The European Commission's 'Recommendation on a Code of Conduct (CoC) for Responsible Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies (N&N) Research' aims to frame future research development within a set of seven general principles. Based on these principles, EU Member States are invited to take concrete action to ensure that nanotechnologies are developed in a safe manner.
The recommendation is aimed at EU Member States and addresses all stakeholders involved in N&N research, such as universities, research institutes and companies. The recommendation proposes the adoption and promotion of a CoC for Responsible N&N Research by inviting them to apply the precautionary principle and the aforementioned political commitments to N&N research. Of course, the CoC should apply in the first instance to research supported by the European Commission.
The core objective of the 'Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and New Production Technologies (NMP)' theme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is to improve the competitiveness of European industry and generate the knowledge needed to transform it from a resource-intensive to a knowledge-intensive industry – in a safe, ethical and efficient way. EU Member States have earmarked a total of EUR 3.5 billion for funding this theme over the duration of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
The Commission Recommendation and Council Conclusions suggested that both the recommendation and the CoC should be revised after two years. In response, the Commission launched a public consultation between 20 October 2009 and 3 January 2010 to receive new feedback from individuals and organisations involved or interested in N&N research in Europe, in particular researchers, policymakers, industry, media, and civil society organisations (CSOs).