What we do

Context

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. This calls for the responsible development of nanotechnology, responding to societal values, needs and concerns.

Within this context, NANO2ALL creates various tangible and intangible results that will allow more interaction between the members of the nanotechnology research and innovation community and the representatives of the society for identifying and discussing societal values, needs and concerns.

The anticipated impacts of NANO2ALL will involve improved citizens’ awareness, increased public trust and better acceptability of nanotechnology-enabled products and solutions, as well as a contribution to a more inclusive European society.

Purpose

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:

1. To establish a European-wide platform for mutual learning, informed dialogue and societal engagement in responsible nanotechnology;

2. 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 citizen and multi-stakeholder dialogues;

3. To suggest evidence-based recommendations and develop a roadmap to enhance societal engagement in responsible nanotechnology in Europe.

Workplan

For addressing these objectives and challenges, the NANO2ALL project uses a set of tools for facilitating stakeholders interaction, and to promote personalised engagement of stakeholders via utilisation of state-of-the-art dialogue tools. The Work Plan is structured into 5 different Work Packages (WP):

WP1 - Engagement and Communication

It aims to support engagement activities and communication with all interested actors in EU and beyond by providing the right infrastructure, coordinating communication activities and developing the relevant materials required to engage and facilitate stakeholder’s participation. Moreover, it allows sharing of practices and assimilation of feedback.

WP2 - Developing a Common Understanding

It, on one hand, explores the current nano and RRI landscape on EU and international level, identifying and sharing practices of societal engagement in nanotechnology research and innovation fromEurope and elsewhere. On the other hand, it assesses stakeholders´ knowledge shortages in nanotechnologies, responsible research and innovation, societal engagement, and others, as well as implement preparatory activities for the dialogues.

WP3 - Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues

It designs and implements a multi-stakeholder dialogue methodology involving researchers and scientists, policy makers, representatives from businesses, civil society and non-governmental organisations, the general public and media. The ultimate objective is to formulate recommended changes / directions of changes towards a more responsible research and innovation in nanotechnology.

WP4 - NANO2ALL Roadmap

The NANO2ALL Roadmap brings on board the main findings from the previous workpackages and formulates a concrete set of recommendations and actions to be undertaken by European and national policy-makers to allow implementing responsible research and innovation in nanotechnology taking on board societal expectations, needs and concerns. WP4 also creates sustainable working groups as Joint Stakeholder Undertakings to continue to progress societal engagement in nanotechnology.

WP5 - Project & Quality Management

It aims to ensure quality, and timely delivery of the activities in WP1 to WP4.

Expected impact

NANO2ALL will:

  • 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.
Involve civil society