Nanotechnology constitutes a great promise for domains as diverse as product development, environmental conservation, medicine and information technology while simultaneously giving rise to numerous concerns about potential health risks and environmental hazards. In addition, nanotechnology raises wider social and ethical issues regarding unintended long-term consequences, social and financial risks, issues of governance and control and fundamental issues about life and human identity.
Within this context, NANO2ALL aims to put responsible research at the core of its methodology to create a climate of dialogue and engagement. NANO2ALL will create various tangible and intangible outputs and results, but most importantly insight that will allow researchers and decision-makers to engage with each other, as well as with other stakeholders and channel the feedback of their interaction into mechanisms that will reinforce the roadmap identifying research concerns and opportunities for innovation.
The anticipated impacts of NANO2ALL will involve improved citizens’ awareness, increased public trust and better acceptability of nanotechnologies’ based products and solutions and contribution to a more inclusive European society.
NANO2ALL is an ambitious Coordination and Support Action project, funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, aimed at contributing to the establishment of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) policy and governance on nanotechnologies, based on the transparent co-production of knowledge, driven by the needs of the society and engaging all relevant stakeholders - via inclusive participatory approaches and activities of a dedicated Mobilisation and Mutual Learning Action.
For this purpose, the following project’s objectives have been defined:
- To establish a European-wide sustainable platform for mutual learning, informed dialogue and societal engagement in responsible nanotechnology;
- To perform a series of multi-stakeholder training activities to address knowledge gaps between various types of actors and develop a shared understanding of the benefits and risks of advancing responsible nanotechnology via constructive multi-stakeholder dialogues;
- The systemic engagement of civil society, social sciences and humanities and industry groups and researchers in nanotechnologies;
- To suggest evidence-based recommendations and develop a roadmap to enhance societal engagement in responsible nanotechnology.
For addressing these objectives and challenges, the NANO2ALL project will use a set of tools aiming to use modern communication technologies that provide all quintessential for facilitating stakeholders interaction, and to promote personalised engagement of stakeholders via utilisation of state-of-the-art training and dialogue tools. Therefore, the Work Plan is structured into 5 different Work Packages (WP):
i) Disseminate to a wider circle of EU nanotech policy arena inhabitants the Innovation Agendas and the Innovation Scenarios produced, so as to enhance the uptake of NANO2ALL’s results,
ii) Develop and release a nanotechnology Responsible Research and Innovation roadmap for future actions implementation, and
iii) Enable a systemic commitment of policymakers and relevant communities at national and EU level towards Responsible Research and Innovation in nano and a create sustainable working groups as Joint Stakeholder Undertakings to continue to progress societal engagement in nanotechnology
- Enhance the interaction between society, science and nanotechnologies in order to contribute to a responsible nanotechnology research and innovation at EU and national policy level and research processes;
- Involve civil society, social sciences and humanities, and industry groups in decision-making procedures and/or societal dialogue and engagement on nanotechnologies, increasing awareness, enhancing understanding between stakeholders’ on their positions, needs, expectations and concerns, and enhancing trust between them;
- Contribute to the responsible policy-making, better acceptability of nanotechnologies outcomes, a more inclusive European society, and to a roadmap to enhance societal engagement in nanotechnology.