate current scientific knowledge of the risk assessment of nanomaterials.

The Symposium was officially opened by Professor Ron Johnston, Chair of the Expert Forum of the National Enabling Technologies Strategy. The event featured prominent national and international speakers who are experts in fields relevant to the regulation of nanomaterials. They included:

  • Ms Georgia Miller, Friends of the Earth
  • Dr Karin Wiench, Head of Regulatory Toxicology Chemicals II, BASF, Germany
  • Dr Philippe Martin, European Commission, Brussels
  • Professor Kenneth Dawson, University College Dublin
  • Professor Michael Roberts, University of South Australia
  • Professor Mike McLaughlin, CSIRO Land and Water

The Symposium concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Dr John Miles, providing an opportunity for stakeholders to offer their own unique perspectives, to engage with experts and raise issues for consideration.

Speaker interviews

The following speakers shared the key messages they discussed at the Symposium.

Photo of Professor Ron Johnston

Professor Ron Johnston

Professor Ron Johnston is Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Innovation (ACIIC) and has worked for more than thirty years in pioneering better understanding and application of the ways that science and technology contribute to economic and social development and of the possibilities for managing research and technology more effectively. He was educated as a scientist in Australia and the UK, and worked for many years in Europe in the private sector, international organisations and universities before returning to Australia in 1979 to a position in the Commonwealth Government. He is Chair of the Expert Forum of the Commonwealth Government's National Enabling Technologies Strategy.

Listen to Professor Johnston discuss the importance of understanding new technologies:

Ms Georgia Miller

Photo of Ms Georgia Miller

Ms Georgia Miller has coordinated the Friends of the Earth Australia Nanotechnology Project since 2005. The Project has worked to address both the immediate health and environmental risks and challenges associated with nanomaterials, as well as nanotechnology's broader social, political and economic dimensions. Friends of the Earth supports greater public involvement in science policy development and decision making, and seeks to make technology more responsive to social and environmental needs. She has written or co-written several reports and articles examining nanotechnology's use in sunscreens and cosmetics, food and agriculture, climate and energy, and antibacterial applications, as well as co-authoring book chapters examining the role of NGOs in nanotechnology policy debates, and the ethical and social dimensions of nanotechnology development. Ms Miller has an Honours degree in Environmental Science.

Hear Friends of the Earth's view on the regulation of nanomaterial:

Photo of Dr Philippe Martin

Dr Philippe Martin

Dr Philippe Martin manages emerging issues at the science/policy interface for the Health and Consumers Directorate-General of the European Commission (SANCO) and, specifically, nanotechnologies. His team supports the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). Dr Martin has held international appointments in research policy, innovation financing, climate research, and energy planning. A decision analyst, energy economist, and environmental physicist by training and trade, Dr. Martin earned an MBA from the ESSEC Graduate School of Business in Paris, a DEA in Energy Systems Economics from the University of Paris-Dauphine and the French Nuclear Commission, and an MS (as a Fulbright Scholar) and a PhD in Energy & Resources from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr Martin explains how Europe is tackling nanoregulation:

Photo of Kenneth Dawson

Professor Kenneth Dawson

Professor Kenneth Dawson is Director of the Centre for BioNano Interactions (CBNI) and is the lead investigator of Bionanoscience Activities in University College Dublin. He is Chair of Physical Chemistry and is leading the European Infrastructure for Nanosafety. He is the recipient of research prizes including the 2007 Cozzarelli prize, as well as IBM, Packard, Canon, Sloan and Dreyfus prizes. His professional roles include membership in the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR), the Nanotechnology Working Group of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Editorial Board of Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, and OECD and ISO working groups on standards for Nanotechnology. He is Editor of Current Opinion in Colloid Science, Senior Editor of Physica, Associate Editor of Journal of Nanoparticle Research and former President of the European Colloid and Interface Society.

Professor Dawson explains the cautious approach in introducing nanotechnology:

Last updated on 21 November, 2011