Nanotechnology Project


Responsible NanoCode

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 • 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Light lunch available at 12 noon

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Woodrow Wilson Center • 5th Floor Conference Room

You are invited to the US launch of an international consultation on a new Code for Responsible Nanotechnology aimed principally at businesses and research organizations. This initiative is funded Britain’s Royal Society, Insight Investment, and the United Kingdom government-sponsored Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network and supported by the Nanotechnology Industries Association who collectively constitute the Founding Partners.

The draft Code was developed by a multi-stakeholder Working Group, made up of international companies, academics with expertise in risk, social, ethical and environmental areas, and representatives from an NGO, a, labour union and a consumer group. The group is chaired by Lord John Selborne KBE FRS.

The aim of the ‘Responsible NanoCode’ is to establish a consensus on what constitutes good practice and, in the absence of comprehensive legislation in the area at present, to provide interim guidance on what organizations and businesses can do to demonstrate they are managing nanotechnologies responsibly. As such, it is a high-level Principle-based code aimed at the board or governing body of an organization, not a technical standards document.

It is hoped that the Code will contribute to ensuring nanotechnologies achieve their full potential in delivering health, environmental, social and economic benefits at a time when businesses are dealing with technical, social and commercial uncertainties concerning these relatively new technologies. The Code is intended to be appropriate to, and adopted by, international companies and organizations around the world – large and small – working with nanotechnologies.

The Working Group is now soliciting comments on the Code from as many organizations as possible around the world that are interested in nanotechnologies. This meeting provides one opportunity to comment on the Code. The draft Code will be presented at the meeting by representatives from the Working Group, and a panel of experts who will offer their initial views. There will then be an open question and answer session. In addition, attendees and others will be able to submit their comments directly via the Code’s website,, until November 12th 2007.