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Research, support and coordination

Nanosciences and nanotechnologies (N&N) offer extraordinary potential for solving some of society's problems. However, incorporating this field into the daily life of European citizens requires a number of precautions, such as measures to ensure safety (for both people and the environment), and to safeguard ethics, fundamental rights and fundamental freedoms.

Activities supported by the Science in Society (SIS) Programme complement those activities under 'Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and New Production Technologies', part of the Seventh Framework Programme's 'Cooperation' Specific Programme. Even before FP7, several projects under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) had already explored Science and Society case studies relating to nanotechnologies:

  • public participation in scientific issues, such as PATH (Participatory Approaches in Science and Technology), DECIDE (Deliberative Citizens' Debates in European Science centres and museums), and CIPAST (Citizen Participation in Science and Technology);
  • risk governance, such as RISKBRIDGE (Building Robust, Integrative Interdisciplinary, Governance Models for Emerging and Existing Risks), and CARGO (Comparison of Approaches to Risk Governance);
  • ethical dimension of science and technologies, such as DEEPEN (Deepening Ethical Engagement and Participation in Emerging Nanotechnologies), and NANOCAP (Nanotechnology Capacity Building NGOs).

Projects under FP7, such as FRAMINGNANO (International Multi-stakeholder Dialogue Platform Framing the Responsible Development of Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies (NS&T)) and NANOPLAT (Development of a Platform for Deliberative Processes on Nanotechnology in the European Consumer Market), have also supported the establishment of multi-stakeholder dialogue on N&N regulation and governance among the scientific, institutional, industrial communities, and with the public.

Under FP7, the NANOCODE (A Multi-stakeholder Dialogue Providing Inputs to Implement the European Code of Conduct for N&N Research) project has been selected under 'Governance and Ethics of the Responsible Development of N&N' (a cross-thematic SIS topic) to define and develop a framework enabling the successful integration and implementation of the Code of Conduct (CoC) for Responsible N&N Research at European level (and beyond).

NANOCODE is expected to (1) articulate consensus and absence of consensus between the various stakeholders involved in the process; (2) sustain a European debate between them; and (3) generate new knowledge and recommendations for future research, policy actions, deliberative processes and procedures, and cooperative research processes.

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