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.

Several projects have developed definitions and introductory materials about Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), mostly in English, with two notable exceptions, including Polish materials produced in the IRRESISTIBLE project, and a French version of the EC code of conduct for nanoresearch.